Influencer marketing is a great way for companies to boost their reach and get their name out to the world. Tapping into the social followings of celebrities and social media icons is an effective way to get new fans and customers, and while it may feel like it’s at its height right now, influencer marketing actually has an old history. In fact, it dates all the way back to the 1700s.
The famous potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood tapped into royalty, getting kings, queens and other nobles to endorse his pottery line. Later, in 1905, Fatty Arbuckle, an American silent film actor, comedian, director and screenwriter, became the first recorded celebrity to endorse a product, which was Murad Cigarettes.
But today, when we think of “celebrity” or “influencer,” stars such as Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo and DJ Khaled come to mind. And that’s because these celebrities have followings so massive, an endorsement or ad by them is sure to get customers swayed to buy a product or try a service.
While influencer marketing may have started long ago, with the help of social media, it’s reaching new heights today — and it has created an entirely new genre of celebrity. There are a number of famous individuals today who found their fame only because of social media, such as YouTuber Lilly Singh and Vine star Andrew Bachelor. These influencers may be even more effective than celebrities when it comes to endorsing a product — 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers say that these influencers are more relatable than celebrities.
There are a couple of benefits for using an influencer to market your product.
1. Quickly Builds Trust
Influencers have built relationships, trust, and credibility with their fans. People respect their content and recommendations. By sharing an influencer’s content, you’ll soon gain their attention and they’ll begin sharing yours, putting your message in front of an actively engaged audience.
2. Improves Brand Awareness
As noted, influencer marketing can greatly expand your reach and positioning online. Social users will begin to know more about your brand, your story, who you are, and the solutions you offer. The key to maximizing influencer strategy is ensuring that you’re providing valuable content that adds to their social media presence also, ensuring value on both sides.
3. Enriches Your Content Strategy
Sharing influencer content can helps fill in the gaps of your own content schedule. This works well in situations where you’ve run out of content ideas or simply need some quality content to publish on your social pages
4. Effectively Reaches Your Target Audience
This is a big one. Through relevant influencers, your content is placed in front of social users that are already interested in your niche. You don’t have to spend additional funds on testing and finding your audience – the influencer has already fostered this audience on social media.
5. Provides Amazing Value to Your Audience
At the heart of inbound marketing is delivering content that solves problems, educates and inspires your intended audience. Influencer marketing embraces this concept, as influencers are already in tune with the needs of the people they serve. In turn, you can easily leverage their content to give value to your audience.
6. Builds Winning Partnerships
Connecting and engaging with an influencer can be the start of a powerful relationship. When you’re in it for the long-haul, you never know where these connections could end. Possible joint-ventures, live events, and other opportunities may be in the works.
Check out the great infographic below that provides you with a good historical walkthrough. For me, I am trying to get there…