24 January 2020

An MCM Net Guide to… Influencers

By Lauren Tasker

Many of us have made a buying decision which has been influenced by someone we admire on social media. This is the desired outcome of influencer marketing, which employs leading content creators to improve brand awareness and increase traffic. Using influencers can be a highly effective marketing strategy across social networks, such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. 

What is an influencer?

To put it simply, an influencer is a person who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others. Many influencers are in a position where they have authority over their audience due to having a significant, loyal following who are interested in the content they produce. However, influencer marketing is slightly different from celebrity marketing. Celebrities have always been promoting products, for a pretty big endorsement fee of course. Today's modern influencer may be popular because of their YouTube content, or perhaps because they have an active social media account which specialises in a popular topic e.g. fashion or travel. 

An example of an influencer currently taking social media by storm is 'Mrs Hinch', AKA Sophie Hinchcliffe (@mrshinchhome). Mrs Hinch quickly became an Instagram star through sharing cleaning and home design tips and products to her audience; which has grown rapidly to over 3 million followers since March 2018. Mrs Hinch regularly partners with brands such as DFS, Very and Shark amongst others. 

 Mrs Hinch Instagram Post

This Mrs Hinch Instagram post was created to promote DFS, it received over 154,000 likes.

How does influencer marketing work?

Influencer marketing can essentially work for many businesses, whether you're looking to grow brand awareness, increase the sales of a product or attract new bookings. The strategy itself is all about connecting brands to consumers. Typically, brands will approach an influencer and offer to pay them to create content which will promote their products or services. The influencer would then post the content on social media. A price is usually negotiated before the content is live, which is usually based on the size of the influencers following.

Influencer marketing vs. content marketing

The boundaries between influencer and content marketing can often become blurred, so we’re here to outline the differences. Content marketing is when brands create and distribute relevant content, which is produced to engage their audience. The aim of this is to lead the reader into taking profitable action. Although an influencer will also encourage the consumer to buy a product or service, influencer marketing focuses more on the distribution of content to their audience, as opposed to the creation of it. Having grown exponentially throughout the past 5 years, influencer marketing has grown into a jaw-dropping multi billion dollar industry.

Negative impacts of influencer marketing

Although influencer marketing generally has a positive impact for brands, there are also a few factors which can negatively affect the performance of a campaign:

  • Choosing an influencer who is not aligned with your brand and wouldn’t use your product.
  •  Publishing obviously promotional and hard-selling content.
  •  No consideration of the influencer's audience demographic.

There can also be some negatives to consider around the strategy itself, which can prevent a business from wanting to reach into the realm of influencer marketing. Here are just a few:

  •  Influencer marketing can have implications on society, as some argue that the scheme focuses on a ‘peer pressure’ basis to encourage sales.
  • Morality conflicts can influence the relationship between brand and audience. For example, if the influencer promoting your product is involved in a scandal, this can greatly impact the perception of your brand.
  • Influencer marketing can sometimes come at a huge cost. In 2020, some influencer marketing agencies prices range from $1,000 to $18,000 per month. Obviously this will differ depending on the influencer of choice. 

If you're curious about influencer marketing and whether or not it might work for you, why not get in touch with one of our experts here at MCM Net? You can call us on 01732 368120 or enquire here. 

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