Influence marketing refers to the identification and implementation of influential customers to reach your target audience as a promotional channel. It is about conveying your message through the voice of an individual who your target audience trust and like. Nowadays, purchasers spend the majority of their purchasing process gathering information online, and social media is the biggest source of this information. Based on a recent study by Nielsen 90% of consumers trust user-generated content while only 33% trust paid ads. This is why companies have resorted to influence marketing to have some control over these online conversations and ultimately impact consumer behavior. Companies are more and more realizing that they must implement influence marketing as part of their marketing strategy to cut through the advertising noise. In a recent article in Forbes, influence marketing was called the most effective and fastest growing marketing channel.
Employing an influencer to create authentic content can be a very effective marketing strategy, as brands can get access to a large targeted audience. However, the challenge is in finding the relevant influencer who is able to adequately communicate with and engage the brand’s target audience. Finding the right influencer or blogger is what determines the success of influence marketing campaigns and reach, relevance and resonance are the three main attributes that brands need to focus on to select the right influencer.
Reach refers to the number of followers an influencer has on their social sites. It is common for brands to want to partner up with influencers and bloggers who have access to a large number of people, however, partnering up with an influencer merely based on the high number of followers does not necessarily guarantee success. The important factor is having access to fans who are similar to the brand’s target audience. In the past, celebrities were usually implemented by marketer as influencers to impact consumer behavior, however, these days with the power of social media the new generation of bloggers are born who sometimes reach millions of followers. The new trend in influencer marketing is leveraging these product-savvy bloggers who are passionate about advocating their favorite brands.
Relevance describes the level of alignment and similarity between the influencer’s values and the brand’s image. Relevance can be either about the content that the influencer creates or the audience that he/she reaches. When selecting an influencer, it is important to determine the level of relevancy so the curated message is targeted towards the right audience and that if it does they will want to engage with it. The secret is to identify whether the influencer shares the same values, culture and demographics as the brand’s target audience. Influence marketing is a consumer-focused marketing strategy, and during planning, the consumer must be the center of all efforts. The more relevant the influencer to the brand and its target market, the more engaged the readers would be and the more likely that they would act upon the message.
The degree of engagement of the influencer’s audience with the content that he/she creates is referred to as resonance. When the audience reaches the content they can engage with it in different levels. Resonance is what determines the readers level of engagement with the message and whether they would actively amplify the content by sharing it with their own followers. The element of resonance is closely related to the relevance. In fact, the latter cannot exist without the former.
Although influence marketing has been praised as “THE” marketing channel of the decade due to its effectiveness, its success highly depends on the influencer. In order to select the right influencer, it is essential to determine his/her level of reach, relevance, and resonance and these are the 3 Rs of influence marketing.
Written by: Yasmin Ebrahimi