Whilst waiting for your favourite TV programme to start, there’s an interruption. A bank is advertising their mortgage rates. A young couple begin talking… you’ve already mentally switched off. This is the predictability of brands advertising their own products and services. It’s expected, drummed into our heads, and stops what we’re looking forward to watching. Truthfully, if we could; AdBlocked.
That same couple walk in. Except this time you know the couple. You don’t just know them, but they are great friends who you see weekly. It’s still an advertisement, but a real one. Your friends are talking openly about the ups and downs of their finances. You realise you’re not alone with your own difficulties. 20 minutes later, you’re still hooked.
In less than 100 words, this is why influencer marketing is important. It goes to the heart of what public relations is all about, relationships. Like media relations, a brand will either have a relationship through a consultancy with an influencer, or directly. It’s a mutual relationship where both parties benefit; an influencer has more content and the brand benefits from the exposure.
If you’re still not convinced, let’s just look to the figures. In November 2017 the Financial Times announced they hit 900,000 paid-for subscribers. As of this morning, YouTube behemoth Casey Neistat is nearing 9 million subscribers.
Okay, cheeky example – subscribing is free on YouTube and the Financial Times charges. Let’s look at this another way. Within 20 minutes of Peter McKinnon posting a video on YouTube, he’s already hit 70,000 views. It’s a mistake to think my YouTube star examples instead represent the success of the arts verses the financial industry. The point is that all social networks have personalities who draw incomprehensibly large audiences; people who have earned trust and are part of their audience’s everyday lives.
Influencers portray their relationship with a brand’s product or service in a convincing way. Sure, banner advertising and short advertisements have a place. Push enough views and you might just achieve a 0.01% click-through rate. Or we could follow the money.
According to a recent whitepaper by Prizeology, it’s currently impossible to quantify the size of the influencer marketing industry in the UK. However, we do know that in the US estimated advertiser spend on Instagram alone is $1 billion per year. By 2020 the influencer market as a whole could be worth between $5 – 10 billion. Growth like this is only seen when something works.
We know it works. Over the last year Lansons has run influencer marketing activities for a range of organisations, from financial services to health. Building relationships with bloggers, Instagram stars, YouTubers, the list goes on. Balancing the requirements of highly regulated industries, with creativity that delivers against KPIs.
Right, that’s the sales pitch over. If you’re new to influencer marketing or want to know if it can work for your brand, drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet me (@michaelwhite1), or view our case studies.
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