Influencers take narrative-based marketing to a whole new level

Scott Henderson Blog

What is influencer marketing?

Gone are the days where companies market themselves through pushy narratives and stale statistics. In today’s ever-evolving and interconnected world, companies are continually discovering ways to create publicity, position their brands, and engage potential and existing customers. Defined by Huffington Post, “Influencer marketing is simply the action of promoting and selling products or services through people (influencers, bloggers, social media personalities, celebrities with social media presence etc.) who have the capacity to have an effect on the character of a brand.”

Companies with distinguishable brands separate themselves with marketing campaigns based on values and creating a narrative that speaks to the ultimate customer experience.  For example, Nike – one of the most recognizable brands, never speaks about how superior it’s footwear’s soles or materials are. Rather, it’s  marketing campaigns are aligned with heroism and highlighting athletes who demonstrate superior athletic abilities. Why? Because the chances of customers engaging customers with statistics and product features are low, in comparison to them being enamored or inspired by athletes’ stories of perseverance. An emotion stirring narrative presented by someone the public perceives as a “trusted source” can equate to millions in revenue, media value, and brand exposure.

In 2016 alone, Christian Ranaldo, a famous soccer player generated $500 million dollars worth of media value for Nike. Ronaldo posted 1,703 times overall on social media in 2016. Those posts generated 2.25 billion social interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets and views on videos), according to analytics software company, Hookit. Nike was referenced or its logo visible in a photo or video in 347 of the posts, which had 477 million interactions. Hookit’s methodology calculated promotion type and quality, as well as interactions and market-driven rates. The result: $499.6 million for Nike in media value from Ronaldo’s posts.

Influencer marketing takes narrative-based marketing to a new level. Companies are beginning to strategically align themselves with influencers to position their services and products directly to everyone’s biggest addiction – our smartphones. Companies have realized with the rise of premier internet TV options and the use of ad blockers increasing by 30% in 2017– influencer marketing presents an opportunity for companies to position their brands in a more modern and targeted approach.

Photo caption: Douglas Coupland Canadian novelist, artist and potential influencer poses in front of his creation created for the lobby of Mark on 10th in Calgary.
Photo credit:
Rob Moroto, Calgary Photos

Influencer marketing is simply the action of promoting and selling products or services through people (influencers, bloggers, social media personalities, celebrities with social media presence etc.) who have the capacity to have an effect on the character of a brand.Huffington Post

Why is it becoming so popular?

As mentioned by Forbes’ columnist, Deep Patel – there are several reasons why influencer marketing is taking the lead. First, consumers are becoming immune to traditional digital advertising and utilizing ad blockers to ensure they aren’t bombarded with advertisements when using the internet. Secondly, influencer marketing allows for organic and creative brand placement through a recognizable trusted source of authority– an influencer. Thirdly, social media is constant –  24 hours, 7 days a week, and 365 days. Brands can leverage social media’s opportunity to engage their audiences across the globe and around the clock. With one-third of the world’s population engaging social media networks on a regular basis, it makes sense that companies would strategize creative ways to engage this massive audience.  Lastly, the reach of influencer marketing is difficult to match with traditional marketing. (View a full infographic of current marketing statistics here.)

What is influencer marketing’s ROI

In 2017, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, a US-based media company geared to helping clients optimize return on advertising spend in partnership with TapInfluence, a software company conducted a study that demonstrates influencer marketing delivers $285 incremental sales per 1000 views, which is 11 times ROI over all other forms of digital media.

For every dollar companies spend on influencer programs, marketers receive an average of $9.60 in earned media value (EMV) according to RhythmOne’s Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report and Guide.

To learn how to measure your influencer marketing campaign, please click here.

Examples of companies successfully using influencers for greater exposure

In 2017, these five companies positioned their brands through strategic partnerships with established influencers that led to successful marketing campaigns.

  • Fiji’s campaign with Instagram influencers such as Danielle Bernstein of @WhoWhatWear to create sponsored posts about Fiji Water
  • Louis Vuitton and Supreme clothing brands communicating their partnership though influencers
  • Sprite launched a campaign featuring LeBron James, a basketball athlethe and Lil Yachty, a musician
  • Nike and Off-White clothing partnership
  • Sprint launches new features through influencers and increasing their “cool factor”

For more examples, please click here.

Top influencers of 2017

These individuals have transformed their social media following to financial empires, earning anywhere from $5,000- $300,000 USD+ per campaign.

Whether it is a trend or an emerging content marketing technique, influencer marketing is a technique worth paying attention for increased reach and engaging campaigns. For more information on how to use influencer marketing for your next campaign, please click here.

About the Author

Scott Henderson

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