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Influencer Marketing: Next Big Thing or Digital Marketing Flash in the Pan?

Influencer Marketing
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Oamii is a Florida digital marketing company that is not only on top of the latest trends, but also can see the next trends coming on the horizon.  As a premier digital marketing agency in South Florida, Oamii makes sure to concern itself with what social media strategies will work best for its clients. As such, the latest development in digital marketing called “influencer marketing” requires some Oamii attention.  Let’s take a closer look at what influencer marketing is (and what it isn’t), and see if it is the right solution for your marketing needs.  Indeed, is influencer marketing going to be around for a while, or is it just a fad that will quickly fade?

What is Influencer Marketing?

At the most basic level, influencer marketing is the process by which a company or service provider leverages an existing “social media influencer” – in other words, a person who has a strong reputation and a large number of social media followers – by having the influencer endorse your brand, support your social media content, or help in creating content with you and your brand.

A good way of thinking about influencer marketing is as a cross between marketing tools of old and new.  It is taking the idea of celebrity endorsement (the old marketing tool) and putting that into the modern-day content-driven marketing campaigns of today.  Yet, unlike celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing tends to have collaboration between a brand and the influencer.

Is an Influencer a Celebrity?

An influencer may be a celebrity, but does not necessarily have to be a household name.  While we still have the typical type of celebrity-endorsed advertisements out there – Taylor Swift got to taste her favorite things in a Diet Coke commercial several years ago – influencers are everywhere and are not always celebrities.

A good influencer-marketing example would be a YouTube celebrity with millions of subscribers.  Swedish YouTube sensation PewDiePie developed a reputation by commenting on video games as he was playing them.  His daily output of YouTube videos has been described as goofy, energetic, obnoxious and laced with profanity.  As of July 2018, PewDiePie has 64 million subscribers.

Some time back, the makers of a horror film teamed up with PewDiePie.  The result was a series of videos in which PewDiePie underwent challenges reminiscent of the horror film’s content.  The series of videos got almost twice the number of views as the movie’s trailer – influencer marketing at work

In sum, influencers can be anywhere and anyone.  They are influencers because of their large social media and web followings.  Within any industry there are influential people, and they can be found through their thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of followers.

Influencer Marketing is Not . . .

Influencer marketing is not simply finding someone with lots of followers and paying them to say something good about your brand.  That kind of marketing falls into the “viral celebrity” category, where popular Internet personalities overtly mention your product.

There needs to be a real synergy with your brand and the brand of the influencer with whom you wish to work.  To go back to the PewDiePie example, he was already providing reviews on horror-type video games.  Thus, merging his content with the horror film seeking his support was logical and seamless.

Corrupting Authenticity:  Will the Increase in Influencer Marketing Lead to Its Collapse?

Having discussed what influencer marketing is, and isn’t, let’s next look at how long this trend might last.  Right now, all signs point to influencer marketing being the “next big thing” in marketing strategy.  Just like in human nature, marketing agencies are flocking to what seems like a pioneering area in the quest for consumers’ attention.

In 2018, as many as 39% of marketers increased their budgets for influencer marketing.  About 86% of marketers relied on influencer marketing throughout 2017.  The question becomes:  Will it continue?

To answer that question a little social media background is required.  Most communication, marketing, and media experts have arrived at the conclusion (and the conclusion is rather obvious to the average lay person) that the incredible surge in popularity that social media has enjoyed has everything to do with authenticity.

Simply put, self-made YouTube videos, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram photos, etc. are real.  They are made by real people, and they are talking about (or showing images) of real things.  The credibility and authenticity is clear to the audience.

By contrast, take the old “When you’re here, your family” commercial from Olive Garden.  Any person viewing that Olive Garden commercial can immediately understand the superficial, inauthentic nature of the ad.  Olive Garden cannot even remotely replicate a true Italian family dinner.  As such, the lack of credibility in the ad is fairly apparent, and thus can only have limited appeal.

It was because people were tired of seeing those Olive Garden-type traditional ads, geared only to sell, that the public turned to social media content.  Thus, influencers were born.

Yet, the more that influencers are being asked to endorse brands and products by companies employing the “influencer marketing strategy,” the influencers lose authenticity, and thereby credibility.  If the public’s trust in authenticity fades, so will the power of influencer marketing.

Oamii Understands the Power of Authenticity in Digital Marketing and Can Help You Capitalize On It

The chance that flooding the field with influencer marketing strategies could ultimately lead to a diminishing of trust in the influencer is something Oamii takes seriously.  That is why Oamii is looking past the current influencer marketing trend and seeing how it can help Florida digital marketing clients in the long term.

Oamii knows that it soon will not be enough to have a large following on your account to be considered an influencer.  Rather, digital marketers need to understand how the influencer engages with his or her followers, and see how their marketing investment in an influencer translates to ROI.

It seems that the current mindset on influencer marketing will change quickly and in a relatively short period of time.  Oamii, providing the highest quality in digital marketing for South Florida, will continue to keep an eye on this marketing trend to see how it unfolds, in whatever direction it may go.  For more information about Oamii’s digital marketing expertise, contact us at 561-228-4111 or online today.

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