Definition: use of personalities to promote brands, product, and services
There has been a lot of buzz around influencer marketing, and you might be wondering if it is something new, a fad or something that works long-term.
Here’s the deal:
Influencer marketing has been around for ages, in fact, I dare say it was the original form of promotions and it existed long before the internet or social media or even before TVs came around.
Why do I say so?
I say so because how else did people know what worked well before the enhanced connectivity we enjoy today?
Simple, most of it was done through word-of-mouth where one would be influenced by a friend, relative, or neighbor to purchase an item that they had interacted with.
Note the use of the word “influenced” in the above statement.
Why does this matter?
It is important to understand the structure of what is today termed as influencer marketing in order to apply it appropriately and effectively in your marketing strategy.
That is not all:
By understanding its nature, you will know if you are already using it and how you can scale it to its full potential.
Most people and some marketers think that influencer marketing revolves around internet celebrities, and although a part of this assumption might be true it can be misleading and become a shallow way of looking at it.
People with hundreds of thousands of social likes, follows, and subscriptions do not form the full picture of influencer marketing.
This is where it gets interesting:
I want to introduce you to my concept of influencer marketing and how it works or how you can apply it to your own strategy. With a little creativity, I believe it can work for large corporations and SMBs/SMEs.
Like many other marketing concepts, the influencer marketing concept is funnel shaped moving from a broad level to a narrow level.
The funnel is further segmented into four levels:
Taking an example of Brand X or Product X being running shoes:
At the Awareness level, which is the broad part of the funnel, the strategy would involve an attempt to reach the largest amount of people, including your potential customers.
The influencer, in this case, would be an individual with the greatest potential to reach a wider population and easily create awareness for the brand/product.
A celebrity musician can post a picture wearing the Brand X running shoes
At the Acquisition level, which is the middle part of the funnel, the strategy would involve a focus on potential customers.
The influencer, in this case, would be an individual with the closest reach to the target consumer and also is closely associated with the industry/segment.
A trainer or coach can be seen in online training videos, working out in Brand X running shoes and can mention its features.
At the Conversion level, which is the narrow part of the funnel, the strategy would involve turning the potential customers into buying customers.
The influencer/s, in this case, would be an existing customer with an opinion about the Brand X running shoes and by sharing their opinions, they determine if the new customer will proceed with the purchase.
Amazon does the Conversion Level very well with their customer reviews. Other businesses also do it effectively with testimonials. However, the greatest challenge for this level would be to have honest reviews and testimonials.
The influencer marketing conversion funnel is made complete by the Engage level where the strategy would involve ensuring the entire process is a cycle aimed at building relationships with the customers.
Thus, new customers will be urged to post their own reviews/ testimonials/ feedback on the products and the business becomes the ultimate influencer by creating value and satisfying the needs of the customer.
In conclusion, the concept applies influencer marketing to move a brand/ product through the customer journey until conversion is achieved and creating a scalable cycle/ process.
Influencer Marketing Conversion Funnel by Timothy Mbiti