By now you know what influencer marketing is and how effective it can be for advertising. However, what many people are still completely unaware of is the role that influencers can have on marketing as a whole – not just the advertising aspect.
It turns out, influencers offer more than just a means to spread awareness of a brand or product and can actually be beneficial in every step of the marketing process. A recent report by Insightpool and Jay Baer highlights some of the ways influencers can help in different phases of marketing.
Marketing and Advertising… What’s the difference?
Before beginning, it is important to understand a common mistake so many people make. Marketing and advertising are not the same thing. Advertising is actually just one small component of marketing. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Going by that definition, advertising would fit into the the “communicating” portion of marketing, one of the four aspects mentioned. Marketing is so much more than just advertising as it includes research, market testing, product development and many other important jobs that are required in order to ensure consumer’s needs are satisfied. Advertising is just one spoke in the huge wheel that is marketing.
Influencers can do more than just advertise
Of course influencers are mainly known for their ability to advertise. Marketers use influencers to promote and raise awareness of their products all the time. This type of advertising using influencers is incredibly effective. Influencers make sense for advertising purposes because followers are likely to trust the recommendation of the influencer and potentially try out the product. However, if that is all marketers are using influencers for, they are missing some incredible opportunities to improve their marketing efforts.
— GiannisAntetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) April 14, 2017
One of the greatest advantages of having devoted influencers is that they can be used to judge how well a message is resonating within a certain market. Because influencers themselves are members of markets, the number of earned influencers within certain demographics can help companies judge how effective they are in different demographics. This knowledge is usually provided by expensive and time-consuming research by marketers, so having a cheap and quick way to get a quick gauge on who the brand is appealing to is definitely helpful for marketers.
Another way influencers can be exceptionally helpful to marketers is that they can provide instant feedback for products that would usually require focus groups and extensive research to gain insights on. In “Paid and Earned: The Two Sides of Influencer Marketing,” Jay Baer describes this benefit best when he says, “by working closely with well-matched influencers, brands can get feedback on what products and messages specifically resonate most with their ideal customers.”
The Chargers' new logo looks like the logo of a football team in a movie where there's a football game but the movie isn't about football.
— Kyle Madson (@KyleAMadson) January 12, 2017
The newly relocated LA Chargers got instant feedback when they unveiled their new logo. Influencers were not impressed.
This is great for marketers because if an influencer thought a product was not good or they did not enjoy the advertisement that a company created, the marketer can know that immediately. With this feedback, the marketers can work with the other departments in the company to rework or reposition based on what the influencers said.
Finally, influencers can help marketers gain deeper insights into certain demographics and markets that would otherwise be undiscovered. By figuring out the personalities, likes, dislikes, and needs of influencers, marketers can gain a much deeper understanding of the demographics and markets that the influencers belong to. This knowledge can help marketers uncover new leads, learn the needs of the market, and develop a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t in certain demographics.
It is important to remember that while influencers are incredibly effective tools for advertising, that is not the only way they can help marketers. The three other ways they can help are:
- To gauge to how a message from a company is being heard and received
- To provide instant feedback on products and campaigns
- To gain a deeper understanding of target markets
It is no surprise then that companies are doing everything in the power to attract influencers since they are so beneficial to marketers.