If you find yourself in marketing and PR meetings from time to time, you would have been confronted with the word “influencer”. As with other jargon, the term is often casually thrown around the boardroom table and it can be quite intimidating if you are not familiar with it. One might feel that you are not on top of things or that you are uninformed. Luckily you can quickly google it under the table…
It is very interesting how the world of media has changed since the introduction of social media. Expert opinions are of less importance and the opinion of the ordinary Joe via social media platforms resonates much stronger with all the other ordinary Joe’s. We have realised that experience is becoming more important than product. The normal customer, without exceptional wine expertise, for instance, might have more confidence in sharing his or her overall experience of a wine estate visit than an opinion on the quality of the wine.
That all makes sense to me.
Now enter the “influencer”.
According to the under the table Wikipedia results:
Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, professional advisers, and so on).
Is this not going back to the old way of Expert opinions?
Can it be that in a world where we are overwhelmed with online opinions, we need some guidance?
Influencers are not necessarily experts, but they do have influence.
My interpretation of the influencer is that we need something between the old-fashioned expert and the chaos of popular online communication. The influencer is not necessary claiming expertise, but the person on the street might be able to identify or aspire to the lifestyle and the choices of such an influencer – and that is valuable in the world of marketing.
“There’s no denying the attraction of the influencer relationship for any brand,” says Sara Byworth, founder of her own PR and communications agency. “As traditional editorial space shrinks, this is a brilliant way to reach wider audiences.” (Read: Vogue.co.uk article on influencers in fashion)
The buzz about Millennials and their spending habits won’t subside. And even with a knack for processing the overload of social media data, it seems that Millennials are increasingly reconsidering their online consumption. No longer do they want to sieve through a plethora of information and ratings and opinions, they want a simplified experience. (Read: 4 Millennial Social Media Trends to watch in 2017)
Influencers are trending in the world of marketing and it would be short-sighted to ignore. Especially if you consider Marketing speaker, Jay Bayer’s words: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”