Is Influencer Marketing Replacing Real Advertisements?

Written by: Stefanie Frunz, AAE of College of Arts and Humanities

Let’s face it; a real person talking to you is far more personable than reading an article or being force-fed an advertisement. For this reasoning, brands are starting to turn towards implementing influencer marketing into their marketing strategies.

“Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market,” said tapinfluence.com “Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.”

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The brands that are practicing this strategy look for content creators that have a following that they are strongly connected with. Often times, brands seek people who have a larger following, but also those who engage and have relationships with their following.

Since this strategy relies on word-of-mouth, brands want the audience to trust that the influencer truly enjoys the product and that they are not simply endorsing the product for the payout.

Fitness and health influencers have taken over this strategy most in recent years. It’s become common for “fitspo” people to create Instagram and YouTube accounts in order to document their fitness journey.

More often than not, these fitness people are preparing for a competition; whether it be bikini, bodybuilding or Olympic. These influencers open the doors to their daily lives and show the public how they train, eat and also their mental journey along the way.

When you see the people you have created these connections by watching their daily vlogs or seeing them set PRs at the gym via Instagram post, their opinion on things becomes as valuable as your friends’ or family’s opinions. These influencers have made you feel as if you are a part of their lives, and therefore their feelings about a product are something that you trust.

Here are a few examples of brands that have benefitted from implementing influencer marketing into their marketing strategy plans:

Physique Enhancing Science (PEScience)
This brand prides themselves upon taking on ambassadors that truly love their product. They prefer to approach their influencers rather than the influencer to approach the brand. As mentioned before, in order for influencer marketing to work, the public must genuinely see the influencer’s passion for the product.

PEScience doesn’t invest into big advertising ploys; one of their core values is that they don’t do mass marketing. The brand speak for itself. They invest their time and effort into creating products that are backed by science, and finding content creators that inspire and influence in their own unique way.

They have bikini competitors to health-conscious bakers. PEScience prides themselves on taking on influencers that use the product in their day-to-day lives and people that show their followers that they can too.

Shredz
shredzAccording to an article on Forbes.com, Shredz made $90,000 in their first year operation (2012). The following year they signed on Instagram fitness model, Paige Hathaway, and in turn they made $5 million in gross revenue. The numbers have continued to climb, and with just a 21 person in house team, these types of numbers are extremely impressive.

 

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Many supplement and sportswear companies have taken out the middleman and become warehouse to consumer companies through influencer marketing tactics. Eliminating the middleman saves vast amounts of money and also creates a more intimate interaction between companies and people, building strong brand loyalty.

These brands often allow their influencers to give out a promotion code that will grant their audience anywhere from 10-30% off their product. This little extra incentive leads consumers to be more inclined to buy the product as well.

Through influencer marketing, companies save a tremendous amount of money. Sponsorship through social media key leaders is much cheaper than hiring on a celebrity endorser, cuts down on advertising costs, and also makes their consumers feel like they have a more intimate relationship with the company itself.

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