What Is Influencer Marketing? – The 2018 New Definition

In 2015, influencer marketing was just a buzzword running around the marketing world. At that time, companies (mostly online shops, start-ups and SMEs) tried influencer marketing with such a simple concept in mind: “Paying famous girls (and guys) on social media for some tweets (posts)”. Now, in 2018, it has become “a business” according to Forbes and a marketing strategy implemented by huge brands in various industries (e.g. Daniel Wellington, Mercedes-Benz, Schwarzkopf Professional, etc.) This post will show you the definition of influencer marketing so far and how it will be the next big thing of digital marketing.

Influencer Marketing Definition – The difference between 2015 and 2018

First, let’s take a look at Wikipedia’s definition of influencer marketing:

“a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals […] who influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers”.

The definition is actually taken from an article on Adweek in July 2015. As you may notice, this definition has the similar core idea with the concept mentioned before: Using the influencer as the bridge to connect brands with his/her followers instead of advertising directly to them.

In the context of two years ago, this definition tells us that influencer marketing was just a tactical practice (more or less trial-and-error) and a still relatively new marketing approach to reach customers.

So, what has influencer marketing turned into in 2018? The answer is simple: It is taken more seriously when marketers begin to see how powerful it truly is! Together with the rapid growth of social media, especially Instagram, millions of people started calling themselves “influencers” and making money from their profiles.

Within two years, more than 50 influencer marketing platform start-ups appeared on the market and some of them are still doing great business. According to Salesforce’s report, 70% of researched brands increased their budget for influencer marketing in 2016.

It becomes the main topic of many marketing expos and conferences, such as DMEXCO Night Talk, Influencer Marketing Days  or LET´S TALK InfluencerDB. Influencer marketing is now taken into consideration by many marketing executives while designing the customer buying journey for their brands.

The definition is now included in the inbound marketing model, such as the following graph:

influencer marketing definition 2017New Marketing Funnel © comparethecloud.net

You may see on the graph that the position of influencer marketing is at the top of the funnel, which is used to increase brand awareness and trigger people’s interest. Together with social media marketing and content marketing, they form a modern marketing triad in the digital world for lead generation, especially in the internet era.

After two years, B2C brands have been doing well with many influencer marketing campaigns. Thus, 2018 is the right time to think about influencer marketing strategically, especially for B2B companies.

4 reasons why influencer marketing the next big strategy:

Of course, as an Influencer Marketing SaaS company, we at InfluencerDB believe in this new marketing strategy and are trying our best to help you achieve success with your influencer marketing campaign. However, this isn’t simply the love of the heart. These amazing facts will make you say “Wow” (same like we did) about how effective influencer marketing can help your business as well as how it will become the next big thing in marketing.

High return on investment (ROI) marketing

We know that marketers take so much care about value, especially when it is presented as a beautiful number. Thus, what else but ROI should tell you about the value of influencer marketing? In this blog post, we selected and calculated the ROI of each popular influencer on the Instagram Rich List 2017 by Hopper. Guess what, the ROI can reach up to 5.9 times!

Furthermore, if you compare the pricing per post and the earned media value , it’s easy to realize that the required budget is much smaller and the return is much higher than for other marketing methods. With a professional influencer marketing analytics tool, the influencer’s performance is easily trackable, and you will have enough information to modify your overall marketing strategy.

Return on investment influencer marketingInfluencer’s ROI – Instagram Rich List 2017

Influencers triggers buying decisions better

The rise of social media makes the traditional advertisement, such as TV commercials or brochures, become background noise. Netizens are living on Instagram even more than in real life, thus, are more frequently exposed to the content from influencers rather than from TV channels. Furthermore, the difference with influencer marketing is that the audience is still seeing advertisements, but with there is a higher level of sympathy.

Why?

Because influencer marketing is built on personal brands, which are structured around real people and have human factors. Influencers are human themselves. They can trigger both rational and emotional purchases from their audience easier, just because they are human like us.

 

Bringing all the boys to the yard with my bb girl. @negin_mirsalehi ?? #milkshake

A post shared by JULIE SARIÑANA (@sincerelyjules) on

Even though recent changes in Instagram’s “sponsored” feature make the ads more visible and detectable, influencers’ suggestions still seem to be more trustworthy than social ads. This topic will be discussed further in upcoming blog posts.

Almost no industrial boundaries

Every industry has its stars! Influencer Marketing isn’t just limited to mainstream markets such as fashion, sport, beauty, and healthcare. Influencers will be centered on everything in life, from traveling to yoga. You probably already checked the battle of the bra brands blog post we mentioned before, then how about this infographic of automotive brands on Instagram

The big players in the automotive industry are all very active on Instagram, especially Mercedes-Benz with more than 17 official accounts. They definitely plan to work with influencers in order to be the dominant one on this social media platform.

a part of instagram automotive study infographic

Part of InfluencerDB’s automotive study on Instagram

Ad-block? Not a problem!

According to this research by PageFair, over 600 million devices are running ad-block software globally, and 62% of which are mobile devices. Everyone hates those annoying ads, but everyone loves his or her idol. Thus, instead of betting on internet ads, brands and businesses now have more reason to put their dollars behind social influencers.

Right now, top influencers on Instagram such as Selena Gomez have more than a hundred million followers (and the number is still growing!). Only a fraction of that number is enough to greatly increase your brand awareness. 

influencer marketing selena gomez statsSelena Gomez stats © InfluencerDB

Pretty cool, right?

To sum up, 2018 will be a big year for influencer marketing, especially with the dominant role of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.). Therefore, don’t get left behind! Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts to keep being informed about hot topics in the world of influencer marketing.