Influencer Marketing: How Influential are Influencers?

If I’m laughing hysterically at something on YouTube its either Antonella: The Uncensored Reviewer, or Jenna Marbles messing about with headphones and blindfolds. I’m not the type to watch make-up tutorials or anything like that – although I definitely need to. I have no idea how to contour nor make a smokey eye without looking like I’ve been punched in both eyes.

I only really came across YouTubers through friends, over the past few years. Generally speaking, I see them more as entertainment than influencers in my life, but I’m fully aware they’re getting bigger and bigger. Rapidly.

We know influencers from social media, particularly YouTube, can have a massive effect on the behaviour of consumers. Opinions are varying towards bloggers at the moment, particularly after Zoella’s 12 day advent calendar-made-of-tat-sold-for-£50 fiasco, and then Jack Maynard getting withdrawn from I’m a Celebrity about something damning in his social media history.

It seems, however, that subscribers to these influencers’ channels are particularly forgiving. YouTubers and bloggers are themselves; their viewers, followers and subscribers view them as much more authentic than perhaps, ‘real’ celebrities. After all, it’s just a normal person on the other side of the screen.

It’s not surprising that more people visit YouTube each year than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites, with the amount of content available – like seriously, people do weird, and wonderful things on there.  The first YouTube video I remember watching, and re-watching about 50 times consecutively – was this.  I reckon YouTube has developed a bit further than *WATCH THIS WITHOUT LAUGHING* videos but they still do make me laugh. I’m easily entertained. (Whilst we’re on topic – most catchy news story without any sort of context? This).

The Revelation
I’ve spent a while this week ogling over nice Christmas decorations on a load of different blogs, and it was only then that it hit me how influencers can work their magic (where have I been?!). They are normal people who just have an eye for well-planned Christmas decorations, unlike me with a Christmas jumper, some tinsel and a poinsettia.

I reckon the biggest difference between influencers, and celebrities, is that a larger proportion of current consumers have grown up with the aspiration to live lavish lifestyles like actors, musicians and reality TV stars. The younger generations appear less inclined to look up to these celebs with out-of-reach lifestyles and instead look up to those who seem more like friends. I mean, we know that user-generated content is regarded as more reliable and honest, and let’s face it, these people I saw decorating their houses probably won’t have had same the decorating budget as Melania Trump.

Influencer Marketing - Melania Trump

Finding ‘The One’
When it comes to selecting influencers to work with, they have to be relevant to the brand and suitable for the audience. After all, to be authentic, they need to have a passion for your brand and its related products. Remember when Scott Disick (we knew something Kardashian related was gonna appear at some point) did a copy and paste job for Bootea? This shouts that he doesn’t particularly give a monkeys and was just doing what he was told, showing no excitement in the slightest, which is probably the worst case of a bad fit. Learn from his mistakes!

Worth it?
Influencer marketing can have a huge ROI, with an average of about 600% return. That’s good. Really good. Finding the right match with an influencer can propel your brand directly towards a much more engaged audience, so not only is the return good, but you can rest assured that all spending has been allocated effectively.

To sum it up, find someone who is mad about the same things you and your brand are mad about, and you’ll undoubtedly live happily ever after.

Laura

Laura is a content marketing intern at Fox Socks Limited. She enjoys going to gigs and cooing at cats (even though she's allergic). When Laura isn't talking campaigns with the FS team, she spends her time studying for her masters in Marketing (Communications), writing her own hilarious blog, and tweeting about the Gallaghers @loz_wald