Influencer Marketing, a revolutionary subject hailed from Germany to the United States, has been a hot topic since last year; however, there are questions. What are companies at risk for when using the field as a method of communication?
The concept of the Influencer has its roots in the turn of the millennium. The basis for the movement, Influence: Science and Practice by American psychologist and economist Robert Cialdini, defines the Influencer as a person characterized by a certain social authority via trustworthiness, dedication and consistent behavior. An Influencer, therefore, is at best an authentic opinion maker with a large-scale communicate who is able to influence said community in a way that commissions company.
Companies are interested in Influencers because they want a credible brand or product advocate that gives the brand or product value. The aim of this partnership can be, for example, to introduce a new brand or make an existing one more familiar. This task is usually accomplished via blogs or social media channels like Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. An outstanding example of the trend is the so-called Fitness Blogger, who encourages clients to profit from their own healthy lifestyles, therefore decreasing insurer costs. In cooperation with TV broadcasters, a large volume of consumers can be reached, yielding the question of just how credible these social manipulators can be. In the case that content is not marketed as intended, intentionally or unintentionally, viewers often do not know if the marketing is privatized or sponsored, decreasing the value of the brand. This, more often than not, leads to consequences for the company.
Ultimately, however, one should not forego the potential promises of Influencer Marketing: strong personalities and strong content convincing. In current times of digitalization, one can say that the average citizen can cultivate meaningful and high-growth community via social media, blogs and forums. This, in turn, decreases outdated thinking, which has a tendency to divide opinion makers and professionals. The work of PR experts will likely not influence future generations; however, since the establishment and positioning of a brand is an extremely important element in brand communication, Influencer Marketing can be a building block in creating holistic communication strategies.