Most people don’t like ads. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to any advertiser, but unfortunately, we’re in the business of advertising. With the popularity of ad blockers growing, many companies have had to get creative to get their message in front of prospective customers. From sponsored content to viral videos, there’s an ongoing stream of new mediums and methods for advertising. As ads continue to evolve, one of the most popular new forms of ads also has a ton of potential – Influencer Marketing.

Don’t Just Advertise – Influence

Wondering what exactly influencer marketing is? Chances are you’ve already seen it, even though you might not have noticed it. Influencer marketing identifies individuals (typically celebrities) who have influence over a target market and positions activity around those individuals.

While it’s nothing new – Celebrities have been endorsing products for decades – the rise of Social Media has enabled influencer marketing to explode, and do so a bit more stealthily. A good example of old school influencer marketing is the famous Britney Spears’ Pepsi ads from 2001. At the time, these ads marked a record for celebrity endorsements, and while Pepsi certainly picked Spears for her impact on their target market, these were very obviously ads.

Today, celebrities maintain huge followings on social media where they can push their influence directly. These large followings are an advertisers’ dream. Identify the celebrity your target market is most likely to follow and you know exactly who to ink your deal with. On top of that, you can advertise to them directly without it being super obvious. Take a look at this Instagram post from Beyoncé. We can guarantee she didn’t just wake up and feel the urge to post this super candid photo of her chugging a Pepsi. This is a perfect example of influencer marketing at its finest.

beyonce-pepsi-instagram

Influencer Marketing Has It All

As a marketing tool, there aren’t many venues that have a leg up on influencer marketing. Incredibly powerful marketing through influencers allows your ad to be perceived as a simple recommendation. If someone really likes Beyoncé and sees that she loves Pepsi, they might be more inclined to give Pepsi a try. On top of that, social media is exploding, with new networks popping up almost every day. All these networks are great opportunities to reach your market through influencers.

Did we mention that it’s also cheap? Well, for now at least. Like everything in advertising, the higher the demand, the higher the price. However, new influencers are made every day, and chances are you can find an influencer in your price range. Add to that the fact that these native ads will boost your SEO, and you’ve got a seemingly no-brainer.

With new barriers every day, it’s time to get creative with your marketing initiatives. If you’ve got some big bucks to spend, Rihanna might be the best bet for you. If you’re marketing budget is tight, then look for up-and-coming social network stars with a growing following. Whether it’s a hip fashion blogger or fitness guru, influencers come in many shapes and sizes – and a variety of price points too!

Sources:

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/10-reasons-why-influencer-marketing-is-the-next-big-thing/623407

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influencer_marketing

http://wallblog.co.uk/2013/04/08/celebrities-begin-to-post-promotional-ads-to-their-instagram-accounts/