I remember being a wide-eyed communications student sitting in class, learning about how brands reach their target audiences. We were learning about how mediums such as television, print, and radio were king.
A lot has changed in 10 years.
In the years since I was sitting in that college class, the face of influencer marketing has changed. While mediums such as television and print will never die (as long as we still have cable, newspapers, and magazines) now consumers are more interested in discovering various ways to use a certain product as opposed to being told how to use the product.
With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, users are able to explore and discover things to do with products in a visually appealing way.
In order to garner attention in a more organic way, brands have turned to online influencers — in particular, bloggers. Now, instead of brands simply telling consumers how they should be consuming a product, brands as well as public relations agencies are reaching out to people who are influential online in order to advance a brand’s message.
This sort of word-of-mouth advertising has become wildly popular. In fact, a 2014 study revealed that marketing which was inspired by word of mouth generated double the sales of paid advertising and had a 37 percent higher retention rate.
Additionally, it has been shown that information shared by trusted advocates (such as online influencers) convert at a rate of 4 to 10 times a higher rate than when the brand promotes the offer directly.
The thing is that these online influencers come in a variety of forms. In addition to the wide variety of bloggers who are promoting the brand, there are also online influencers who specialize in YouTube, Snap Chat, and even Vine.
The face of influencer marketing is constantly changing, which is why it is important to embrace the idea of online marketing.
About the author: When she isn’t taking care of her two young boys, Rachel writes about crafting, decorating, and the joys of parenting on her blog Third Stop on the Right.