What is an influencer in the making
Influencer Marketing is a marketing strategy with the aim of spreading advertising messages with the help of influencers. Influencers are people who are highly regarded and well known. In this type of marketing, the influencer acts as a multiplier for the advertising message.
Goals in influencer marketing
The goals that should be achieved with influencer marketing always depend on the advertising company. Basically it is possible to achieve a wide range of goals with influencer marketing. This includes, for example, the generation of reach, the improvement of the brand image, the increase in product sales or the generation of leads and inquiries. Among other things, influencer marketing can be used during a product launch to position the new product with the target group.
Influencing the opinion of a target group can also be a goal of influencer marketing. Political parties are now also using influencer marketing to do better in election campaigns.
Influencer marketing is similar in many aspects to word of mouth marketing and recommendation marketing: If a person recommends a product, the probability is high that the recipient will believe this message and purchase the product. If the person receives incentives or benefits in addition, the advertising effect and identification with the company may be even greater.
The difference in influencer marketing is that the advertising message is multiplied by the reach of the influencer. In the best case scenario, this creates a viral dynamic. In the ideal case, advertisers can generate a high reach by incentivizing only a few people if, for example, these people have a large number of followers in social networks.
Psychological background 
The psychologist and economist Robert Cialdini coined the term influencer in his book "Influence: Science and Practice", which appeared in 2001 in the USA. The German translation "The Psychology of Persuasion" was published in 2007. The key message is the following: People are relatively easy to influence. Actions can be controlled to a certain extent by the click-surr effect, because we follow certain patterns. According to Cialdini, the principles of this influence can be described as follows:
- Reciprocity: Free goods create a sense of obligation in the recipient. He in turn replied to this behavior in order not to remain owed. Example: Incentives and registrations for newsletters.
- Consistency: The recipient enters into a "commitment" because he wants to be consistent in words and deeds. He is committed to a certain behavior that is expected in retrospect.
- Social proven: If other recipients show similar behavior patterns, these appear all the more attractive. Anyone who is unsure about a purchase takes the purchase decision of others as the basis for their own.
- Sympathy: Many decisions are made on the basis of sympathy. People tend to be persuaded when they find their counterpart sympathetic and attractive.
- Authority: A certain amount of authority leads to obedience. People relatively quickly follow a model that is based on knowledge, experience or competence. Decision-making is supported and easier. As a result, people react more to symbols of authority such as expensive clothing or luxury items.
- Scarcity: The shortage of a product creates demand because people perceive things, products or information as particularly important when they are not directly accessible.
The term coined by Cialdini got a changed meaning against the background of the social web, which no longer only refers to the psychological influence, but also considers the context of the largest possible sphere of influence. Influencers are powerful in that they have a sufficiently large network. Reach becomes a resource that can result in higher sales.
Types of influencer marketing
Due to their high level of awareness, YouTubers such as Lochis, Dagi Bee, or LeFloid are usually associated with influencers. In fact, there are a multitude of different types of influencers. So not only young people with a high number of followers on Snapchat and Instagram are suitable as influencers, any person who has a high reach can act as an influencer. Bloggers, journalists or PR professionals can also be influencers. Even before the term influencer marketing became known, advertisers tried to win over well-known personalities such as athletes, actors and musicians to promote their products.
The types of influencer marketing can be differentiated according to the context in which the activities are to be implemented. Both types of communication are based on their principle of one-to-many communication, in which the influencer as an intermediary is of particular importance. In the B2C area, influencer marketing is heavily dependent on the person who is supposed to spread the advertising message with the greatest possible reach. In B2C influencer marketing, the authenticity of the opinion makers is important: the advertising message and the influencer should be the best possible match.
In B2B communication, expertise and technical competence come to the fore. The influencer's credibility is particularly crucial here, as the target group is usually much more critical than in B2C marketing. Personal relationships and a content distribution network are required in both contexts. As well as a feeling for how this knowledge can be conveyed. In the case of editorials in specialist magazines, the reach can be reduced in favor of better content orientation and specialization in knowledge.
Micro influencer 
While at the beginning of the marketing strategy to generate reach, turnover and awareness via influencers, the focus was mainly on well-known names with a high number of fans and followers Micro influencer marketing. Influencers are specifically selected who are not primarily characterized by a high number of followers, but rather by a high engagement rate even if they are less well known.
This can be seen as a result of some unsuccessful product placements, such as the Unilever influencer campaign 2017, as well as the increasing number of purchased followers and bot accounts on the common platforms. Companies are therefore increasingly relying on small blogs and profiles that are thematically highly relevant to their brand or product, and where a lot of interaction between influencers and followers is in the foreground. These micro influencers are seen by many of their followers as more transparent and authentic. The companies that cooperate with the micro influencers also benefit from this reputation.
Find influencers 
In almost every industry there are specialists, trade journalists and lobbyists who can be considered influencers. Sponsorships and collaborations are also a good way of doing influencer marketing. The key is to find the right contact person, regardless of whether they are bloggers, specialist journalists or sports icons. Tools are often used for this, for example to be able to evaluate profiles in social networks for their reach. The content orientation and personal contact with the influencer can be decisive for the success of a campaign.
Also to be emphasized are the establishment and then the maintenance of contact with the influencer. The first contact can be facilitated by specific questions: For example, companies can ask an influencer that has already been identified for their opinion on a product. Free trial products are also a popular means of establishing contact. It is important to give the influencer the impression that their expertise, their good reputation or their high standing are in demand. Successful influencer marketing depends to a large extent on skillful communication. Similar to customer empowerment, the engagement of the influencer and potential users can be increased in a targeted manner.
There have long been recruitment agencies and platforms on which companies are brought together with influencers. But the active search on the part of a brand is still common in order to find influencers. They often find what they are looking for in Facebook groups for bloggers and collaborations. The targeted search for suitable, thematically relevant blogs, vlogs and Instagram accounts can also lead to success. A search of your own is always associated with more effort. Many influencers, especially the micro influencers, prefer direct, personal contact by the company.
Success measurement in influencer marketing
As in all other online marketing channels, the measurement of success depends heavily on the definition of goals. If a high range is the goal, impressions or views are the recommended performance indicator. Measurement is often a problem here. While the number of views for a video is publicly available on YouTube or Facebook, for example, Instagram story views are not publicly available, which is why the influencer only provides proof of the achieved range with a screenshot can.
If traffic is to be generated, sessions or page views are a useful KPI. For optimal evaluation, it is advisable to use suitable tracking parameters and to provide the influencer with the link (tracking pixel) provided with the parameters. The metrics can then be evaluated in web analysis tools such as Google Analytics.
A popular way to measure success in eCommerce influencer marketing is to use promo codes. With this method, the influencers receive individual promo codes that they can pass on to their followers. In this way, all purchases made using the corresponding promo code can be attributed to the influencer.
Importance for online marketing
Influencer marketing can be a strategy in the marketing mix. In addition to the goal of the greatest possible reach, the branding effect should also be emphasized. The image of a company may be shaped by influencers.
A major benefit of influencer marketing is the role the company plays. It only spreads the advertising message to the influencer in the first instance, who then addresses a broader group of recipients. As a result, the company remains in the background. The likelihood that the recipients of the advertising message will assess it more credibly than would be the case with direct or dialogue marketing is correspondingly high.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing also depends on industries and niches. Not all products or services are equally suitable for this marketing method. In addition, monitoring should take place in order to be able to evaluate the actual ROI.
- ↑ Why influencer marketing is one hell of a hot spot in the election campaign Horizon. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ^ Influence: Science and Practice ResearchGate. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ The psychological basics of convincing and influencing advice Vogelsang. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ Definition of Micro Influencer MM New Media GmbH. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ With the Cora bottle on you and you MEEDIA. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ How do I find the right influencer? IF.DIGITAL. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ 6 Ways to Find Instagram Influencers REACHBIRD. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ 7 tools to find the right influencer clicks digital. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ Influencer Marketing II: Objectives and correct addressing of UPLOAD magazine. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
- ↑ Breaking from Tradition: The Four Ms of Influence Marketing Convince & Convert. Retrieved on July 22, 2020
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