You know how you can get so caught up in your own industry’s jargon that you forget what it sounds like to everyone else?
Well, here at TapInfluence, we talk a lot about influencer marketing, and how influencer marketing should be a vital part of your brand strategy, blah blah blah, and so on and so forth.
We live and breathe influencer marketing every day, so much so that we often forget that not everyone knows what it is!
That’s what this blog post is for. We’ll share our definition of influencer marketing, explain how it differs from other forms of marketing, and get you thinking about how you can make it can work for your brand by looking at the unique elements that compose influencer campaigns.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.
Influencer marketing often goes hand-in-hand with two other forms of marketing: social-media marketing and content marketing. Most influencer campaigns have some sort of social-media component, whereby influencers are expected to spread the word through their personal social channels. Many influencer campaigns also carry a content element in which either you create content for the influencers, or they create the content themselves. Though social-media and content marketing often fit inside influencer campaigns, they are not synonymous with influencer marketing.
What’s the Difference Between Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Influencer Marketing?
Although some people use word-of-mouth marketing and influencer marketing interchangeably, there’s a real difference between the two disciplines. Whereas influencer marketing is the concept of engaging key individuals to leverage their influence among friends and family, word-of-mouth marketing is the actual avenue by which this communication takes place. So, almost all influencer marketing includes word-of-mouth marketing activities by its nature, but not all word-of-mouth marketing is driven by influencer campaigns.
Is Advocate Marketing the Same as Influencer Marketing?
Advocate marketing isn’t influencer marketing, either. The best way to understand the difference is that advocate marketing focuses on encouraging or incentivizing already-loyal customers to share their love of your brand or product. The sharing might happen by way of product reviews and customer references.
With influencer marketing, you’re more focused on finding influencers—not necessarily current customers—to spread your message. Another distinguishing factor between influencer marketing and advocate marketing is that influencers are almost always paid in some way, either with money or free products. Advocate marketing focuses less on payment, more on driving brand loyalty, which in turn multiples the number of vocal advocates.
What are the Key Components of Influencer Marketing?
Since influencer marketing is a discipline all its own, you’ll need a few unique components to build an influencer campaign. Here are the steps we at TapInfluence use to help our clients build influencer campaigns:
- Identify key brand or product influencers, either manually or through a platform like TapInfluence
- Create a marketing campaign directed at those influencers
- Create a secondary marketing campaign for the influencers to drive greater awareness to a larger set of target consumers
- Track key metrics relating to reach, sales and brand awareness
If you’re with a brand or agency and you’re interested in running influencer campaigns, click below to schedule a demo of the TapInfluence platform today.
**Want a more in-depth look into influencer marketing? Check out our Ultimate Influencer Marketing Guide.