Imagine you have an incredible, revolutionary idea for a product, and you know that it’s going to become the next big thing as soon as it releases. That’s fantastic, but no matter how extraordinary or unique your creation is, it’s not going to do much for your brand unless you get the word out to the largest, most effective target audience. With all of the recent advancements in modern technology, such as the flourishing growth of social media, companies and marketing agencies have been forced to adapt in order to be successful

A new marketing movement has surfaced in recent years that has changed the way brands pitch their product. By taking advantage of the mass of possible consumers constantly scrolling through various social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, the marketing industry has created another wonderful innovation: influencer marketing.

What is influencer marketing? It’s as simple as the two words that make it up. Essentially, it consists of a brand promoting their product or service through users on social media. These companies approach specific users based on follower activity and engagement, as opposed to just looking at follow count.

Most influencers are often sorted into three separate categories, each with its perks and disadvantages; celebrity, macro, and micro influencers.

Celebrity influencers, while having upwards of 1 million followers, are typically not the ideal business partners for influencer marketing, as they are very expensive to work with while only engaging with approximately 5% of their followers per post. Examples of celebrity influencers are public figures like Kim Kardashian, athletes like Lebron James, and musical artists like Kanye West.

Macro influencers can be described as trusted sources or people who are in some sort of position of authority. They usually have between 10,000 and 1 million followers and generate up to 25% of follower engagement per post. These users are usually journalists, executives, artists, or even part-time bloggers who are looking for either some money, or some more fame and recognition. This makes them easier to work with, as their price tag is much less expensive.

Finally, there are micro influencers, the so called “diamonds in the rough” of influencer marketing. Being Users with 500 to 10,000 followers, micro influencers are simply looking to be treated with respect and professionalism from the brands approaching them, almost as if they’re a VIP like the celebrity influencers. This obviously makes them the easiest to work with, as there’s often little to no money involved, and there’s no formal contract. It’s more of a human interaction than a business deal.

With the help of these users and their respective desires, influencer marketing always ends up in a win-win situation for everyone involved. The influencer gets whatever it is they want from the company (money, fame, respect, etc.) and the brand can project themselves to an audience through a medium that never fails to attract consumers. The perfect combination of social and content marketing can work wonders for a brand if executed correctly.

Influencer marketing has been around for quite some time, as companies have always been using celebrities to promote their brand, but the recent rise of social media has paved the way for micro and macro influencers to surface. Since the micro and macro influencers are the most effective, as previously stated, it has triggered many brands to hop on the influencer marketing bandwagon. The industry has evolved immensely since its introduction, and platforms like Instagram and Twitter have helped it grow even stronger. In 2017, the influencer marketing industry was estimated to be worth around 2 billion dollars, and it’s projected to shoot up to 10 billion in 2020.

As the industry’s value skyrockets, so does the amount of money and resources that brands are putting into it. Because of the proven results influencer marketing offers and the opportunities it creates, more and more businesses are investing in the industry, which has boosted it from a simple marketing tactic to a near necessity. It is estimated that around ⅔ of companies worldwide have found that influencer marketing has helped their brand, and that number will only continue to grow as other marketing techniques such as TV and radio start to die out due to their low degree of effectiveness.

However, nothing is perfect, and even influencer marketing has its pain points. Luckily, Digitera’s newest creation, Crowdfluence, can solve many of these problems. For example, while there are numerous platforms out there that help pair influencers with brands, there is still a need for a platform that can manage the brand-influencer relationship. Crowdfluence introduces a system in which only one generic contract is needed (the basic terms of service agreement), making the influencer-brand relationship as easy as ever. So, no need for lawyers and sleepless nights pondering over small, annoying details, when all the information is in one place.

Another frequent complaint about influencer marketing is that it’s very hard to measure return on the investment. There is really no way for a company to measure the exact amount of income generated from a certain influencer. Fortunately, Crowdfluence has taken on a new approach to calculating ROI to the closest degree. The app lets companies track their influencer’s post engagements to provide them with an educated estimate of how effective their campaign has been through that certain influencer.

One final issue is finding the right influencer(s) for a brand, and in turn, the right brand for the influencer. This is obviously a critical factor for both parties, as the brand has to be certain that they have the appropriate influencers for a certain promotion and the influencer usually wants to promote something they actually like and that the benefits of the contract meet their needs admirably. Crowdfluence brings a simple, yet effective solution to this minor inconvenience. It lets companies craft their requirements for a campaign (specific age, gender, location, follow count etc.) and for possible influencers to scroll through a feed of numerous opportunities and pick the one that’s right for them, based on the qualifications the brand is offering and the benefits that come with it.

As you can see, influencer marketing has its flaws, just like any other business strategy would, but Crowdfluence is thoroughly working through these issues to find an effective solution that works for everyone involved. However, pain points aside, it’s clear the influencer marketing is the way of the future with respect to building brand awareness and ultimately making a profit. Even experts on Madison Ave in New York are praising this new marketing strategy.

In an article (here) featuring an interview with Shenan Reed, President of Digital, North America for MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op), conducted by Ron Urbach, Chairman of the Davis & Gilbert LLP firm and the Management Committee, both marketing minds expressed their fondness for the influencer marketing industry. Urbach mentions the influential power of Youtube and how it has set the standard for promoting a product through a social icon. He credits Youtube as being the pioneer for modern influencer marketing. He also goes on to explain why he believes that influencer marketing will soon take over as the primary method of marketing, and how companies can effectively woo influencers to support their brand:

“We will start to see more and more brands harness the power of social media influencers to both engage with their products as well as help advertise them. The key will be making seamless integrations between influencers and brands, so it’s not a stretch of the imagination to the consumer when the influencer engages with the product.“

Reed, the interviewee, shared many of the same opinions as Urbach. She explained why choosing the right influencer is crucial to the marketing process, and how video platforms like Youtube and Flickr are appealing to brands looking to get their product out there:

“Influencers are becoming an increasingly strong voice in the market for consumers. As brands continue to create relationships with these growing voices we look to make sure that the relationships remain authentic and mutually beneficial. You want someone embracing and supporting your brand because they really believe in it. [….] Brands are rapidly adopting video as a storytelling medium and are excited by what they can create with partners and new technology”

It’s clear that influencer marketing is taking the business world by storm, and many experts and executives are tossing their hat in the ring when it comes to pursuing influencers and connecting with larger audiences through social media. If you’re considering joining the influencer marketing community, whether it be as a brand or an influencer, be sure to consider Crowdfluence. The new revolutionary app can handle anything that a brand or influencer needs in an easy and effective manner, so you can sit back and focus on what matters to you, and Crowdfluence takes care of the rest.

Influencer marketing is taking over. Fast. So it’s up to you to adapt.

Welcome to the new age.