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The Power of Influencer Marketing With Today’s Youth

By collegemktgrp | January 1, 2020 | Brands/Advertisers

Over the past couple of years, brands have realized that influencer marketing is a highly effective way to advertise to Millennials and Gen Z. By 2022, the influencer marketing industry will be on track to be worth up to $15 billion dollars. Here’s everything you need to know about influencer marketing and why it’s so effective.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing where brands collaborate with online influencers to promote their product or services. These partnerships can consist of simple endorsements and product mentions, or they can be used to increase general brand awareness.

How Influencer Marketing Affects Purchasing Decisions

Influencers are very useful because they already have a loyal following on social media. They have a niche or expertise that their followers are attracted to and they trust them, which can be half of the battle for any brand trying to promote their products to new consumers.

In general, hearing a brand’s message from a peer or familiar face is much more effective than hearing it from traditional forms of advertising. Influencer marketing allows brands to take advantage of the power of word-of-mouth recommendations that flow freely on campus. Word-of-mouth sway has proved to wield a 37% higher retention rate than regular paid advertising.

Partnering with a YouTube star, Insta-blogger, or brand ambassador popular among college students can foster brand awareness in an authentic way that resonates with today’s youth.

Types of Influencers

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, there are four types of influencer marketers who can be classified by the number of followers they have:

  1. Mega-influencers – often celebrities, these are social superstars with more than a million followers.
  2. Macro-influencers – influencers who have between 100,000 and 1 million followers.
  3. Micro-influencers – someone who has between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.
  4. Nano-influencers – have less than 1,000 followers.

Avoid These Influencer Marketing Mistakes

1. Don’t use an influencer solely for their large following

The key to a successful influencer campaign, is not just about impressions, but meaningful engagement. You want to relate to your audience in an effective manner. The optimal strategy is finding an influencer that is relevant to your industry, audience, or message you are trying to promote.

Don’t always lead with the “stars” approach, plus they can be very expensive! Oftentimes, “micro-influencers” or “nano-influencers” have a niche following that drive results. If you want to connect with college students, then identify campus influencers who are engaged with their community and relate to other students on campus. Replicating this model across multiple campuses can be extremely effective.

2. Don’t invest in a one-off promotion

Sure, you can make money off of a one-time promotion, but to truly have an impact, your campaign strategy should have consistent messaging and follow-up over a period of time.

Millennials and Gen Z are fairly plugged into their social media, but there is no guarantee that they will see an influencer’s single post. Plus, spreading your brand’s awareness overtime will be more efficient in the long run. The social media industry and latest buzz topics are constantly changing, but if your brand is still being talked about three months later, consumers will eventually gain curiosity to learn more.

3. Don’t apply strict messaging

Let the influencer have creative freedom. Authenticity is important and if they are required to read your script down to the very syllable, then you’re missing the point. Of course, have guidelines in place, but allow the influencer to bring in their personality, lingo, and tone of voice. Afterall, that is why they attracted their followers in the first place.

Example of a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

50 influencers posted a photo of themselves to Instagram wearing a Lord & Taylor dress all on the same day. The posts generated up to 13,000 likes on a single Instagram post. The dress promptly sold out by the end of the weekend and helped Lord & Taylor accomplish a bigger goal of introducing their Design Lab Collection.

From left, Instagrammers Cara Van Brocklin (@caraloren), Rachel Lynch (@IHateBlonde) and Jessica Ricks (@hapatime). Photos via Instagram.

Here are some other things to consider while spending your social media budget for 2020:

Need Help with Your Influencer Marketing Campaign?

At College Marketing Group, we know all the ins and outs of influencer marketing. We can connect your brands to college students with our network of brand ambassadors and social media influencers.

Contact us to learn more about our influencer marketing capability >

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