Niche or reach: the power of influencer marketing

by Bijal Shah, corporate marketing director, Digital Remedy

Marketing isn’t just for the big dogs anymore. The introduction of new, accessible channels in the last decade have revolutionized the industry — TV replaced by video ads, e-mail taking over direct mail, and influencers overpowering celebrity endorsements. Every business, no matter how big or small, now has the tools to effectively market without any spend or size restrictions in sight.

However, this accessibility has lead to a saturated market, especially when it comes to influencers. Every topic has buckets of community experts attached to it. Everyone’s an influencer now. How does a brand keep up with that? So it’s no surprise that most marketers are now left wondering, Is influencer marketing worth it?’

The short answer? Maybe. But like any other paid media strategy, it requires granular targeting, or else you end up paying just for impressions. And we’ve all internalized “impressions don’t mean conversions.”  The longer answer, however, lies in finding the right influencer for your brand or product. Not necessarily the influencer with the largest  following, but the influencer with the following that most closely aligns with your brand or product.

You’ve got bloggers to thank for boosting the term ‘cult following’ — at least when it comes to marketing. With their massive followings over specific products, niche influencers brought under-the-radar products like coconut oil and destinations like Iceland into the mainstream.

While a niche influencer usually means a smaller following — and an even smaller reach — it also equates to  possessing the attention of a specific community. The kind of community that can latch onto your brand’s message and propel it even further than you can imagine. Just look at Pinterest, a company that built a reputation and following before coming to market. Pinterest technically launched in 2008, but they opened it up to small groups — it was a community built by micro-influencers with a loyal and engaged following.

So what’s the formula for a successful influencer marketing strategy? And the age-old question, how do you measure ROI?

Think back to your Finance 101 class. What is compound interest? In layman’s terms, it’s generating more return on your reinvestment earning over a condensed period of time. For fun, we can try to apply to that influencer marketing:

Simply put, the power of influencer marketing is the snowball effect that happens once your brand is introduced to a niche community.  One cannot expect instant ROI with influencers — it’s the reiteration of the same message and results can only be measured over time.

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