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How Influencers Have Impacted Marketing

How Influencers Have Impacted Marketing

Posted on Apr 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Influencer marketing seems to be taking the lead as this year’s most “influential” marketing approach. Have you ever noticed someone you follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat mention different products from time to time? I hate to break it to you, but that influencer you follow was more than likely paid to mention that product on their personal feed. This approach gives companies access to thousands, if not millions, of people they would not have otherwise been able to reach.

Influencers are seen as thought leaders for very specific niches. For example, if an influencer is regarded as being someone who is “trendsetter”, the second they mention a brand or product, their followers are immediately opening up a new tab to get their hands on it. This causes a spike for the number of search mentioning that particular product. This is exactly what companies want, and why they are willing to pay big bucks to influencers to push their products to their loyal, unsuspecting followers.

Influencers make it easy for a lot of companies to reach thousands and even millions of people in their target market because of the fact that there are influencers in just about every niche. By sharing their stories, influencers have made themselves relatable to a wide range of people. There is a good chance that no matter what your product is, there is an influencer that has thousands of followers that are right in your target market. Once a marketer finds an influencer that has a sizable audience they want to reach, they don’t have to work very hard to reach possibly millions of people that sit right in their market!

Influencers are also well connected with other influencers, possibly in a different niche. When influencers partner with other thought leaders, that’s double the exposure to your brand. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat all have messaging features as well. If someone sees something they think a friend might like, they can send it to their friend via direct message. At that point, the friend is exposed to the influencer, and thus your brand or product.

Social media has opened a new world to marketing. With the rising number in internet users that use ad blockers (about half), your retargeted advertisements are now less likely to be seen. With social media influencers, even though they may mention that the post is an ad, it still has a massive impact on the actions of their followers. What influencers are you following?

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Affiliate Marketing: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 by James Trumbly

Almost everyone who uses the internet has interacted with affiliate marketing in some way, though you might not have realized it. Affiliate marketing enables merchants to partner with a third party, or affiliate, to promote their products and services. It seems like a match made in heaven: the merchant gets free advertising, and the affiliate makes a commission on each sales. And in many ways, it is a perfect set-up. But before you jump in with both feet, make sure you’re making an informed decision.

The Good: A Beneficial Partnership

Both merchants and affiliates can reap huge benefits from an affiliate marketing program. Amazon, one of the largest affiliate marketers in the world, has more than a million affiliates happily making money from their ads. Let’s take a look at the pros for both parties:

  • Merchant Benefits: Free ad space, broader audience, greater brand exposure, and—did I mention?—free ad space. Merchants benefit from placing their ads on a wide variety of website types, reaching a much broader audience than they otherwise could—all for free (mostly—see below).
  • Affiliate Benefits: Cash, cash, and cash. Affiliates can make money at home, at work, on the golf course, or on the beach. Just by devoting a small square of their website to advertising.

The Bad: A Risky Proposition

Just as both sides can benefit from affiliate marketing, both sides assume some risk as well. Don’t assume that affiliate marketing is all a bed of roses. Grit your teeth and take a look at the cons:

  • Merchant Cons: False advertising and commission costs. An unscrupulous affiliate can use shady methods to promote your advertisement, causing significant damage to your brand’s reputation. Merchants can also take a hit in the commission department, especially if the advertisements require significant investment of time and resources to create and maintain.
  • Affiliate Cons: No cash, low cash, stolen cash. Fraudulent merchants may end the affiliate program without warning and refuse to pay what they promised. They might also hook affiliates into the program by promising high commission rates and paying less than promised. Finally, affiliates face the risk of getting hacked and having their commissions stolen.

The Ugly: Schemers and Scammers

Because affiliate marketing offers potentially high dividends, it has become a target for nefarious internet bandits. Schemes and scams abound, but if you do your homework and know the risk, you can still benefit greatly from entering into an affiliate marketing agreement.

While affiliate marketing does carry risks, the potential for earning money and gaining exposure far outweigh the negatives. The key is to know as much as you can about the company you’re dealing with and talk to people who have dealt with them before in order to avoid the scammers.

Are you currently an affiliate marketer or a merchant who offers an affilate program?  If so, please share your tips and experiences with us below.