When considering the marketing for your product, who do you see using it? What is your target market? With many products, the answer to this question is the ordinary consumer – either as an everyday product or an aspirational luxury ‘treat’ product.

Thinking about your product, it’s easy to envision big budget marketing strategies with celebrity endorsements on TV. However, the landscape of marketing is changing; though some of these celebrity endorsements align and make sense – think basketball legend LeBron James’ lifetime contract with Nike – with the iconic tick logo on his jersey and posts about Nike, it’s a partnership that makes sense. The thought process behind it for the consumer is that if a sporting great is wearing Nike to train, it’s an attainable product that they can also wear to their gym class and get a little bit of the sporting magic LeBron possesses within their own routine.

When targeting millennials in particular however, it’s become clear that attitudes are shifting. As the celebrity becomes more removed from the perceived ‘normal’ life, the average consumer is pulling away from their recommendations; after all, they’re not relatable to the vast majority of us.

Enter: the influencer. With an online following reaching the hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions, they retain that ‘everyday, boy/girl next door’ perception. Within many different niches and across platforms, they’re skilled at building their brand and, since it’s often their full time job, they are a media powerhouse in their own right; they plan their campaigns, shoot the photography or video, write the blog post or social media post and follow it up by engaging with the follower base online with it.

In fact, according to a marketing survey by Collective Bias, 70% of millennials are influenced by their peers when making a purchase. This group are a huge section of the buying market and heavily influenced by trends and what their friends are buying; this stretches to the influencer. Most of the influencers are of the same age and with similar interests and budgets – the fact they’re relateable is the main point of difference in the move away from celebrity influencers which only 3% of consumers admit to being influenced by in 2018. That figure is in a stark contrast to 30% of consumers who are more likely to purchase a product if it’s been reccomended tot hem by a – and here’s the important part – non-celebrity influencer.

A study by Twitter actually found that nearly 40% of users made a purchase directly after seeing a tweet made from an influencer. These sponsored posts could be anything from a new deodorant to examples of Mercedes Benz lending out cars for the weekend for top influencers to drive around and ‘vlog’ their experience (video blog.) Brands such as Revolve are now taking influences on holiday; recently they threw their Summer carnival party with influencers around the world being flown out to Santa Monica in California to wear their pieces and get photographed at their event.

Have you considered influencer marketing for your brand? When we work with brands to find influencers that would work well with their product, we look at what would be an authentic match. If a prescription eyeglasses brand was looking for influencers for example and they wanted to just simply reach the top influencer at any cost, it wouldn’t make sense as a collaboration if that influencer didn’t wear glasses. A basic example but you get our point – you need you adverts to be something that’s not questioned; the beauty of influencer marketing is that it’s an advert without having to gather an audience in front of the TV and force them to watch the adverts – let’s face it, we’re all out digging in the cupboards in the ad break for a biscuit and making a cup of tea – or we just fast forward them all together. These influencers have spent years cultivating their audience to be engaged with them and therefore want honest adverts on their feed of a product they would use regardless if they’re being paid or not. That’s why it works; because of its honesty.

We work with our client Vale of Mowbray on their influencer marketing. We’ve sent lots of hampers of pork pies to lifestyle bloggers around Yorkshire and slightly further afield however, we wanted to do something more dynamic. Back to the drawing board we went and when really thinking about audiences for the pies we realised many are those that are passionate about sports; cyclists, runners, climbers etc. That’s how we reached their current Brand Ambassador; ultra marathon runner Holly. The partnership is perfect; she loves a pork pie during her intense training and it’s a new audience for Vale that will through Holly recognise the name and brand.

Whilst we do speak about some of the bigger influencers, it’s not just the follower count that’s important. Our top tips are to take your time to research influencers that are authentic, making sure they’re clear on the regulations and stating when a post is paid for. The amount of followers is important but engagement on posts is more important. Look at their style; do you fit in with their aesthetics and tone. For many influencers, this is their full time job and they spend lots of time working on campaigns so be ready to reimburse them, whether that’s in product or an actual payment.

Influencer marketing, when done right can really get your brand out there to an audience that’s already engaged with the influencer and therefore more likely to be engaged with your product if you’ve got the fit right with the right influencer for you. An influencer with a foothold in the foodie industry is more likely to have a foodie audience than perhaps a gamer for instance. Reach a wider, more relevant audience and, if they’re right, naturally they could even become a brand ambassador for you to really represent your brand.