An introduction to influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing?
There has been much buzz around influencer marketing recently, and for good reason. With messaging control increasingly shifting from brands to consumers, the slow but real decline in content engagement, and the rise of ad blockers, influencer marketing programs provide brands with an effective means of re-engaging and motivating customers.
While we’ve heard so much about influencer programs, there still seems to be a lot of confusion as to what exactly it is and how valuable a tool it can be in music brands’ marketing mix.
Who are influencers?
For many marketers, the first point of confusion is in identifying who the actual influencers are. In the music manufacturing industry, we almost immediately equate influence with artists’ endorsement. While artist endorsement will always have its place in the industry, it most certainly plays no role in an effective influencer marketing program.
Simply stated, influencers are those individuals who are using social channels to guide the online conversations that impact your brand. An influencer could be anyone, from a loyal customer to an industry expert, who can be measured by three critical indicators:
1. Reach (how many followers)
2. Resonance (audience engagement with publisher content)
3. Relevance (contextual fit)
Take, for example, Rob Chapman. Rob is a musician and a demonstrator for a retail outfit in the UK. He offers his audience tons of product reviews and player tips. Rob’s YouTube channel has hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of video views, and his audience is highly engaged with his content. Rob is an expert in music gear. Rob is an influencer.
Musicians can be a suspicious and picky bunch. With the exception of commodity products like picks and strings, few purchases they make will occur without thoughtful research and scrutiny. So every year, music brands like yours invest significant marketing dollars toward providing players with all the information they might need to make informed decisions.
At the end of the day, however, players still view music manufacturers as marketers, and, therefore, their trust in anything you say is limited. In fact, they are likely turning to friends, colleagues and even strangers for credible information about your products.
Players will often rely on the wisdom of crowds when it comes to making an informed decision on gear, especially Millennials and Generation Z, which is exactly why your brand must leverage third party credibility as part of the communication mix.
What influencer marketing can do for your brand.
Influencer marketing sets the stage for establishing critical relationships with your potential customers—relationships based on trust and authenticity. What do these relationships mean to your brand? When executed thoughtfully, you can expect increased awareness and credibility, better ROI through finely targeted communications, and ultimately, new leads and customers.
Music brands are particularly well-positioned to play in the influencer marketing arena. A quick look around on any social channel quickly reveals an extraordinary base of enthusiastic players generating a lot of great content. Set your goals, identify the right influencers, and get ready to amplify your brand with your own influencer marketing program.