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What is influencer marketing

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You know you can get caught up with jargons (words that only those in your industry understand) that you forget that not everyone understands it. 

Here in CatJira, we talk a lot about influencer marketing, and how influencer should be a vital part of your brand strategy, audience engagement, blah, blah, blah, and so on. 

We eat, sleep, and work on influencer marketing everyday, so much so that we at times forget that not everyone knows what it is. 

This is what this post is for. We'll share what is influencer marketing to us, how it differs with other types of marketing that are often mistaken as influencer marketing, and get you thinking about how you can make it work for you by looking into the unique elements that comes with influencer marketing. 

What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. For example, you get mothers who have followings on social media to speak about motherhood related products/services. 

Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.

Influencer marketing often goes together with two other types of marketing: social-media marketing and content marketing. Most influencer campaigns social-media component, where influencers are expected to spread the word through their personal social channels. Influencer campaigns also carry a content element in which either you create content for the influencers, or they create the content themselves. Though social-media and content marketing often fit inside influencer campaigns, they are not the same with influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing and other marketing campaigns people get confused about

(1) Word-of-mouth marketing
Although some people use word-of-mouth marketing and influencer marketing interchangeably, there’s a real difference between the two disciplines.

Influencer marketing is the concept of engaging key individuals to leverage their influence among friends and family.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the actual avenue by which this communication takes place.

So, almost all influencer marketing includes word-of-mouth marketing activities by its nature, but not all word-of-mouth marketing is driven by influencer campaigns.

(2) Advocate Marketing (some calls this advocacy)
Advocate marketing isn’t influencer marketing, either. The best way to understand the difference is that advocate marketing focuses on encouraging or incentivizing already-loyal customers to share their love of your brand or product. The sharing might happen by way of product reviews and customer references.

With influencer marketing, you’re more focused on finding influencers - not necessarily current customers - to spread your message.

"Current customers satisfied with your product/services are your advocates. Influencers may not be your customers to begin with."

Another distinguishing factor between influencer marketing and advocate marketing is that influencers are almost always paid in some way, either with money or free products. Advocate marketing focuses less on payment, more on driving brand loyalty, which in turn multiples the number of vocal advocates.

(3) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is not influencer marketing at all. One clear distinction between affiliate marketing and influencer marketing is how campaign objectives are set and goals are measured. 

Affiliate marketing only have one goal and objective in mind - sales. Affiliate marketers are compensated by sales volume they contribute. Think of them as your online salesperson, nothing more than that. 

Influencer marketing on the other hand is less sales driven. Instead, influencer marketing is conversation, engagement, and awareness driven. Metrics measured are often how many people are reached, how many people engaged with content by influencers, and how content by influencers are engaged.

What are the Key Components of Influencer Marketing?
Since influencer marketing is a discipline all its own, you’ll need a few unique components to build an influencer campaign. 

Here are the steps we at CatJira use to help our clients build influencer campaigns themselves:

  1. Find and identify key brand or product influencers, either manually or through a platform like CatJira.

  2. Influencer profiling that provides all the necessary information for our clients to make hiring decisions. 

  3. In-campaign content performance tracking to enable our users to optimize campaigns on the fly.

  4. Track key metrics relating to reach, sales and brand awareness.

If you’re with a brand or agency and you’re interested in running influencer campaigns, send us a mail at hello@catjira.com.



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