It’s undeniable: we’re deep in the era of social media influence. YouTube celebrities now are a thing, and they’re big: the top earners pull in millions, just by being “regular” folks doing something that lots and lots of people want to watch.
No wonder influencer marketing, in which product companies seek out top influencers in social media to feature their products, has also taken off. When compared with “traditional” advertising, influencer marketing costs less and is far more efficient. It uses the power of an influencer’s relationship to his or her audience to grow a product's credibility. It works because it's real. Except when it's not.
Ricky Dillon, one such social media celebrity with several million fans, recently plugged Coca Cola as part of an MTV ad campaign. No doubt Dillon is solicited by countless brands, many as big as Coca Cola, every day, all of them eager to reach Dillon’s audience.
As the New York Times points out, one problem with seeking out these mega-influencers with millions of fans is that as more brands do so, the less influential each brand is. Another issue is not just the prevalence of product mentions; it's when products are ill-fitted to the content.
For the most popular influencers, making deals with product companies is easy money. But making the product fit with the content that caters to a huge audience can be tricky. (And very expensive.)
Enter niche influencer marketing.
What’s better, a hugely popular YouTuber mentioning a product to his massive fan base on the coattails of another, completely unrelated product, or one highly-specialized YouTuber, with a smaller but more focused fan base, reviewing a relevant product he knows his audience will find valuable?
YouTubers and other creative influencers who’ve had success building a loyal fan base know that meeting the needs of that fan base is their top priority. They’re not interested in just growing their audience – they’re interested in doing so through authentic, relevant content that they can feel good about sharing.
Naturally, the biggest names in influencer marketing – the Ricky Dillon’s of the world – are going to field a hailstorm of requests from brands. If his post on Coke is any indication, the biggest brands are probably going to win the attention of these mega-influencers. So why should smaller challenger brands waste time going after them when there’s a huge, relatively untapped community of niche influencers who’d love to bring a new and useful product to their audience in truly genuine ways?
Not only is niche influencer marketing more effective, our marketplace makes generating placements very efficient. Companies work with YouTubers who by and large manage their own channels and who intimately understand their audience. They’re not going to stick a Coke where it doesn't belong, because they are deeply invested in providing value; that makes partnering with them a win-win relationship. YouTubers provide their audience with content they want, and companies get highly targeted exposures of their products.
Have you applied niche influencer marketing tactics? Or have you tried to work with mega-influencers? How did it go? Tell us in the comments – and if you liked what you read, tweet about it!
Image Credit: By Mike Mozart [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons