A digital influencer is someone who has influence over his or her followers and influencer marketing identifies these individuals in order to reach potential buyers.
According to the Forbes article, How Influencer Marketing Will Change In 2015:
“One of the main drivers of influencer marketing is the fragmentation of consumer attention. Now instead of being centered around television, it’s spread across various digital channels, with a major focus on social networks. YouTube and Instagram are currently seeing a lot of the influencer marketing spend but platforms like Vine, Pinterest and Snapchat are quickly rising as well.
With the emergence of this new type of marketing, technology is being developed to improve the effect and reach of influencers. Existing influencer platforms are becoming more sophisticated in matching brands to influencers”
Who is the digital influencer?
The digital influencer is someone whose knowledge and expertise has nurtured and built up a following and whose opinion is respected and trusted.
In the Bizcommunity article, The Lowdown on Digital Influence, the author states:
“Influence = trust + reach. Trust without reach is word of mouth, like asking your dad what brand of car to buy, as you trust his opinion. Reach alone then is merely advertising. Influence marries the two. “
But a message delivered by one non-trusted or dishonest person also has the potential to reach exponential proportions. These days, whenever you post something you need to be "prepared for interrogation from the social universe".
Therefore, it is important to do all you can to protect a brand through firm relationships, with people willing to stand up and vouch for the brand in times of crisis."
Why is a digital influencer important?
In the article, The Rise of the Digital Influencers (& Three Things To Do About It!), the author mentions:
“Trust in the media decreased globally to 51 percent in 2015 (Edelman Trust Barometer). While academics and experts remain the most trusted source of information about companies, trust in “a person like me” has increased significantly since 2009. This change in consumer perception has led many destination-marketing organizations to expand their communications strategies to include collaboration with digital influencers, who are considered in the “people like me” category.
Respecting the digital influencers expertise
The article, 5 Right-now Trends in Influencer Marketing states:
“Since influencers have such a deep understanding of their audiences, your brand can collaborate with these creators to develop content and products that genuinely resonate with audiences. Starting relationships with influencers can give your brand a great sounding board for product ideas, and you can even partner with influencers to co-develop new product lines to create positive buzz around a brand.
As such, when selecting digital influencers, a large audience base should not always be the primary criteria, but the power of their influence. Every influencer have a certain level of influence on their audience, some much higher and some to a lesser extent. Having ten influencers from the same industry of varying level of influence and audience base could expand your brand awareness and outreach considerably.”
Digitaltechdiary.com’s article, 5 Ways to Measure the ROI of Influencer Marketing mentions:
In a recent study, McKinsey found that consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of other forms of paid advertising.
According to Nielsen, earned media, or organic word of mouth recommendations, is the most powerful form of marketing.
In a recent study, Burst Media found that marketers who implement influencer marketing programs in 2014 received $6.85 in earned media value for every $1.00 of paid media.