The term ‘influencer marketing’ is constantly floating around the internet sphere, but what does it actually mean? Essentially, influencer marketing is the action of advertising and selling a product/service through people (influencers) who have the capacity to have a positive impact on the character of a brand.
This commonly occurs through the use of social media, where visual web 2.0 platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, have provided the perfect stage to showcase this growing trend. Although not a new concept, influencer marketing continues to dominate, acting as the driving force for brands looking to grow their target audience and boost sales.
Last year, Instagram alone saw a staggering 12.9 million brand-sponsored influencer posts, with this figure estimated to more than double in 2018. This signifies the growing number of businesses keen to integrate influencers into their marketing strategy, yet the process is often a lot harder than it appears on the surface. Initially, the most important factor is to get the influencer right. If the influencer fails to reflect or relate to your target demographic, a lack of authenticity and credibility will decrease the overall effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign. As this is a key method of connecting with the 18-30- year-old demographic, who account for 88 per cent of social media users, businesses in the property sector would do well to ensure they create an attachment with their audience in the most credible way possible.
Users want to feel that they are being informed rather than sold to and that the final purchase decision remains within their control.
As this demographic are the next generation of property purchasers, it’s worth dedicating time to finding an influencer that reflects your company values and beliefs, is transparent and is able to deliver an authentic message.
MACRO OR MICRO INFLUENCERS?
The macro vs. micro influencer debate can be confusing for businesses. On the one hand, macro influencers have a large following and thus a greater reach, helping to raise brand awareness among a broader audience. Yet, micro influencers are often perceived to be more reliable and authentic, two key traits millennial consumers look for in marketing communications. This leaves many in the property sector puzzled as to the best type of influencer to promote their product/service. The most important factors to consider are the overall goal of the campaign, who you want to target and your budget. You can then determine whether this would be best suited to a broader or more narrow audience. With this, a decision on the scale of influencer can be made to deliver on specific campaign KPIs and generate the greatest ROI possible.
Perhaps one of the most important factors is to curate valuable content and not content that looks like an advert. There is a common misconception that influencer marketing has to be worded and look a certain way. Truthfully, an influencer taking a photo with your product and including a simplistic caption, is rather boring. Put yourself in the viewer’s shoes, would you like a feed full of the same generic posts? This calls for a strategy that thinks outside of the box to help create more unique and tailored content. Storytelling through Instagram’s ‘story’ feature or using YouTube to vlog about your experience moving into a new property is a much better way of increasing engagement. For example, stories on Instagram can be used in a variety of ways, from giving followers a guided tour around a show home, to showcasing interior design trends. As users, we want to feel that we are being informed rather than sold to, and that the final purchase decision remains within our control. This makes influencer marketing in the property sector all the more challenging, with businesses needing to strike a balance between attractiveness and transparency.
From this we can conclude that influencer marketing is an extremely valuable tool for businesses in the property industry. As usage of social media continues to grow among future property purchasers, it’s crucial to acknowledge the success of influencer marketing and understand how it can work best for you.
Tara Dulake, Digital Marketing Director