What is an influencer?
An influencer is exactly what it sounds like. It is someone with a large online following who happens to “influence” others to do as they do. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes and from all over the world. They are celebrities, athletes, social justice advocates, and more. They are gamers, beauticians, artists, etc. And like it or not, they are scattered throughout the entirety of the internet, especially social media. Truth is, sometimes you’re being “influenced” when you don’t even know it.
The use of influencer marketing is nothing new, however.
Think of a time when you were watching the Grammy’s. Beautiful A-List movie actors and actresses were wearing dresses, suits, jewelry and shoes carefully chosen because they have or had an established relationship with that brand they were wearing. Why? Because millions of people all over the globe were expected to have eyes on them...which meant added visibility and recognition for the brand they were wearing.
Take Michael Jordan. Would we all even care when the next Jordan “drop” is if he weren’t such a spectacularly gifted human? Would Nike be so aligned with him in the first place? Doubtful. In fact, he’d be just another guy without his own shoe line. Instead, he’s the superstar athlete we all want to be (hint: see the ‘Be Like Mike’ Gatorade campaign from 1991?) so we buy his gear because it somehow brings us closer to being him.
Influencer marketing in today’s world just so happens to be strongly caught up in social media. That’s because that’s where the masses are. So if you want to reach the masses, you need to be where they are.
Influencer Marketing and Livestreaming
It should come as no surprise that Influencers and brands alike have more recently tapped into the power of Livestreaming. Livestreaming has given them a chance to connect with their social media followers in a more personalized way. In fact, live video as a whole, allows for that.
Watching an interview on TV, for example, makes us feel like we know whoever is being interviewed just a little bit more. It’s the difference between reading a story about someone in a magazine and seeing him or her live - knowing their expressions, the way they gesture their hands, or smile/frown at the camera. It’s an added level of connection that people crave.
The use of livestreaming for influencers is no different. They’re just connecting through social media to do so. And they’re using platforms like Switchboard to make it happen. For example, Make-a-Wish, the non-profit charity, teamed up with Dutch gaming vlogger Yarasky to do a livestream telethon. During his 24-hour YouTube Live video, they were able to raise over $10k euros and reached almost 6 million people. During it, he even granted one kid’s wish to play Call of Duty with him, which was a pretty special bonus for the viewers to see.
All different types of livestreaming influencer campaigns are hot right now. One obvious benefit of running an influencer livestream campaign is that you can beat your competition to advertising. You don't have to wait for your ad to find its way to the front of someone's computer screen.
Another bonus is that it truly doesn't matter how big or small you are as a company. Influencers work with businesses both large and small, and in all types of markets, ranging from food to fashion, to tech, car talk, travel and more. Retailers, in particular, are finding success utilizing influencers much in the way QVC does live sales. For example, retail giant, Kohls, joined forces with vlogger ItsJudyTime for Black Friday sales through Facebook Live. And for Singles' Day, the Chinese shopping event, Alibaba reported $74 billion with support from livestreams for sales!
There are even online communities that connect businesses and brands, like Influence.co where you can join, gather news and resources, AND find influencers to support your brand. So, no matter your business, it's time to branch out and consider this type of marketing as yet another utility to add to your toolkit. Influencer livestream marketing campaigns are here to make a big impact...and, we don't foresee them going anywhere anytime soon.