Our world is inundated with influencers. Those icons of Instagram who, big surprise here, influence their fellow humans with every artisan bottled water, Atacama Desert getaway, or art-infused pair of leggings they discover and post. 

And while marketers scramble to associate themselves with the trendiest Queen Bees (after all, Cady Heron is the reason why you bought army pants and flip flops, right?), let’s remind ourselves that influencers are really nothing new.

Consider Abe Lincoln and his top hat. Caesar’s toga. Cleopatra’s cat eye (still going strong, BTW). Or Larry Bird and MJ playing horse for a Big Mac. All influencers. Or as Malcolm Gladwell called them in “The Tipping Point” back in 2000: Connectors. An elite group of people so expert in cultivating connections that they are the reason the rest of us are connected, too.

So, how’s a forward-thinking marketer to proceed in this brave new (old) world of influencer marketing? Like everything else, the key to using influencers is relevance: to your brand, to your target, to your message.

While it’s great to have a Kardashian tout your wares, consumers often value the opinion of non-celebrity influencers more. According to Collective Bias’s marketing survey about influencers, 70% of millennial consumers are motivated by the recommendations of their peers’ buying decisions. Which means we should keep an open mind to the kinds of influencers our campaigns could tap into.

Maybe it’s partnering with a healthy lifestyle blogger to help people make small, meaningful changes in their lives starting with almondmilk. Or asking DIY influencers how they’d incorporate LED into their interior designs. Heck, your influencer doesn’t even need to be human so long as they can demonstrate how your product fits into people’s lives.

So, while types of influencers have come and gone, and where we see them has changed, finding and partnering with the right ones will continue to play an essential role in your marketing mix.  

Have an influential weekend, everybody!

Your (follow us on Instagram) friends at @Brokaw!

The key to using influencers is relevance: to your brand, to your target, to your message.

tweet it