LinkedIn influencer marketing. The serious side of I.M.
Despite the massive influx of influencer marketing campaigns in Bulgaria, throughout the past year – it is evident that there is still doubt surrounding this kind of advertising.
What is the basis of said doubt?
Often, people associate influencer marketing with words such as “naive” or “hollow”. Obviously, the internet is a place where everyone can share their opinions on various subjects and more often than not criticize trends. Though, the notion of influencer marketing not being an actual marketing strategy is far from the truth.
Influencer marketing is a digitally based approach of spreading influence through social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and more, as LinkedIn will be the focus of the following analysis.
LinkedIn differs dramatically from the other platforms, as its contents is strictly oriented towards B2B interaction and “added value” marketing content.
Firstly, it would be appropriate to define influencer marketing – in its core, this alternative way of product placement is intertwined with a story from a popular and trusted individual online. Said popular individuals are the so called influencers. They have an established personal relationship with their followers and can quickly connect with a large number of people, in turn reducing the time a potential buyer needs, to decide if he needs given product or service.
How is LinkedIn different from other platforms?
What separates LinkedIn from other social media channels is the fact that it’s being used mostly for business-to-business type communication. However, LinkedIn is experiencing changes – despite the fact that currently there are mainly brands that interact with their followers, more and more influencers come out to lead public opinion on business related topics. In Bulgaria, LinkedIn is rapidly gaining popularity and it is expected that it might surpass Facebook, when it comes to content response rate.
Forbes released a study that shows influencer marketing activity in 2016 and 2017 – the study claims that during this period the I.M. based campaigns were scarce, compared to 2018. In reality, 2018 was remarkably successful for influencer marketing, as we observed a huge growth in investments for this type of advertising.
LinkedIn is a space where leading figures in different spheres of influence, actually become “brands” of their own. They use the platform to share and promote brand activities, gaining, both company and personal dividends. As mentioned, unlike other platforms, LinkedIn’s publications are focused on the business side, exactly that is what makes the “weak points” of influencer marketing to completely disappear. Naive posts with no added value are non-existent, which gives LinkedIn based influencer marketing campaigns more credibility.
What is “added value”?
Content with added value is, essentially, an informative text, that explains processes, activities, practices or most often – uses and pro’s from using a service or a product. Such content creates awareness of a given brand and supports the idea of interaction between the brand and its audience.
As LinkedIn is a B2B platform, for the purpose of a brand to promote itself, by using popular and influential people online, it has to firstly establish its own brand identity. A tactic to improve your brand identity could be the “active networking” approach – such activity creates the option of establishing a community with similar interests. Such communities usually generate and exchange useful information amongst its members, which absolutely is beneficial for the given sphere or line of work.
LinkedIn is most definitely a specific platform – exactly that is what makes it so attractive for big corporations to start active campaigns using it. We will keep an eye on LinkedIn and the happenings surrounding the platform, anticipating a “boom” in 2019.