You know what an influencer is, and you’ve definitely heard of marketing, but what does the term “influencer marketing” mean? Influencer marketing, according to Paige Gurski, is the process of pairing brands with influencers via social media.
You might think, “why should I care about this?” Well, anyone with a slight interest in social media should stick around here for some insider info on how you can one day clap back to annoying family members by saying, “I need to be on my phone, I get paid for this.”
VALLEY talked with Penn State alum and former staff writer Paige Gurski who now is a production coordinator for inHouse Productions, an influencer marketing company based in New York City.
Paige explains that influencer marketing is pairing brands with influencers to support a brand’s marketing message. It uses the oldest form of marketing, word of mouth, paired with the newest technology, social media.
“By partnering with these content creators that consumers already trust, brands can communicate their message in a new way,” Gurski says. “The majority of consumers are on social media so it only makes sense that that’s where the brands want to be, too.”
So, who are these influencers? inHouse works with a wide spectrum of social media gurus; from model-turned-blogger Natalie Suarez to YouTuber Mariale Marrero, all the way up to major celebrities like Zayn Malik, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.
You might be thinking, why should I care? According to Gurski, the influencer marketing scene is ripe with possibilities for all creatives. Current students can get involved by either embracing their role as an influencer or, like Paige, putting their love of social media to work at a company like inHouse.
“Some Penn State students have already built a real following online and they’ll likely fall into the category of what we would call a micro-influencer … which is a creator with anywhere from 5k to 50k followers,” Gurski says. Micro-influencers are those who have a smaller base of followers, relative to the social media platform, but an extremely engaged and deeply connected audience.
Paige says that the most successful micro-influencers are ones who are extremely passionate about a specific interest and have a social media presence to prove that. “My advice to these budding content creators would be to find their niche and really explore as far as they can,” Gurski says.
Anyone who thinks they could be a micro-influencer and is looking to be paired with a fitting brand can contact inHouse and explain their passion and social media following. Even if inHouse doesn’t contact you right away, the company keeps a database and may contact you in the future if a fitting brand is looking for an influencer.
What sets inHouse apart from other influencer marketing companies is that they have own their production and paid media divisions, on top of influencer procurement. “We have our own equipment and have editors, creatives, strategists and media buyers all on our staff to support content creation and ensure the right audience sees the content. That means that all of our campaigns, from the ideation to guaranteed impression deliveries, are all done in house,” Gurski says. “The pun is totally intended.”
The slogan “content is king” isn’t a phrase used lightly at inHouse. “Content is telling a story that matters, that people care about, it’s not just pushing a brand for the sake of pushing a product,” Gurski says. Gurski explains that these days, consumers aren’t dumb, they can see right through an inauthentic post. “You want someone promoting your product that would actually use it.”
In addition to being an influencer, Penn State students can also jump into the influencer marketing field by putting their skills and social media savvy to use at a company like inHouse.
Learn more about inHouse at Success in the City on Friday, April 6. Make sure to stop by their booth, say hi to Paige, and learn more about how you can get involved in this fresh take on marketing.
inHouse just kicked off the search for their summer interns and, as Gurski puts it, they’re “calling all creatives.”
“We want to see all that our candidates can do, they shouldn’t be afraid to send writing portfolios, video reels, sick graphic designs or social media accounts.”