3 Unexpected Industries Thriving With Influencer Marketing

JBoyd

02 Nov 2020 · 4 min read

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This guest post was written by Tagger contributing author, JBoyd

The steady rise of influencers has been one of the most interesting developments in the marketing world in recent years. Thanks largely to the access social platforms give us to both trusted friends and noteworthy people, influencer marketing is now arguably the most powerful tool a business can have at its disposal when it comes to brand exposure and general visibility.

If anything, the crazy year we’re living through now has only made this intense change more apparent. Back in May, a blog post on the ‘Ever-evolving Influencer Marketing industry’ correctly pointed out that the pandemic has made influencers stronger in the marketing world. This is because influencers are adaptable, and need only their own creativity to produce meaningful content, and do what they do best.

Even if the rise and growing strength of influencer marketing is generally accepted, the potential for growth for many industries is still not fully recognized. This is because we tend to think of influencers’ roles within fairly narrow confines: spreading the word about fashion, for instance, or consumer products. The truth is that influencers are uniquely valuable marketing figures who are gaining power across many more areas — which is why we’re highlighting these three industries in which influencers are, perhaps unexpectedly, thriving.

Travel

Even in a global pandemic, consumers are looking to trusted influencers for advice on current travels and to get ideas for future trips they hope to take.

People’s travel habits have always been 'influenced' by others — taking tips from friends, online reviewers, acquaintances, or bloggers. If you speak to a friend about his recent trip to Argentina, you may be more likely to want to go; if you see a Facebook friend backpacking through Europe you might be tempted to inquire as to how she’s affording her accommodations; and if you stumble on a travel blog listing the 10 packing essentials you need to visit Australia, you might just take note of some of the suggestions.

These examples speak to the simple yet powerful sway influencers can have in the travel industry. And it’s for this reason that an analysis from the creative director of Travel Mindset projected that the influence market will only be “getting bigger” in this space. Moving forward, we expect to see more travel and booking agencies, travel-related product companies, and even hotels, attractions, and destinations partnering with influencers to spread interest.

Nursing

Perhaps not surprisingly, there's been a fair amount of talk about influencers in healthcare of late. A piece on influencer marketing in healthcare called it “almost inevitable” that influencers will gain more sway in this industry, simply because of their ability to distribute information to wide audiences.

The challenge is for healthcare-related businesses to partner with the “right” influencers — meaning those who are credible enough to share information relating to facilities, conditions, treatments and so on. It’s a large and complex issue, but we are starting to see everything from celebrity medical figures gaining massive Twitter followings (something particularly prevalent in the time of COVID) to patient influencers interacting with similarly afflicted individuals on Facebook.

Beyond this broader situation in healthcare though, we’ve seen a surprising rise in influencers in nursing. Recent years have given rise to popular blogs and YouTube channels by nurses sharing their experiences; social media platforms have their share of nurses with expansive followings, doing everything from telling stories to helping other aspiring nurses; and again, with COVID, we see some nurses becoming prominent television and podcasting guests.

Much of this has happened naturally, but going forward there may need to be more intentional development of nursing influencers as well, given the needs in this particular industry. As is stated by one University, job openings in the nursing profession are expected to have increased by 15% between 2016 and 2026. An aging U.S. population coupled with a rise in chronic illness (and now the coronavirus) will mean a sustained, long-term need for nurses. Thus, the industry actually has a powerful incentive to cultivate more influencer marketing as a means of driving up interest in the profession.

College Admissions

Many might not even think of college admissions as an “industry,” and perhaps it’s more appropriate to refer to it more broadly as part of the higher education industry. Whatever the right way to phrase this may be, you can rest assured that admissions is without a doubt a business.

Colleges are incredibly competitive, pouring tremendous amounts of money and resources into making sure they appeal to as many students as possible. And if anything, business looks poised to expand. A recent report on college admissions at CNBC pointed out that with more students opting to stay home and/or put off school due to the coronavirus, colleges are likely to start “aggressively courting” applicants with new admissions ventures.

Where educational establishments are involved, aggressive courting likely means massive, expensive advertising campaigns of all kinds. Influencer marketing driven by existing students and alumni is likely to be a significant part of the process as well. Schools have actually been coming to recognize the value of these types of campaigns for years already. One write-up on this very topic quoted the Digital Marketing Manager of the University of Delaware as saying that her school had developed a Social Media Ambassador program all the way back in 2011 — because they realized that students could offer something their ordinary branding efforts couldn’t.

Essentially, students and younger alumni can offer a peek inside the true college experience in a way that teenagers — potential applicants — can actually relate to. This can go a great deal further than any brochure, online advertisement, admissions book write-up, or even school-sponsored social media post. And it’s why we’re likely to see an ongoing rise of influencers in college admissions.

...And more to follow

Many more industries could be discussed here, beyond the ones we typically associate influencers with. They increasingly hold sway over automotive businesses, television viewership, local businesses, and so much more. But the examples explored above should provide a sense of how easily influencers can become useful in unexpected areas today.

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