Believe it or not, but those Instagram photos you see of girls or guys posing with products are an effective form of advertising. Usually accompanied with a ‘code’ for 10% or so off, these influencers are not only driving sales for businesses but also making a living themselves.
There are many reasons why influencer marketing is worth a business’s time, yet like any other marketing campaign, it must be done properly. Influencer marketing is an investment; you have to put the money in if you want to see results – especially with so much content on social media (and online, in general).
Unsure as to whether influencer marketing is right for you? Here are 8 reasons why you should invest in influencer marketing today.
1. Influencers are the new content creators of today
Media channels such as YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Instagram have opened the flood gates to numerous content creators to make a name for themselves. Consider the amount of YouTube influencers online and how the likes of Zoella and Markiplier have become huge names in their chosen markets (makeup/beauty for Zoella and gaming for Markiplier).
Such influencers create content that engages their already established fanbase, and because they are a figure their audience trust and enjoy watching, they are more likely to invest in the products being advertised on their channels.
Content creators have the knowledge and means to be creative with how they represent your products/brand. It could be that they live stream your game, create a tutorial on how to make your product, or even upload photos on their Instagram – whichever way they choose to showcase your brand, the content will be unique and reach your desired audience.
2. Influencers have the audience you desire
Established influencers already own the audience you want to get in front of, so working with your chosen influencers is the best way to get your brand noticed by their fanbase. Influencers have already connected with their audience, so building a relationship between your brand and consumers can be much easier and quicker.
3. There is a sense of trust
The right influencer is one that is trusted and has the ability to sway their audience towards your brand. In fact, 88% of people trust influencers after friends and family.
Look towards influencers in your industry and find those that have a big voice (but for the right reasons).
It is easy for people to become villainised online, which is why you want an influencer who cares for their public image and who won’t risk damaging your brand’s reputation. Lay out terms and conditions with your chosen influencers and ensure they understand that their public image needs to remain positive if they are to work for your business.
4. Adds authenticity
The reasons behind an influencer’s following are usually because they have similar interests and connections, forging a bond between influencer and audience. Have your brand fit within the influencer’s narrative organically so that it doesn’t seem like obvious selling. For example, a beauty blogger may mention your skincare line because it has genuinely improved their skin’s condition – this is a narrative that will resonate with people who may have similar issues as the influencer and who is seeking a solution.
5. There is a variety of exciting content to tap into
Content creators have the difficult challenge of keeping their audience entertained and engaged. Working with influencers means you can create creative brand/product awareness campaigns, or if they are already trusted to develop engaging content as it is, have them run ideas by you.
Influencers can create the following content:
- How to guides
- Sponsored blog posts
- Live streams
The type of content you create will depend on your product type and industry. For example, gaming companies will benefit from live streams on Twitch or YouTube, where unboxings of relevant products will captivate their audience.
6. Traditional marketing methods are dying
84% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising, and millennials and generation Z can spot paid content and empty promos a mile off. Your marketing methods cannot be intrusive; rather, they need to stumble upon an influencer on their own terms if they are to invest in your brand.
With such distrust towards traditional marketing methods, influencers are looking to provide authentic endorsements. What’s more, with two-thirds of consumers using ad blockers, traditional ads won’t even make it to your audience’s computer screen.
7. Micro-influencers can be more profitable than mega-influencers
Certain well-known influencers may be off-limits for your business due to their high cost, but micro-influencers are proving just as popular and successful as mega-influencers. Micro-influencers are more personally connected to their followers, and due to this responsive following, micro-influencers are 4x more likely to get comments on their posts.
8. Improved ROI (if done properly)
If done right, influencer ROI can be incredible. However, for you to get a good return on your investment, you need to put in the right amount of money – too little, and you won’t be noticed; too much, and you are unable to claw back much profit.
Spending more money does not mean better results. If you are a startup beauty brand, reaching to the likes of Selena Gomez isn’t going to prove fruitful. Instead, beauty bloggers with a following of 2K-6K is within your better interests.
What outcomes can you achieve through influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing has many benefits, but what are the outcomes?
- Improved brand reputation
- Better partnerships between your business and all influencers
- Amazing value for money
- An increase in trust towards your brand
- Better credibility
- Boosted SEO
To achieve positive outcomes, however, you need to create a brief so that the influencer you are outsourcing to, knows your goals and how you wish to achieve them. A good brief will save you (and the influencer) time and money while also bringing in more effective results.
It is no longer about the amount of ‘likes’ a person gets on their posts anymore, but engagement rates. After all, authentic influence is about action, not just awareness.