Influencer marketing has taken the digital marketing world by storm. Boasting better results than traditional advertising and even other kinds of digital ads by a miles, this marketing strategy is effective, efficient, and more reasonably priced. Let's talk about influencer marketing and its many benefits.
The Basic of Influencer Marketing
Before we discuss more about the benefits of influencer marketing, let's first talk about the basics.
What is an Influencer, Exactly?
The growing digital landscape provides an increasing amount of room for creativity and an infinite number of ways to share information. This has opened many opportunities for individuals to show off their knowledge through various information-sharing platforms.
Influencers are the people who have successfully built a name for themselves in the industry that they're active in. Because of their expertise, authority, and position, they’ve gained a large following that's not only reading their content but also engaging with them. Influencers have people who believe in the content that they share. They have the ability to influence the way other people think and their purchasing decisions.
Celebrities, bloggers, social media personalities, and vloggers are some examples of influencers. They typically have very large followings — but remember, it's the massive engagement that we care about.
What's Influencer Marketing, Then?
Influencer marketing is a strategy where a company forms a partnership with an influencer in the same industry to promote their products or services. The influencer will post about the brand on their social media and/or blog, in exchange for some sort of compensation, cash or product (and sometimes both).
Why Do People Use Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing offers a softer, less intrusive approach when it comes to product promotion, compared to more traditional ads.
It also offers better conversion rates.
For instance, an influencer posting on their Instagram about why Product X is an innovative option for a particular group of people can push more purchases compared to an ad that pops up in people's news feeds.
It adds value to a person’s life, and this is what many people are looking for. This feature is one of the many reasons why influencer marketing has established itself as one of the most reliable methods for product promotion.
Moreover, people are more inclined to believe what the people they know say. Influencers, being well-known authorities in their industry, have enough credibility to affect and influence the way their followers think.
In fact, a Nielsen report found that 82% of people in the United States trust recommendations from people they know. 66% trust recommendations from opinions that consumers post online. However, when a brand advertises itself on social media, only 42% trust it
How Can You Use Influencer Marketing?
When using influencer marketing, the following variables must be considered.
Knowing who your audience is can help determine which influencer your brand should build a partnership with. Your influencer’s target audience must be the same as your target market. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose.
Connect With the Influencer
Not all influencers will immediately agree to help you promote your brand, so you'll need to win them over. Establish a genuine connection with the influencer. Sincerely let them know why you want them to promote your brand and what they can get out of it — along with what their followers can get out of it. They really care about their followers.
Provide Information and Resources
Once the influencer agrees to your proposal, provide them with all the essential information to help them create materials for your campaign.
Make the Campaign Last
Utilize your website and all your social media accounts to share the content. If the content is evergreen, make a plan to recycle it for later use.
Keep track of your metrics to identify which strategies work and which don't. Use the information you’ve gathered to improve your current and future campaigns.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Here are even more reasons to use influencer marketing.
One of the benefits of influencer marketing is that it can help build your brand’s credibility. This is especially helpful for new companies or new products aiming to penetrate the very competitive market.
Since influencers are experts in their field, most of the people who follow them trust what they say. So, if they help spread positive news about your product or brand, then it can help build your credibility.
Drives Targeted Traffic
Getting more people to visit your website won't do anything to your lead or sales conversion if those people aren’t relevant to the industry you belong to.
You can get a thousand people to check out your page, but unless they’re interested in what you’re offering, you won't convert them to followers and certainly not paying customers.
Targeted traffic is the key to lead generation and conversion. Influencer marketing can help you with this thanks to their large relevant followings and credible reputations.
Many influencers own websites with high ranking metrics. When they post an article for you and link it back to your own website, it can offer valuable backlinks, which can help improve your own rankings on search engines.
The cost of promoting a new product through traditional media is astronomical. Instead of using your resources to build your brand from scratch, it’s more practical to seek help from people who are already known in the industry. Why reinvent the wheel?
Influencer marketing costs less than television ads and other mainstream marketing campaigns. Furthermore, many influencers prefer non-cash incentives, since receiving cash can sometimes pressure them into making prejudiced reviews. This could affect the value of their content and their reputation.
Compensation can be in the form of products they can try out for review, links to their website or page on your own website, and social media tags.
With its practical cost combined with access to your target audience, influencer marketing provides better opportunities for exposure and sales conversion.
Increases Brand Awareness
Compared to conventional advertising methods, influencer marketing is a more effective way of building brand awareness.
Unlike traditional online marketing campaigns, influencer marketing provides a more personal approach to product promotions. That, along with the influencer’s already existing channels and large and relevant following, makes increasing brand awareness faster.
Suitable for Any Business
There's an influencer for almost every type of industry. Whether you’re selling fishing bait or promoting an app that enables one to schedule their social media posts, you’re bound to find an influencer who may be able to help you.
You can check out the top influencers in your industry using specialized apps or through search engines.
Better Reach Compared to Traditional Ads
Traditional ads don’t perform as well as influencer marketing when it comes to reaching your target market. Why? Because most people pretty much ignore ads, plain and simple.
In short, they’re no longer as effective as they used to be in promoting products or services.
Influencer marketing, on the other hand, provides content that people watch out for. They’re subscribed to the influencers’ blogs, channels, and social media accounts and are looking forward to the next content they share.
It offers more potential to be seen.
If you want to reach more relevant people in a shorter time, opt for a partnership with an influencer in your industry.
With better lead and sales conversion rates, influencer marketing provides a higher ROI for businesses.
Be honest: How many times have you clicked and purchased a product from a website ad banner or pop-up screen? Putting accidental clicks aside, chances are very rare.
Now, how many times have you searched for product reviews on Google?
You probably search for reviews and information about the products you're thinking about buying before deciding to make a purchase. And, you probably look for advice from individuals who aren’t directly connected to the brand, product reviews from websites, video reviews, and articles from influential bloggers.
Most of the time, people put more weight on the reviews left by other people than the information released by the company who made the product.
People love reviews. People trust reviews. And this is why influencer marketing gets more sales conversions.
Provides Value for People
Which would provide more value for you: a flashy ad image with the product name and picture along with a few highlighted features? Or a video of an expert personally trying out the product and giving his or her opinions about its features?
The second seems the better option, right?
Influencer marketing provides value, not just plain advertising, and that is what people look for.
Unlimited Sharing Potential
Unlike conventional ads, influencer marketing offers many methods for sharing content all around the internet.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are only some of the many social media platforms influencers use for sharing content far and wide.
YouTube video marketing — product reviews, unboxing, etc. — is another great way to promote products and services online.
Live Video Streams
Another method for promotion is live video streams. People love interacting with the people that they look up to, and this method enables them to do so.
Writing articles about the product on blogs, reviewing the service, and how-to tips, are only some of the ways content can be promoted.
There are also more chances of your materials going viral and reaching more people when it’s released on influencers’ channels.
Influencer marketing, when done right, provides countless benefits. This strategy is an excellent and cost-efficient way to increase brand awareness and to promote your brand online.