You’ve probably heard by now that Influencer Marketing is projected to be a $10 Billion industry by 2020… That’s less than a year away… $10 Billion… The question is, are you using this wildly popular form of marketing yet? While influencer marketing isn’t for every brand, you should seriously consider including it as part of your overall strategy.
Worldwide, there are almost 3.5 billion active social media users. On average, they spend 142 minutes every day scrolling through their favourite social media platforms. You need to figure out whether your audience is a) on social media; b) cares about what influencers have to say; c) whether you have a product or service that will do well being tried by influencers.
Determining your audience’s behaviour to answer a) and b) is a simple research and listening exercise to get to know who your buyer personas are. To answer c) you need to figure out whether an influencer can actually try it out and then talk about it. If your product/service is extremely expensive, you may not want to give it away. Or if your service is based on time you put in, it might not be as easy to gift it, because when you work for no pay, you lose too much money.
The important thing to remember is that any influencer campaign you run should be fully integrated into all of your marketing activity and shouldn’t be the only thing you do to market your brand.
Here are four reasons why you should invest in an Influencer Marketing strategy.
Consumers trust other people more than brands
While there are certain celebrity and mega influencers that seem to be souring the influencer marketing recipe, it is still a fact that consumers would rather hear from them than from brands directly. In fact, 55% of your existing customers even trust you less than they used to. Think about the potential customers you are trying to connect with who haven’t had the chance to see how awesome you are yet!
In general, consumers feel a genuine connection with the influencers they follow. You don’t have to be a super fan to want to see what they are up to next. The key for brands is to find influencers that are picky about what brands they work with. You know their audience will likely trust their opinion more because they aren’t just doing sponsored content for the money and free stuff. They actually believe in the brands they work with.
Target your marketing efforts to a smaller group
While you need to really get to know your target audience and what ultimately makes them want to make purchase decisions, influencer marketing allows you to focus your outreach efforts on a smaller group of people. You can focus on reaching and engaging influencers who will then reach out to their communities on your behalf. Of course, this doesn’t mean you are off the hook when it comes to creating great content or a killer customer experience, but it does mean that the pressure is off you – at least in the beginning – to grow your audience quickly. A great influencer marketing campaign will work with influencers to provide value to their community so they will WANT to follow your brand. Shifting your focus in this way will allow you to have a broader reach before you have the larger audience for your own brand.
The ultimate word of mouth marketing strategy
Any time someone talks about how much they love your brand, you should be doing a secret (or not-so-secret) happy dance. Positive brand perception is everything. When you rely on an influencer to talk about your brand, it is the ultimate word of mouth marketing strategy because they generally have large, captive audiences.
Normally, when a customer talks you up, you don’t really have control over what they say about you. When you set up partnerships with influencers, you can retain a LITTLE bit of control over the message when it comes to the overarching brand tone. But, ultimately, you need to give up most of the control when it comes to HOW the story is told. Influencers have done a lot of work to build their own brand personas and they have developed a tone of voice that resonates with their audience. Most of them are master content creators and you should just let them create once you have set loose brand parameters. If it is truly a great fit, you will absolutely be happy with the outcome!
It creates a more authentic brand voice
I know the word “authentic” is so over used, but by definition, this is a great place to use it. It means genuine, and don’t you want your brand to come across as genuine? Of course, you might hold back because of those negative stories about influencers who stage their own “surprise” proposal to get free stuff, or celebrity after celebrity shilling weight loss candies and hair growth gummies, or Fyre Festival (‘nuff said). But, while those stories are extremely visible, they are only true about a handful of influencers out there. There are plenty of influencers whose brand you SHOULD want to associate your with. Great influencer content can answer the question of “why should I purchase this?” that your potential customers are likely asking. Coming from a third party makes it more… authentic than if you said it about your own brand.
Influencer marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. It does take a bit of work to get it right, and time to execute a successful strategy, but it is well worth it in the end. If you are wondering if influencer marketing is right for your business, we’re always available for a chat! Be sure to give us a call!