Are you considering introducing influencer marketing as part of your content strategy on Facebook, Instagram, or other social network?
Brands have plenty to gain by engaging in influencer marketing. Working with the right influencers can have a multitude of positive effects on your brands business. In this blog post, I'll share 8 reasons why influencer marketing can be a real asset. Let's go!
1. They Generate Sales
Of course, one of the main reasons brands seek out influencers is as a means to generate sales. How you and an influencer decide to start edging people towards the sales funnel – and what part they might have in making sure customers’ stay in it - will be between you and them. In a survey by Linqia of 170 marketers, 89 percent are happy with the authentic brand content created by social media influencers, 77 percent cite brand/product engagement as key benefits and 56 percent report traffic to websites and landing pages as a key payoff.
2. They’re Inspirational Content Machines
There’s good reason that influencers have large followings in the first place – they’re passionate about their interests, and have a proven track record at building and sharing content that resonates with their audience - expertise that you can tap into. By working with an influencer, you not only benefit from their reach, but have the ability to share in their honed-in eye for successful social media posts, either on their profiles or your own. Even after a project has finished, you’re sure to take away new ideas and strategies that you can run with on your own.
3. They Build Brand Awareness
Generating sales might be the main goal of influencer marketing for many brands, but the brand awareness built within this process is unrivalled -. After all, how can something like a static advert or a press release for a product or service compete with a real life person with a real enthusiasm to talk about your brand to their audience? They’re perfect as a middle man to communicate your brand's vision and message in a way that will encourage followers to engage and connect.
4. Their Voice is Trusted
As I mentioned in the introduction to this book, consumers are proven to trust the opinion of their peers and influencers than a brand’s message alone. According to a joint study by Twitter and analytics firm Annalect, 47 percent of respondents said they had purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube.
5. They Can Offer Great ROI
When compared to traditional advertising and PR activity, collaborating with influencers still provides excellent value for money when your aim is to connect with a target market. In one study conducted by Tapinfluence, influencer marketing generated an unprecedented ROI. Working with White Wave Foods and Nielsen Catalina Solutions to track the in-store purchases exposed to influencer marketing, the results were staggering. They showed a total of $285 in incremental sales per 1000 impressions, some 11 times greater the expectations from a traditional digital advertising campaign. The study also revealed influencer marketing to be a surprisingly long tail, with new customers discovering the content months after the original post. Of course, this is likely to be the exception rather than the rule, but does show what can be achieved if you find the right influencer to showcase your brand in a way that resonates with your audience.
6. They Are Transparent and Reach Ad-Blind consumers
Assuming that you agree with influencers that your participation with them will be made clear within any sponsored content (and you should), transparent influencer marketing can provide a fresh way to reach a growing number of people who mistrust traditional digital advertising. Consumers are more likely to be receptive to a promotional message when it is made known that they are being targeted. In a study carried out by Harris Poll for Lithium Technologies in 2016 , 74% of Generation Z (16-19 year-olds) and millennials (20-39 year-olds) said they did not like being targeted by adverts via their social media feeds. However, while revealing that they are tired of being targeted and less receptive to adverts, 35% of 16-39 year olds also said they trusted celebrity endorsements, and 50% trusted blogs.
7. They Become Brand Advocates
A one-and-done campaign with an influencer is perfectly all right, but if you develop a long-term relationship that goes beyond simple brand awareness and generating interest in your product, it’s then that the real value of having an influencer in your corner will show. The stronger your connection grows, the more your influencer will start to feel like a true brand ambassador, hopefully resulting in the kind of proud content that rubs off on your target audience.
8. They Can Grow Your Numbers
As well as an over-arching goal like driving sales, influencers can also have the very welcome side effect of driving traffic to your website (by sharing your blog posts), increasing your social following (by tagging your brand in their posts), and improving your SEO – by backlinking to your website on their blog, for example.
Over to you
Do you work with influencers as part of your social media strategy? Or is it something you are looking to try? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.