There are two obvious reasons why brands are using influencer marketing strategies now more than ever:
- We are in the middle of a social media era
- The digital marketing ecosystem is overcrowded and doesn’t carry the same weight it did a few years ago
According to eMarketer, a staggering 69.8 million Americans have an ad blocker in the browsers.
The figure is expected to shoot to 86.6 million in one years time.
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Media saturation is looming large and digital marketers are deep in the receiving end. It is virtually impossible to come up with a campaign that will make your product stand out and be noticed.
Buyers can’t tell the difference between the bad, the good and the great by just looking at marketing content. The old rewarding faith in digital marketing is simply on a free fall.
Here are a few statistics to back the marketer influx in the influencer marketing space:
- 70 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 said that they were likely to buy a good or service that was recommended by an influencer
- According to Forrester’s 2013 report, 85 percent of B2B decision makers base their choices on recommendations from trusted online communities
- Half of all buying decisions are influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations
Clearly, the power of influencer marketing is incredible. However, if you are still having second thoughts about investing in it, the following points might help you make up your mind more quickly:
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Influencer marketing promises an incredible ROI
Influencer marketing has a 650% return, according to eMarketer. That is a massive $6.50 for every $1 invested, which is nothing to sneeze at. The reason for this is that the audiences of these influencers are waiting for them to make new recommendations.
What’s more, the fact that the information is being passed by influencers on their personal handles makes it look more like a genuine review than promotional content.
Influencers inflate your brand’s reach
Targeting the right audiences is perhaps the biggest challenge for most digital marketers. With marketing automation, you can monitor the behaviors of your audience and run marketing campaigns that target individuals with the right material all through their buyer’s journey.
Influencers introduce you to a whole different breed of an audience – one that your traditional target marketing campaign could not have reached. Influencers bring to the table perfectly targeted and extremely active people, who are already yearning for solutions to questions your product answers.
By using them to broadcast your message, you are buying the privilege to identify highly motivated potential customers that you could have otherwise missed out on. The data from your influencer campaigns will help you identify the niche segments that resonate most for a given good or service.
Influencers can rise above the noise
Let’s take an example of two TV channels whereby one is full of paid product advertisements, and the other one only shows informative or entertaining content.
Certainly, you would choose the second screen, which is precisely where influencers place your brand.
Followers of influencers are already tuned in, and anything that comes through them gets the same attention the influencer’s personal posts attract. Through them, you don’t have to navigate through spam-filtering and ad-wariness instincts to showcase your brand. Your product comes to them as the content they want to view and not the ad they would rather skip.
You may realize that your influencers warp and bend your message slightly as they post it on their timeline or in a forum. This is a good thing for your marketing as it helps you understand the preference of your new audience.
There is no need to try and dictate or influence how the message is delivered. If your influencers’ method of communication is the reason they have so many followers, then it will certainly work for your product. All you need to do is give them an idea of the message you want their post to pass.
Most influencer platforms provide you with a way to follow up on the performance of your marketing campaign. Facebook has an inbuilt analytics tool, Facebook Insights, which can benefit your influencer marketing campaign in two ways.
One is to track the performance of your influencers, whereby you can view engagement and click-through rates, and the other is to understand your target audience’s demographic makeup. It allows you to carry out an analysis of the reactions, comments, and shares your content is getting.
Also, you will get to know the people who clicked through to your website and what all of them have in common. This will help you understand your market more in case you decide to launch a targeted marketing campaign in the future.
Marketers have a considerable influence on social media where the bulk of your audience is. Using them as your brand ambassadors not only creates awareness about your product but also helps you understand the tricks behind their vast followings. Be sure to conduct careful research before pitching an influencer.
Identify what they like to post about and if you have any common interests. Search other potential influencers and do a side-by-side comparison. Identify the ones that post more and get more likes and shares from followers.
Check if the posts with huge reactions are relevant to your product and campaign. Engage with them only after you have completed your research.
Catherine Park is a connector with Caffeinated who help businesses find their audience online. She loves working in the ever-changing world of digital and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing.