Cruise around on Instagram and YouTube these days, and it seems like everyone wants to be an influencer. Sharing “hot take” perspectives, repping products, promoting styles, and trying to start trends or push the cultural or consumer narrative.
With all these people trying to be and do these things, it’s easy for brand representatives and marketers to wonder if there’s really any value in influencer marketing. If they contract with an influencer, will that voice be lost in the crowd, or will they really stand out enough to deliver enough ROI to make the risk worth the investment? The answer is: It depends.
There are several key metrics marketers should use if they wish to determine whether or not influencer marketing is a good call for their next brand campaign. Any influencer marketing deal should include specific expectations in the following areas:
Some might call this brand awareness, which is not a bad thing, but awareness of a brand simply isn’t enough these days. To make a buying decision, consumers want to know specific things about that brand as well as specific ways it will benefit their lives. Influencers can demonstrate this directly to consumers.
Today, every brand needs to mean something to consumers. It’s not just about occupying a place on a shelf, brands need more than that to stand out from the crowd. Consumers are increasingly aware of what they are supporting, and brands need to give them that information. Influencers can bridge that gap between consumers and brand values.
People connect with people, and especially with those people they like and trust. Working with an influencer allows brands to put a trusted, friendly personality between their brand and the consumer. This relationship can lead to greater brand connection and consumer engagement.
Because a lot of influencer marketing is more relational, more dynamic and immediate, followers are more likely to share that content or those messages with their friends. This leads to more people learning about the brand, not in a nebulous awareness way, but as already warm leads, more apt to become fans of the brand.
Close More Sales
Because of the immediacy and emotional connection inherent to influencer marketing, brands are able to close more sales and make more deals than they might with a traditional direct advertising approach.
In conclusion, influencer marketing can provide tremendous benefits for a savvy marketer or a brand seeking recognition and market share. As long as careful attention is paid to how that influencer is delivering in the areas described above.
Why Are Influencers Important In Marketing?
The internet is a crowded, loud, fast-paced market of ideas. It can be difficult to find and keep consumers’ attention with all the proverbial bells and whistles – and literal push notifications – vying for their attention. How can a brand break through?
In a word: relationship. Story and connection still matter in advertising, and these factors are at the heart of a very profitable trend in online marketing called influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing involves traditional brands working with popular or trusted names within specific markets or niches to promote their brand, broaden their market reach, and increase brand loyalty. This isn’t about just slapping a celebrity or a recognizable face on a box or sticking them in a commercial. The key dynamic in influencer marketing is relationship.
Influencers are just another pretty face. Influencers have specific or specialized knowledge about a topic or subject, which they share with their followers. Because they are perceived by their fans to be subject matter experts, those followers are more likely to follow their lead and listen to their advice, especially in contrast to a standard mass marketing message.
This trust factor is solid gold, which explains why more and more brands are rolling out influencer marketing strategies. More people will pay attention to their brand because they already like and trust the person, the influencer, delivering the message. This offers brands an opportunity to increase their brand awareness in a way that also motivates the potential customers to want to learn more.
But that’s not the only benefit of developing and implementing an influencer marketing strategy. Here are a few other benefits all brands should consider when developing their influencer marketing plan:
Because influencers tend to operate in clearly defined niches, brands are able to step right into a market niche through that influencer, even if they don’t have a foothold or a reputation in that market niche. Because influencers already understand their market, often because they are that market, they allow brands to save time and money on in-depth market research.
2 – Instant Credibility
By leveraging the trust influencers already have in their market, brands can establish instant credibility that no amount of commercials could ever match. People like and trust the influencer, and the brand is able to borrow that relationship to connect with those consumers.
3 – Stronger Engagement
Effective influencers have already done the work to get and draw in their fans and keep their audience engaged. Fans and followers are more likely to like, comment or share content posted by an influencer, because they feel part of something, and they view the content as part of an ongoing conversation in which they are enthusiastically included.
Because fans and followers already trust the opinions and perspectives of the influencer, they’re much more likely to buy. This should lead to increased sales and offer conversions for marketers.
So, that’s four rock-solid reasons influencer marketing is trending and extremely likely to stay. Brands that want to cut through the noise online, then easily and effectively convert new connections into sales, and, then, the brand loyalty, should strongly consider the benefits of influencer marketing.