Love it or hate it, influencer marketing is here to stay. The market, currently worth $2 billion is expected to reach $10 billion by 2020 as brands, businesses and influencers themselves realise the beneficial potential. With 67% of marketers believing influencer marketing campaigns and strategies have helped them reach a more targeted audience – who have not only engaged with the content but led to an increase in sales – we discuss why you should also fall under the influence.
What Is An Influencer? What Is Influencer Marketing?
Unlike celebrities who are usually famous for their acting, sporting or singing abilities, influencers gain notoriety through their social media accounts, vlogs and blogs, posting popular, niche or industry-specific content that resonates with their audiences. Their following can rival that of celebrities, such as renowned YouTuber PewDiePie with 62.2 million subscribers, who surpasses popular singers such as Beyonce (16 million), Ed Sheeran (30 million) and Justin Bieber (38 million). What makes them so appealing is the way they talk to their audience, make them feel involved and encourage communication between members of their online community.
By building a relationship with their audience, influencers become more trustworthy. Marketers have realised this fact, working with them to sell products and services to their adoring followers. Think about it. Wouldn’t you trust a vlogger who’s trying to sell you a new video camera over an actor whose talents should probably remain in front of one? By integrating the product into their videos, images and lives, viewers get a first-hand look at the brand in question, discovering its benefits and reasons to buy.
Why You Should Be Using Influencer Marketing?
Well, for starters, the new GDPR regulations have limited how brands can advertise to, and reach audiences. Consumer consent must be given and the process to opt out is even simpler. There’s an aspect of choice. We also choose which YouTubers, Instagram stars and Twitter accounts to spend time with, so promoting brands through these influencers appears, and becomes, more authentic.
Secondly, algorithm changes (especially those of Facebook) are making it incredibly difficult for certain brands to be heard. Those with the most money and who are creating ‘’MUST WATCH’’ content overpower smaller yet more relatable businesses. Bearing in mind the Cambridge-Analytica scandal and the fake new stories we constantly hear about, it’s no surprise consumers trust paid advertisements less than peer and influencer reviews.
‘’88% of consumers trust online peer reviews more than traditional advertising’’ – Inc
Along with the need for trust, brand transparency and the belief that the influencer truly likes the product/service, influencer marketing can be a way to get around the aforementioned issues.
The Benefits Of Influencer Marketing
- 45% claim sales conversions can be attributed from influencer partnerships.
- 78% claim the same for brand awareness.
- Influencers can be incorporated into multi-platform campaigns for continued benefits.
- The trusting audience is already there, so content will have a greater impact.
- Increased traffic to brand website and engagement with content.
- The brand reaches new audiences and becomes more relatable by association.
- Boosts their ‘expertise status’.
- Increased following.
- Content collaborations can give their channels a new direction.
- Sees the product/service in action.
- Allows discussion among online community.
- A sense of connection to that community.
Potential Pitfalls Of Influencer Marketing
- Choosing the wrong influencer – what if they cause controversy? What if they demand complete creative control and you dislike the way they promote your product/service? Can their main audience afford what you’re selling?
- Treating the influencer poorly – You should see them as an equal, not an employee.
- Can be costly dependent on influencer and only covers the digital sphere.
- The need for advanced tracking tools to determine success.
How To Do Influencer Marketing Right
Brands should develop relationships with influencers so that they treat each-other fairly. Content collaboration becomes mutually-respectful, with influencers providing information on popular trends and brands gaining ideas on how to appeal to audiences. The happier influencers are, the more enthused they’ll be to showcase your brand to their audiences. Ultimately, give them a good reason to work with you.
Also, you should strategize correctly. As iProspect states:
‘’The keys to a successful influencer marketing strategy are to identify your main objective(s), align with the interests of your target consumers and collaborate with suitable influencers, which can be greatly facilitated with social data and listening’’
- Find influencers that align with your brand values and with what you’re aiming to achieve.
- Create content that shows integrity, honesty and presents your brand in the best possible light.
- Make measurement easier. Click trackers, embedded hyperlinks and CPC are all useful.
- Manage and grow that relationship effectively, with all its legal, technical and creative facets.
- Ensure your brand can amplify content through other platforms for increased reach.
It’s also important that the influencer clearly states that their video/image/post is an advertisement, sponsorship or promotion. A full disclosure, as well as the hashtags ‘#ad’ and ‘#paid’ ensure trust is maintained.
We’ve certainly seen the value an influencer can have here at Embryo Digital. So, what do you think? Have you been influenced?