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Influencer marketing shifted from strategic partnerships between a few celebrities and brands to a valuable resource for all brands, thanks to the growing popularity of social media and large number of influencers. Current trends show that influencer marketing is not only here to stay but is continuing to expand rapidly.
If you haven’t added a social media influencer strategy to your social media strategy yet or are just getting started, then this article is for you. You will learn why you shouldn’t wait any longer to expand into this area of social media marketing and how to get started on the path to a successful social media strategy with a high return.
Influencer marketing is when a social media personality with a following promotes your brand and products. Their following places them in a position of influence where they can persuade their followers to make purchase decisions.
In paid social marketing, a business will offer free products, exposure, or compensation for a social media influencer in exchange for the promotion of their brand and products on their page. Influencer marketing can have an 11X higher ROI than PPC ads if done correctly.
Influencer marketing is a $16.4 billion industry, with 93% of marketers using influencer marketing as part of their social media promotion strategy.
Influencer marketing works best alongside an existing social media presence. Here are five specific ways it will make your current social media marketing plan more effective and how to incorporate influencers with your content creation strategy.
You are limited in how much reach you have when only using your social media account to attract new followers. Your account can reach current followers or show up in organic searches. Paying to sponsor your content may even reach a few more of your target audience.
However, most of those strategies rely on your audience coming to you. Influencer marketing, however, reaches your followers where they are instead of waiting for them to find you.
Your reach broadens when you use an influencer with an engaged following that overlaps with your target audience. When they promote your products, they bring your brand to the consumer. This will increase your brand exposure as you may not have connected with those potential customers otherwise.
About 51% of marketers say that influencer marketing leads to quality customers. If you are looking to make a quick sale, you can accomplish that through a well-placed ad or strategic marketing message.
However, those quick sales don’t make up the bulk of your revenue. About 65% of sales on average come from returning customers. Additionally, 43% of customers will spend more on their favorite brands.
Influencer marketers have already built a relationship with their following, encouraging greater loyalty from those who purchase an influencer’s products. These loyal customers are often looking for more than a single purchase. They also usually buy more and recommend the brand to others, making them higher quality consumers than a single-purchase customer.
Consumers are turning to influencers more for recommendations than ads or celebrity endorsers. Nearly half of consumers depend on influencers when making buying decisions, and 40% of people will purchase a product after seeing it on social media.
What makes consumers trust influencers over brands?
One of the key reasons influencers have this power over consumers is the stamp of authenticity they bring to a brand. Consumers expect brands only to highlight the positive features of their products. However, when someone outside of that brand supports those claims, consumers are more likely to believe a brand and its social media content are authentic.
Influencers earned their position because they found the secret sauce to consumer engagement. They found that perfect blend of entertainment mixed with value. This magic mix encourages their followers to keep coming back for more content and trusting their message enough to spend money on brands influencers recommend.
While you can try and replicate that recipe for viral content, you can’t guarantee success, especially since brands don’t hold the same authority as individuals. Instead, use a social media influencer who has already found the formula and is using it successfully. They can share your content in a new way you might not have thought of.
Influencers are also some of the first to jump on new trends and are on top of the latest social media news. This means your brand will also be the first in those areas if that influencer promotes your products within their trend-setting videos.
As much as you try to humanize your business, you will still be a corporation in the eyes of those that engage with your brand. You should continue with your strategies of posting brand stories and engaging with your customers, but that isn’t where you should stop.
An influencer puts an individual in front of your brand. Instead of seeing your products as an item from a business, it comes from a person, which humanizes the product and your brand.
One of the most well-known and successful examples of putting a name to a corporation is Michael Jordan and Nike. This partnership shows the power of selling a product as a person rather than a business.
Image from Medium
Need more insights before diving into the world of influencer marketing on social media?
Use these five questions to find the best social media influencer for your brand advocacy.
Before choosing a face for your brand, you must first ensure they aren’t going to hurt your business. Look at an influencer’s past content and reviews to find their values and the types of content they promote.
The best influencers for your brand will share the same values as you. For example, if you are a cruelty-free makeup company, you will want to align yourself with influencers who also use other cruelty-free products. This alignment supports your message and will not hurt your reputation.
Choose the most effective influencer platform by researching where your target audience demographic frequents. Instagram is the most popular influencer platform. However, you might consider another platform depending on your target demographics and industry, as well as whether you are a B2B or B2C business.
For example, TikTok and Snapchat are more popular than Instagram among Gen Z users, making them the preferred influencer marketing platforms for brands reaching that demographic.
Image from Influencer Marketing Hub
Once you choose your social media channel, identify influencers from your industry that are also on those platforms or see who your target audience is following to find potential influencers. Using an influencer management platform or performing a Google search can also help identify relevant influencers.
Social influencer marketing isn’t just about the number of followers, it’s also about engagement. Some influencers have millions of followers, but those aren’t valuable followers if none of them are liking, sharing, or engaging with the influencer’s content. You don’t want to invest in an influencer if their following is mostly fake accounts.
Some signs of poor engagement or fake followers include:
You won’t always want to go with the influencer with the most followers. Instead, consider micro-influencers, who have 10,000 to 50,000 followers. Micro-influencers are more affordable and often have a much more engaged following of loyal and niche consumers.
Choosing a niche micro-influencer will help you attract quality leads interested in your brand.
Influencer marketing agreements often give the influencer creative freedom. If an influencer marketing manager tried to control every aspect of influencer content creation, you risk losing some of the authenticity that the creator will infuse into their content.
Before choosing an influencer, consider the style of content they create. Then, select one whose content aligns with your brand and content style. You will also want to look at the quality of the content to make sure it is well-filmed and clear so that their audience can hear and understand the message. They should publish content regularly to keep their audience engaged, ensuring your message reaches more of their following.
An influencer that has authority in their field will have more persuasive power. For example, if your field is highly technical, you might consider finding influencers with a relevant educational background that gives credibility to their claims.
Using influencers that already have partnerships in your industry gives your message more authority as they are already considered a leader in the market. However, make sure none of their other associations are competitors to your brand.
Consider asking other brands in your industry for recommendations of reliable influencer marketers.
Use our social media content team to help manage your influencer marketing campaign. Our unique insights and industry-leading tools will give you the resources you need to build a successful partnership.
Contact our social media experts and start creating influencer marketing campaigns that convert.