To answer the title question, no, your brand does not necessarily “need” an influencer. There are multiple ways in which your brand can gain traction through the use of digital marketing agencies and things alike. However, it would be a disservice to you as a brand owner to neglect to shed light on what GoogleTrends and Forbes have reported as being the “fastest growing sector of digital marketing.” Although this post may not provide an exhaustive list of considerations regarding joining the trend of influencer marketing, it will offer you a better understanding of what an influencer is and how they can help your brand.
What Is an Influencer?
The short and sweet definition of an influencer is: A person who uses social media really well, gets a lot of likes, and influences people like you and me to buy the products or services they are using. Perhaps you already have a social media account on which you follow people who are always on trend, continually trying new things and encouraging you to do the same, or just seem to have a lot of engagement on what they post. If so, you have successfully been exposed to the world of influencer marketing, and it happened without you even realizing. Don’t be alarmed, this is good. It shows that the influencer has done such a phenomenal job of sharing their testimony of products, and building a relationship with you through their transparency that you actually have gained a sense of trust for an individual you may have never even met! See the beauty yet?
How Can My Brand Benefit from Having an Influencer?
To determine if an influencer can be beneficial to your brand, we must first determine what exactly they do. The short and easy definition we provided you with earlier in the post has probably incorrectly caused you to assume that influencers are merely people posting pictures on social media. This thought couldn’t be further from the truth. Influencers are essentially the equivalent of a recommendation from your best friend! Now, just imagine that this recommendation is being made to 5,000+ best friends, and further, the suggestion is your brand or business! (If your best friend has lousy recommendations, then this isn’t a helpful analogy).
As a brand, one of your main goals is not only to reach the masses, but to create an entity to which people relate and with which they feel comfortable spending their hard earned money. As with the vast majority of marketing options, influencers come with a price tag, so before you make the investment, let’s take a look at the ways influencers can be beneficial. For starters, influencers are less annoying, and as a result, do not fall subject to the powerful pop-up blocker (can you believe 47 percent of online consumers use pop-up blockers?). This means, more people get to see what you have to offer, and most importantly, they are actually enjoying it. When information is presented in a more authentic way, as with showing someone’s favorite Instagrammer indulging in your product, people tend to have a better reaction, which leads to better conversion rates going forward.
Not only are the influencers helpful in presenting your product or service most organically, but they also put you in a better position to gain a cult of supporters. This holds true when statistics reveal customers acquired via word-of-mouth have a 37 percent higher retention rate. Another great way that an influencer can benefit your brand is by possibly saving you a few coins on the front end and yielding almost twice the reward of what your paid advertisements have provided you. Ultimately, influencers can work to bring your brand increased website traffic, create a sense of authenticity, and keep your brand at the forefront of the minds of your consumers without being a pest, and all for a fraction of the cost of paid advertisements.
As with the many decisions you must make as a brand owner, the decision to hire an influencer isn’t one you want to make before you do your research on them and your desired target audience. Finding an influencer will require trial and error just like your previous marketing efforts, and will bring a new character to your brand’s story. The potential rewards that come from hiring an influencer are evident, but always remember that you are the captain of your ship and what works for one company may not be what works for you.
At Enrich My Brand, we are dedicated to helping brands like you discover what their next marketing move should be. If you would like to learn more about implementing an influencer marketing campaign for your brand, we highly recommend using our friends and partners at Ifluenz. Ask us how we can help you set up and manage an influencer marketing campaign of your own.