influencer

The Value of Influencer Marketing

The ever-changing digital landscape we live in is constantly changing the way we do business. No longer are people merely turning to their peers for recommendations, they’re looking to see what their favorite YouTuber or Insta Blogger has to say about products. This is particularly true for younger generations like Millennials and Generation Z. Thanks to social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, regular people are now able to build their own brands by generating engaging content from the comfort of their own homes, making them that much more relatable.

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Unlike celebrities, influencers tend to be more engaging with their followers--they answer your questions, like your comments and share personal stories--in short, they come across more genuine. A 2016 study by Google shows that 70 percent of teenage YouTube audiences are influenced more by YouTubers than traditional celebrities. Influencers have become popular by showing their expertise in a particular niche, e.g., fashion, travel, makeup, etc., and thus become trusted on those specific topics. Celebrities, however, are paid to give recommendations because they have a large following due to their acting, modeling, singing, etc., making them seem less authentic when endorsing a product. Actress Blake Lively is known for her signature golden locks and has been a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris for a couple of years now. But let’s be honest, do we really believe Blake Lively colors her hair out of a box? Probably not. However, could we believe our favorite beauty blogger does? Sure. Furthermore, 49 percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when making purchasing decisions.

Now, not all influencers were created equal, and it takes some time to find the right one to work with. You’ll want to make sure your target audience falls within their following, as well as ensure that their content is aligned with their messaging. Someone might have 100,000 followers, but if it’s 100,000 people who don’t care about what your selling, you’re just wasting everyone’s time and money. Not to mention if you demonstrate that you’ve done research on the influencer you’re reaching out to by explaining the synergies between their messaging and your product, they will be much more inclined to actually respond.

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It is also essential to be on the lookout for influencer marketing fraud, or people who appear to have a large following but in reality, have paid for most of their followers or are using artificial followers to make themselves seem more valuable. That said, once you find the right people, influencer marketing is a surefire way to increase conversion rates as well as be cost effective. On average, brands see an ROI of $6.85 for every dollar invested in influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is especially unique because it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Influencers want to find brands and products to promote to their audience, and companies need people to promote them. Whether you’re an influencer yourself or are someone trying to find an influencer, understanding this new branch of marketing is key to success. And for those of you out there working to become an influencer and build up your following, check out iFluenz, an agency which specializes in all things influencer marketing.








Does my Brand Need an Influencer?

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?

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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.

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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.