One of the trickiest parts of successful marketing is knowing what you should and shouldn’t spend your time on. There are a ton of different types of marketing and marketing strategies out there. If you’re not a marketing professional (or even if you are!), it’s hard to identify which ones are best for you and your business. The truth is, researching, understanding, and employing the best marketing strategies is an iterative process. You might use the same well-known and well-researched strategy for years, only to come upon an emerging new technique that will work better for your business. In today’s blog, we’re going to go over one of those strategies — influencer marketing — and help you determine whether it’s right for you and your business.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing whereby a brand partners with influencers (AKA celebrities, content creators, public figures, etc.) to promote their product. The influencers can do this through endorsements, product reviews, product mentions, or even by simply posting a selfie with the product.
While influencer marketing is a flexible and effective way to perform social media marketing, the influencer that a brand picks is really integral to the success of the marketing. Brands must pick influencers who have a social following relevant to their industry; if the influencers’ audience isn’t interested in your product, there’s no reason to partner with them. Similarly, depending on the brand and their goals with influencer marketing, it also is important to pick influencers with a wide reach and strong social media presence. The amount of followers depends on who your brand is and what your goals are, so there’s not set amount of followers an influencer must have to be a good partner for your brand. You just have to think about what you’re trying to accomplish when it comes to influencer marketing and develop a strategy based on that.
Why Should I Use Influencer Marketing?
Now, let’s take a look at how influencer marketing can benefit your business. While there are endless pros and cons to employing any type of strategy, here are five of the top reasons why brands use influencer marketing (and why you should consider it, too!).
1. Influencer marketing helps you reach a larger consumer audience.
Perhaps the most obvious reason to use influencer marketing is that it helps your brand reach a larger consumer audience. Depending on what marketing activities your brand currently engages in, you have a certain reach. While you may be increasing that reach through things like paid advertisements and social media marketing, a foolproof way to build brand awareness and reach a wider audience is through influencer marketing. The key point here is to partner with influencers whose audiences are relevant to your brand. For example, if you’re selling life insurance, you don’t want to hire a food blogger for your influencer marketing. If you’re a food delivery service, however, a food blogger may be the perfect partner for you. See how it works?
2. Influencer marketing improves brand sentiment.
Brand sentiment refers to how people are speaking about your brand — i.e. when your brand is mentioned, is it in a positive, negative, or neutral way? Of course, you want everyone to be raving about your business and product, so positive brand sentiment is what you’re striving for. Beyond having great products, one way to improve your brand sentiment is through influencer marketing. In the most straightforward way, you can hire the influencer to speak positively about your brand on their platform, so you can directly improve your brand sentiment. The hope is that this has a ripple effect (and with successful influencer marketing, it does). Influencers speak positively about your brand which results in other customers speaking positively about your brand and buying your products.
3. Influencer marketing builds brand credibility and trust.
Similar to brand sentiment, using influencer marketing builds brand credibility and trust. Word-of-mouth is a really effective marketing tool, but organic word-of-mouth is hard to scale. Influencer marketing can fill that gap by employing the influencers as the “mouth,” i.e. the person spreading the word about your business. People follow social media accounts that they like and trust. Influencers tend to be personable and speak directly to their audiences; they build strong relationships with the people that follow them. If someone you follow and trust on Instagram is talking about a product that they love, you believe what they’re saying and trust that product, too. That’s why influencer marketing helps you build credibility and trust.
4. Influencer marketing gives you new and different content.
Who says you can only recycle your own content? No, no, we’re definitely not telling you to plagiarize here. When you partner with an influencer, you can make it part of your agreement to repurpose the content that they post. So, if they post a selfie with your product, ask to re-post that selfie on your page. If they record a video endorsement, ask to publish that video endorsement on your website and social media. Not only does this save you time and money in creating your own content, but it allows you to demonstrate your brand credibility through the influencer on your own website and social media.
5. Influencer marketing increases engagement.
Last but not least, influencer marketing increases engagement. One reason that this occurs is because the influencer you partner with may have high levels of engagement already. When they endorse or promote your product, they will likely get engagement on that post. Moreover, their followers are likely to engage with your brand if they choose to follow you. This gives you an opportunity to communicate and connect with your new and existing followers alike.
These are five of the many reasons why influencer marketing is a successful marketing strategy. Now, the big question is should you use influencer marketing? The answer: it really depends on what your brand is, who your audience is, and the influencers you partner with. We know that’s not the solid yes or no you were looking for, but it’s the truth!
And if you need some help to figure it out, know that we’re always here to help! What do you think some pros of influencer marketing are? Let us know in the comments below!