Why to Expect More from Influencer Marketing Now
Google Trends shows a shift in interest from ‘content marketing’ to ‘influencer marketing’ over the last two years. Adweek claims that Google’s keyword search for influencer marketing has increased over 90 times since 2013. Adblockers are gaining popularity, with 22% of people in the UK and 47% of people aged 18-24 years in the UK using them. A study by eMarketer shows that nearly 85% of marketing and communications professionals worldwide expect to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer in the next 12 months.
As you can tell, brands have been on the hunt for new ways to get in front of their customers and influencer marketing seems to be the answer. In this blog, you will see that nowadays, influencer marketing is being refined and that it is an important element in your marketing mix to focus on.
Association leads to targeted exposure
According to AJ Agrawal, influencer marketing is the grey territory between an official testimonial and a subtle product mention done almost in passing. Influencers are the ones holding everyone’s attention. People spend time actively watching them. This is the opposite of what is happening with television right now; commercials have become background noise.
More and more brands are seeing value in paying these people to represent their products. Brands are not necessarily willing to pay big bucks for exposure, but for association because, as Agrawal says, in return, they get targeted exposure to the right kind of consumer, one who is already interested and who is likely to pay attention.
Agrawal even claims that calling it influencer marketing is only the beginning: “What is truly happening is a broader shift, as more and more people are discovering the art of personal branding. When you have a personal brand, when you have an audience and people see you as a thought leader in your specific niche or market, you have something no one else does: you have people’s attention. And that, in itself, is highly valuable, not just to brands but to other thought leaders as well. Having a personal brand opens doors of opportunity.”
15 reasons why influencer marketing is vital to marketing strategies
If the statistics mentioned above are not enough for you, IZEA gives you 15 reasons why you should focus on influencer marketing as an element of your marketing mix.
- Consumers are not interested in traditional marketing tactics anymore. They would rather put their trust in spokespeople (especially YouTube stars) because they seem more credible than brand advertising.
- Word-of-mouth marketing boosts brand identity and recognition through stories about people, instead of just the brand.
- Brands can launch new products, communicate important milestones, and increase awareness.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as views, reach, and engagement rates all spike because audiences feel connected to the influencer and follow loyally.
- Influencers have the charisma to create reactions and mobilize opinions through unscripted dialogue and impromptu promotions.
- B2B buyers rely heavily on peer opinions and reviews and they appreciate authentic influencer input.
- B2C influencers engage consumers, improve brand awareness, and boost sales.
- Emerging social platforms provide more opportunities for consumer engagement with influencers.
- Influencer marketing is considerably less costly than other promotional tactics.
- Influencer marketing can reach interested target audiences more effectively for active engagement.
- It is one of the strongest marketing tools available, delivering 11x the ROI of a banner ad.
- Any brand or business can easily implement influencer marketing with relatively little ramp-up production or expense.
- Influencers help boost your SEO because they often have their own highly rated websites that get high exposure, giving your brand that desirable halo effect.
- New audiences become available to companies utilizing influencer marketing due to the influencer’s reach and exposure.
- The likeability factor goes through the roof for brands who grab the tail of the influencer comet by featuring a popular influencer. Authenticity is critical, and consumers will be more inclined to engage with brands.
How can you be successful in influencer marketing?
Tom Ward lists 7 steps to start with influencer marketing and to be great at it.
Do Your Homework
Whether you are using an agency, a multi-channel network, or doing it yourself, you need to do your homework first. Who is your target audience? What content do they respond to? What social channels do they use most frequently? Where do they live online?
Research Social Media Influencers
There are a number of ways to pick an influencer. You can hire an influencer agency to do the search for you or you can use some tools out there to help you with your search. Alternatively, you can search on your own.
Understand Your Influencer
Spend some time building rapport to find out who your influencer is and what motivates him or her. Money is not always the top motivator; authenticity, brand fit, and good press often matter too (or more!).
Define Your Metrix
How are you going to measure whether your campaign is successful or not? What gets measured gets managed!
What are you hoping to accomplish with your campaign? Do you want to drive sales, increase traffic, or create brand awareness? Only have one goal. A person will only engage with a post one way. They will retweet it but not like it. They will like it but not comment.
Determine Where the Content Will Come From
Will the influencer create the content, or will you? It is probably best to give the influencer an outline and let them run with it. Tell them the message you are trying to get across, along with some requirements (like including a link or a hashtag) and give them the freedom to do what they do. Remember, authenticity is important for both the influencer and audience member.
Do not Forget About Compliance with National and International Laws
Rules make sure everything happens in an honest way. In the U.S., think of FTC.
A smart move away from “traditional” digital marketing
I hope you can see why influencer marketing is a smart move away from “traditional” digital marketing. Recently, I have started to play around with the concept myself. I have a personal blog about lesbian parenting in The Netherlands called Meemoeder.com, and I write reviews about things like gender-neutral baby shower gifts, lesbian (family) travels, and unique baby clothing not necessarily consisting of the colors pink and blue. It is a great niche and I continue to gain readers.
As a result, I notice that brands are increasingly more interested in working with me, which works for me, as it gives me more topics to inform my readers about. I definitely see influencer marketing as a win-win situation and I hope you do too!
PS: If you need me as an influencer for your original and unique baby clothing, cool baby toys or anything related to the lesbian/LGTB community, you are more than welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I understand emails written in Dutch and in English, and I usually reply quickly.