What The Heck Is Influencer Marketing and Why Should You Care About It?
For the longest time, marketers were doing just fine. They had innumerable channels in place to reach their customers, especially in the digital world, right from social media to emails. However, not many were aware of the potential of the new-age referral and review marketing – that grew to become influencer marketing. It’s a way of marketing brands by leveraging people who are trusted by the brand’s target audience. Today, nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels. In fact, businesses are making $5.78 ROI for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
While the popularity of influencer marketing and its widespread adoption across industries is no longer a secret, there’s only a handful set of brand marketers that understand influencer marketing well enough to leverage it right.
So, to begin with, let’s together try to understand what influencer marketing really is.
What is Influencer Marketing?
In the simplest sense, influencer marketing is a type of marketing strategy where brands collaborate with influencers to promote their products, services, or brand in general. Influencers essentially are people who have over time amassed a digital audience that follows them on different social media platforms.
The best example of leveraging influencers right is when Dunkin’ Donuts celebrated National Donut Day. They ran a special offer – get a free donut when you buy a beverage. The catch – they used eight influencers, who took over their Snapchat and created content to promote the offer and encourage people to follow them and visit stores. Needless to say, the campaign reached 3 million people and helped the brand gain ten times more followers on Snapchat than how many they’d get on a monthly basis.
Now that you know what influencer marketing fundamentally is – it’s better to also clarify some misconceptions about it.
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What Influencer Marketing Is Not?
There are two common perceptions about influencer marketing that lead marketers to believe that influencer marketing is a magic wand that they can leverage to fix (and achieve!) their marketing goals. While influencer marketing can be the miracle your brand needs, it’s better to stick to the facts. Here’s what influencer marketing is not.
First and foremost, influencer marketing isn’t about throwing money around and getting people to promote your brand. That’s what celebrity advertising is for. Influencer marketing is more about finding the right people who believe in your brand, are aligned with your industry, and have cultivated a genuine relationship with your target audience.
Secondly, influencer marketing is not for the impatient lot. Many marketers take influencer marketing as a quick fix for getting the engagement numbers, reaching a broader audience, and gaining a few followers. In reality, it’s a slow process – one that requires you to trust influencers to establish your credibility, authority, and leadership in the industry you’re catering to.
Enough with the basics – let’s address the skeptics in the room. Is influencer marketing really worth it? Well, the simple answer is yes. The longer answer lies in the benefits of influencer marketing.
Why Influencer Marketing Is Worth It – The Benefits
Here are 5 reasons why we believe influencer marketing is definitely worth a shot!
1. It helps you build a brand
There’s a big difference between having a business and becoming a brand. Building a brand requires a lot of trust and loyalty from your customer. It requires deep penetration in the market so that every target audience segment is aware of who you are and what your brand stands for. Influencer marketing works best here. Since influencer promotions are organic and don’t come off as advertisements, the audience trusts your brand more. Not to mention, engaging with influencers across geographies and audience segments helps you spread your brand across a wider perimeter.
2. It boosts SEO and ROI
Influencers are pros at content creation and promotion. They know the best practices to help your brand increase its digital footprint. They not only come in handy in establishing your authority among your audience but also they help you build authority for search engines. Not to mention, the ROI (nearly 5%) you get from leveraging the right influencer for your brand.
3. You save a lot of time and money
Influencers become your extended marketing team that expedites the execution of your marketing campaigns. Influencers often take over your social media, promote your offers and expand the reach of your campaigns without you having to worry about it. Additionally, influencers help you reach the masses without having to spend the amount you’d have to usually spend on advertising and celebrity endorsements. You get the same ROI (if not more) at much lesser costs.
4. Your conversion rate improves
Since the followers cultivated by influencers are often organic and close to your niche, their likelihood of conversion is higher than a cold lead that you’d get from advertising. These followers trust the influencer’s judgment and review and are more likely to follow their advice and invest in your brand.
5. It works for every business
The best part about influencer marketing is that it can be leveraged by any business irrespective of the industry or sector. Did you think it’s only for startups and B2C brands? Not really, influencer marketing can work for any business as long as you know which influencer to tap in. You need to find a person that your target audience thinks highly of and trusts – that’s your influencer. Once you get them to vouch for your brand (whatever it may be), you’re all set.
To Sum Up
Every brand and every marketer today needs to keep up with the latest trends that are shaping the way you reach your customer. There’s no denying that influencer marketing is becoming one of the most popular ways of connecting with your audience and building long-term relationships to harvest.
Hope we were able to give you the insights you were looking for!
Heading out? There’s a lot more to know about influencer marketing that you’re yet to explore! Check out our all-encompassing guide on influencer marketing to learn all the ways and strategies of tackling influencers!