Many experts have referred to influencer marketing as the future of marketing.
You will understand why, when you consider all of the various ways influencer marketing has helped brands gain more visibility online, and acquire more customers.
According to AdWeek, influencer marketing is still a new addition to the advertising game, but the rise of social media has given digital marketers a huge opportunity to leverage on, and get dramatic results by creating branded content that social media influencers can share with their loyal fans.
A research study by Chief Marketer found that 69% of marketers consider influencer marketing effective, and 93% of professionals say it’s effective for creating brand awareness.
As a smart marketer, you can inspire the right person to tell their friends and family members about your brand on Instagram, or tweet your recent content to a large following. Don’t let this prevalent marketing strategy pass you by.
So how do you harness the potentials of influencer marketing, and what are the benefits? Let’s consider the 4 benefits that you can derive from it:
1. Launch a new product with ease
I’ve a confession to make. I dread product launches. Why?
Because there’s no guarantee that you’ll break even. Worse, if anything goes wrong at the backend, it could send a negative signal that your brand sucks.
If you’re like me, then all hope isn’t lost. You can reach out to influencers before to the launch day, build relationship with them, and better position your brand to win.
More so, the influencer community has directly or indirectly asked for your message through the person that influences them. So this is permission marketing at its best.
78% of marketers agree there will be radical changes in the next 5 years. In particular, earned media will be more important than paid and owned media. Remember that influencer marketing thrives on earned media.
Yes you can launch a new product with ease, through influencer marketing. Truth is, you can’t just decide to put a product out there all by yourself – you need thought leaders, social media power users, and niche experts to amplify your message.
Remember that in reality, you aren’t selling a product or service per se, but your idea, message, or story. A product may not change people’s lives, but a story will.
Ralph Lauren used influencer marketing to promote the launch of the new Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Watch Collection in the US and Japan.
The brand reached out to Luxury Launches – a luxury trend blog that receives over 1,000,000 million visitors annually.
After announcing the new product on Luxury Launches, the watch has received over 35,000 views to date – and massive sales have been recorded.
2. Increase trust in your brand
When you’re not there your brand speaks for you. For this reason, you need to continually increase the trust that consumers have for your brand.
According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, while only 58% trust branded websites.
So no matter how useful the content you publish on your brand website is, it may not suffice nor help consumers make informed decisions. After all, this is a virtual world – you don’t have to trust anyone. Because they may not be real.
The average American is exposed to 5,000 advertisements per day, of which they’re only aware of 86 ads. Trust me, consumers are tired of paid ads. But when you create compelling content that influencers share with their fan base, your content becomes your ad.
There’s something about brands that consumers don’t like. I can’t seem to place my hands on it. The study above also revealed that 70% of consumers trust online consumer – even if it’s from someone they have never met.
So it’s time to increase the trust in your brand by letting influencers and consumers spread your message.
Of course you don’t have to relent or stop posting content on your own website, but create more content that other influencers will amplify.
3. Influencer marketing improves SEO
Influencer marketing is hot. It’s evolving at a faster pace. Brands and marketers need to catch up with it.
In the same vein, if you’re having a difficult time increasing your search rankings and organic traffic, you can leverage influencer marketing to improve performance quickly.
Data from Social Media Revolution revealed that user generated social posts account for 25% of organic search results for the top brands.
Since social signals are important for search performance, 52% of companies have a stand-alone sponsored social budget for their brand.
To put it in perspective, the more social signals your website receives, as more influencers and fans mention and promote your content on social media, the more authority your web pages will have – and Google will reward you.
On the flip side, you can use influencer marketing to get your guest articles published on trusted blogs.
These are blogs that naturally rank in Google for your primary keywords. In this case, your blog may be new, but you can dominate search rankings by getting featured on authority blogs.
4. Create real-time engagement with a new audience
You might be putting in the effort to create the best content possible. But great content isn’t enough. The competition is getting fiercer, you either have to create real-time engagement with users or they’ll not trust you. Real-time engagement will drive conversions online.
Engagement comes when you spend time with people. That’s why paid advertising doesn’t build engagement. Because the traditional ads can’t answer people’s questions, but an influencer can.
Before creating your best content, reach out to influencers and start building relationship with them.
Influencers can help by encouraging their email subscribers, blog readers, loyal social media fans, to read your content, watch your video, talk about it, share it, and engage with it.
Truth is, you may not be there to engage with this new audience in real-time, but the influencer has a proven system in place for that.
An inspired influencer can provide quotes, comments, testimonials, and other forms of non-branded content that will engage the audience.
Influencer marketing has come to stay.
There are several other benefits which are not listed here. But you can make do with these four. Above all, you need to get in before it gets saturated and becomes difficult to execute.
You need to make sure that you’re creating content that delivers value at all times. That way, competitors will have no choice other than to amplify your content reach and drive more customers to your business.
About the Author
Victor Ricci is known for his work on Vine, amassing over 1 million followers in less than 7 months. From there he founded Trend Pie, an influencer marketing platform that helps app developers drive cost effective downloads and whose customers include Sworkit, Yahoo! Video Guide, Drunk Mode, Wedding Wire and more.