Influencer marketing is gaining more popularity day by day. Brands are investing more and more money in influencer marketing. Thousands of influencers are making their way to the digital space, turning into something indispensable.
What’s the buzz?
If a decade ago I told you that influencer marketing is overtaking other marketing channels of promotions, you would probably think it’s a myth. But currently the trends and numbers speak for themselves.
The reason I have decided to write this article is that lots of people have heard about influencer marketing but they seem a little protective and careful when it comes to using this non-traditional channel. Going deeper into the benefits of influencer marketing and understanding its importance can help them rethink their perspectives.
When talking about marketing (no matter whether it’s for a service, physical product, or software), it is important to realize that the ‘final stop’ of any type of marketing is apparently gaining revenue.
This can be done in multiple ways, such as via direct advertising, social media marketing, direct sales funnels, banners, TV advertising, etc.
Now the question is: With all of these tried and tested options being widely used, why should you opt for influencer marketing?
In this article, I am going to showcase the apparent benefits of influencer marketing and elaborate on the reasons why you should use it.
So let’s step into the world of influencer marketing and see what makes it stand out from other forms of product promotion
1. Influencer marketing is essential for brand awareness
One of the main benefits of influencer marketing is brand awareness.
Influencer marketing—which is sometimes also referred to as word of mouth marketing—can have a huge impact on your brand awareness and recognition around the globe. And that’s first of all thanks to the reputation of influencers.
In fact, influencers do really tough work to become who they are. Thousands of followers, high engagement, trust, impact, devoted audience and respect—all these weren’t gained overnight. With all these qualities influencers can indeed be the best ones to promote your brand and raise brand awareness.
But here comes a question: Aren’t ads better when it comes to promoting a product? You can run them targeting anyone, any age, interest, country, etc. Of course, Facebook or Instagram ads of your brand will obviously show your product in the best light and convince your potential customers that it’s exactly what they are looking for.
However, unlike ads, influencers will make the product look more native due to authentic content, their posts appearing more as a recommendation than a promotion. Enjoying the dedication and confidence of their audience, influencers possess the ‘magic’ of turning whatever they have tried and liked into the most desired must-have product for their fans.
Daniel Wellington watches feature one of the best examples of how brand awareness can contribute to brand building. They kept sending their watches to thousands of influencers who proudly wore them on their wrists, showcasing the beautiful pieces in the most creative and native ways. The result? After a while, the whole world spoke about the Daniel Wellington brand.
2. Influencer marketing is the best way to bring relevant traffic
Brands strive to attract as many leads as possible to later transform them into sales. But what is even more important is the relevant traffic.
Working with an influencer makes it easy to define your traffic as you choose an influencer based on the niche they operate in. For instance, if you’re a fitness brand, the best way to find the right audience who’d be interested in your product is to collaborate with a fitness influencer. Why? Well, because people who follow fitness influencers are those who want to be fitter, healthier and have better bodies. This basically means that if a fitness influencer recommends your product, the chances are high that the followers of the given influencer will get interested and convert.
3. Influencer marketing is all about reach
Influencer marketing stands out for its effectiveness in raising brand awareness. Unlike ads, which you have to run one by one to reach thousands of people, influencers can make your brand visible to thousands all at once. Of course, this doesn’t always result in sales, but it definitely contributes to the familiarity with your product: Next time the followers see an ad with your product they will remember that this was the product their favorite influencer used in their recent posts/stories.
In terms of reach, you should consider 2 options: You can either reach large number of people, who are likely to convert but some time after certain interactions such as retargeting ads, newsletters and PR mentions, or you can go for fast conversions by reaching fewer people with the help of smaller influencers, who usually have more engaged audiences, stronger bond, and therefore greater influence.
The pyramid above shows the correlation between the reach and influence depending on the status of the influencer who promotes your brand. As you can see, the higher the status of the influencer, the higher their reach and lower their influence. Conversely, the influence grows and the reach drops as we go down the pyramid towards influencers with smaller audiences. The reason is that the closer our relations with the influencer, the more weight we give to their words. For instance, our friends and relatives can have the strongest influence on our buying decisions. Sometimes all it takes for us to buy a certain product is to listen to a friend’s opinion, which is much more valuable to us than thousands of ads.
4. Influencers are best at creating authentic content for your brand
Commercial videos/photos are good, but it’s hard to make them look organic. Here comes the need for influencers, who are really great at creating unique content for your brand. If you’re smart enough not to limit your influencer’s creativity, you’ll receive really cool videos featuring your product which will look both organic and more like a review/recommendation than a promotion.
Let’s consider the example of a successful influencer marketing with a pet influencer and adorable pup named Sterling Newton (@lifeofsterlingnewton). This cutie once had less than 100k followers, but the viral review post for a pet toy called Wicked Ball brought it half a million views and 898 comments, which is really crazy!
Among the most important factors that helped Newton gain popularity was the authentic content his mom Diane created keeping the unique style of the previous posts in which Sterling attracted his followers by his cute play and ‘language’.
5. Influencer marketing boosts your SEO
Next of the main benefits of influencer marketing is that it can boost your SEO like crazy. The most important impact of influencer marketing on SEO is reached through social signals. The latter includes a webpage’s overall social media visibility, such as likes, shares, votes or other activity that a search engine considers as part of its ranking algorithms. In other words, social signals help your website appear on the first pages of Google search.
In some cases social media influencers can have a website-based blog, where they can also share information about your product, including a backlink to your website. A quality and relevant backlink can indeed have a huge impact on your organic ranking.
The infographic below published by MOZ shows the impact actions taken outside your website can have on your rankings in search engines.
6. Influencer marketing ensures high ROI
Finally, we are there. Return on investment, i.e. the ratio between net profit and cost of investment, is the most painful point when it comes to marketing campaigns, especially considering the doubts and risks surrounding the marketing world. However, as compared to other channels, influencer marketing is known for ensuring high ROI. In fact, studies show that influencer marketing can take your ROI up to 11. That is, you spend only $10 on influencer marketing and get $110 in return!
However, calculating ROI in influencer marketing is sometimes not that easy. To make things simple you can use the following strategies:
- Use a trackable link: Applying a UTM tracking code to the content to be posted by your influencer will allow you to easily track how and where your traffic is coming from;
- Give coupon-codes to influencers with personalized names: This will not only boost the campaign and drive more traffic to your website, but also help track the number of people the campaign is actually reaching;
- Track traffic correlations: As mentioned above, it usually takes some time and more interactions before people start converting. This said, followers do not necessarily click on the link of the product posted by the influencer the moment they see it on their Instagram feed. Instead, they tend more to check the product page first, or google the product and do little research. Considering this, it’s highly recommended to pay attention to all the sales channels within the next few days after the influencer post. Notice a spike in traffic or search queries some time after an influencer post? That’s most probably the impact of that post!
7. Influencers contribute to your brand equity
Let’s be honest, the moment you see your most favorite beauty influencer uses “X” brand’s moisturizer, or the traveler guy you admire so much carries an electric toothbrush of a certain brand in his bag in a post with a caption “Ready for the flight with all the essentials packed”, you are ready to pay any amount only to get that buy-it-or-die product. That’s because influencers—people who we admire, look up to and/or want to look like or at least learn from—set certain benchmarks for us. Their posts are of special value for us.
This said, by posting about a certain product influencers contribute to adding value to its brand. In marketing this is also called brand equity, which is actually the value people automatically ascribe to another product under the same brand due to its well-known brand name.
A good example of how influencer marketing helped create branding equity is FOREO. I’ve seen this brand of skincare and oral devices quite frequently on the internet recently. With all those reviews of influencers using them, it has gained kind of a must-have status of a beauty product for everyone who wishes to have beautiful glowing skin.
Of course, there are lots of similar products in the market today, but when it comes to choosing something for yourself, would you prefer a brand that has been reviewed by lots of experts or one that is unknown to you? Personally I would prefer buying Foreo for $169 as the reviews by lots of influencers, who are experts in their field, make it valuable in my eyes.
Karen Wazen Bakhazi (@karenwazen), the 2.5m Instagram star using Foreo, is one good example of an influencer giving value to the brand.
8. Influencer marketing adds to your brand value
Next of the most important benefits of influencer marketing is that it contributes to your brand value. Unlike brand equity, brand value is the financial worth of the brand. To determine the brand value, businesses need to estimate how much the brand is worth in the market. In other words, how much would someone purchasing the brand pay? Influencer marketing is one of the key ways of building your brand and thus increasing its value.
9. It’s all about trust
Another benefit of influencer marketing is the trust it creates towards your brand. If your product has been recommended by influencers regarded as experts in their field (niche), you’re more likely to gain trust and succeed in convincing your potential customers that your product is worth investing money in.
But how come?
Usually the higher the engagement rate of the influencer, the more selective and careful they are when it comes to promoting a product. That’s why these ‘expert’ influencers enjoy their followers’ confidence and trust. Therefore if a rеputable influencer promotes your brand, you’re likely to gain trust as well. And more trust means more leads and therefore more sales.
10. Influencer marketing is less pushy and annoying
As compared to other methods of promoting a brand, posts by influencers are less likely to be perceived as an annoying promotion. That’s because followers choose to follow influencers for certain reasons, whether it’s for receiving content from them, learning their opinion and expertise in a certain niche, or simply following their life in a more non-formal format, etc. Therefore, a product featured by an influencer is less likely to be perceived as annoying if done in a smart and not spammy manner.
If you kept reading to this point, you have most probably already decided whether you are going to include influencer marketing in the arsenal of your success weapons or not. Nevertheless, all the benefits of influencer marketing mentioned above are a strong proof that influencer marketing is the new standard of brand promotion and that your marketing strategy will be really incomplete without it. If you want to walk at the same pace with your competitors, gain advantage over them, ensure high ROI invest in your brand building and make the world speak about your brand, influencer marketing is definitely the right choice for you!
Hope you find this article helpful. Looking forward to reading your comments.