In marketing, the power of influence knows no bounds. Having a celebrity put in a good word about your product or services is guaranteed to rake in sales regardless of the medium or the technology used.
Fast forward to 2018, social media has taken the power of influence into a whole new level. A quick search on your favourite search engine can help you find the right people who can bring your brand further out into your chosen demographic.
However, consumers have become smarter and more sceptical with marketing techniques to the point that they can instantly spot a fake endorser. Audiences now crave for a more intimate connection with the celebrities they look up to.
A study by Forbes showed that audience engagement slows down as soon as a media public figure reaches the 100,000 follower count.
This shows that people prefer to interact with someone who is more grounded and relatable instead of with a public figure who wouldn’t have time to connect personally to a massive crowd of followers.
Nevertheless, influencer marketing takes a huge chunk of a company’s marketing budget because it is a genuine and non-intrusive way of connecting with consumers.
Huge brands have continuously recognised the importance of influencer marketing as 2017 showed a rise in the use of social media influencers by as much as 198 per cent. Getting endorsed by the right endorser would provide a company with a powerful, direct line to their target consumers. Here are some points on why you should still include influencer marketing in your 2018 marketing plans.
Help your brand reach out to your target audience
With influencer marketing, there would be no need to set aside an additional budget to identify your core audience. As long as you choose the right influencer who has already nurtured your target audience on social media, your brand automatically gets a front-row seat to the followers who are already interested in your niche market.
This also takes advantage of the fact that audiences spend a lot of time on social media. If an influencer features your product in one of his social platforms, it creates an instant connection with audiences on sites where the influencer spends the most time on.
Enhances brand awareness
Influencer marketing can exponentially expand your reach and enhance your brand positioning online. Influencers often act as the driving force behind movements and groundbreaking ideas. A mere mention by a social media influencer can expose your brand to new users and even incorporate your brand into hot trends.
Most influencers possess the creativity to weave a story into your brand and ultimately introduces your identity and the solutions you offer. Hiring a trendsetting influencer to promote your brand can even show that your company is an innovative leader.
Provides value to your brand and influences purchasing decisions
Influencer marketing embraces the concept of delivering content that educates, inspires, and provides solutions. This aligns with the values of social media influencers whose goals are to provide content that is valuable to their audiences, influencers are already in tune with the needs of their audiences and they want to ensure that their create content that attracts users to their channels.
Online influencers can also drive your sales since consumers
Constantly look up to influencers for advice on what products and services to purchase. A study showed that roughly 40 per cent of respondents purchase a product after they found out that a social media influencer uses it.
Furthermore, 85 per cent of millennials discover new products through social media. Influence marketing is a guaranteed method that drives sales and return of investment.
Builds consumer trust
People respect the content and recommendation of social media influencers and this sense of connection and trust can also affect your branding strategy. Influencers spent years building relationships and credibility with their fans.
Sharing in an influencer’s content can gain the attention of your target audience and put your brand in front of an actively engaging crowd of potential customers.
Influencers are also regarded as experts by their legion of followers. Once a brand is mentioned by an influencer, it creates instant credibility for the company and promotes trustworthiness.
This even becomes more powerful in niche markets where an industry expert is looked up as an authoritative figure. Once an influencer shares your content, it creates powerful brand recognition.
Fills in loopholes in your content strategy
Influencers can improve your marketing strategy and fill in the gaps in your own content. Running out of ideas to put out on your own social media platforms? Then let a social media influencer do that for you.
In fact, working with a number of influencers will guarantee that you’ll never run out of quality content to publish and push to your audience. You reach out to several social media influencers who can create engaging content for you.
Influence marketing can also cut through advertising blindness: the tendency of online users to ignore banner ads on websites and social media. Banner ads used to be the prime method of advertising on the internet but several softwares and browsers have been developed to stop them, such as anti-pop-up features.
Influencer marketing creates an opportunity to cut through this ad blindness and provide a non-intrusive way of advertising — by placing your brand in natural, native content.
Builds a winning partnership and a valuable marketing network
Connecting with an influencer doesn’t end with just the content sharing. It can open opportunities for live events and joint-projects that a social media influencer may concoct in the future. Influence marketing can create a long term marketing strategy for any brand and will even grow together with an influencer’s reach.
Take note that content made by influencers have unlimited sharing potential. Unlike a paid advertisement that has a limited reach and timeframe, shareable content provided by an influencer can attract attention repeatedly especially if it goes viral. Imagine such wide and permanent audience reach at a lower cost compared to traditional marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing is stronger than ever
It has been almost a decade since social media sites took over and it has changed the online marketing landscape for the better. Influencer marketing, no matter what form it takes, remains a relevant and important strategy in building brand recognition and raising sales.