Influencers. You’ve likely heard the term tossed around in conversation. You’ve definitely already encountered it online, whether you’re aware of it or not. But because you’re already inundated with so many new ways of doing things, you may have placed it on the preverbal back burner of phrases/things to Google when you’re home, right alongside #fleek, turn up, doe, and bae.
But because you’ll forget or be too ashamed that your Google history will later yield your age, you won’t.
That’s why you have us, doe – uh, though.
As the we continue to evolve alongside the living, breathing technology machine that is social media, consumers look at fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions. And they’re doing so online. Instead of looking at companies, as they did in the past, they now look at each other and at their favourite personalities, on channels that are engaging and creative, such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
With so much content out there, it can be difficult to get your brand to resonate with your target audience. Not to mention the built in cynicism consumers have towards brands. More often than not, though, this cynicism is eroded when family, friends, or really cool people on the internet to back up a brand’s claims.
Enter: Influencer Marketing.
Since influencers already have a large following, and, as the name suggests, influencers are people whose opinion carries a certain gravitas. They have a large following, are active on social media, and have a platform to grab the attention of your target audience and potential customers. They don’t just promote awareness; they drive action.
Effective as influencer marketing is, it’s still in its infancy. And like all things new (change is scary, we know), many marketers remain hesitant of incorporating it into their shiny set of tools, even at the risk of being left behind by the growing number of marketers embracing it.
As Influencer Marketing grows, here are four reasons why smart brands are investing in it.
IT’S NATIVE ADVERTISING
Over 70% of internet users want to learn about a product through content, rather than traditional advertising. In contrast to traditional advertising, which interrupts the consumer experience, native advertising is fluid and undisruptive. It relies on the positioning of a brand within the organic content. It adds to the value of the existing content, which ultimately creates a sleek experience for consumers and more powerful marketing solution for brands. Incorporating relevant advertising-based content in a non-obvious, subliminal level results in a purchase intent at 53%.
Understandably, the more power of your influencer and their number of followers, the more word-of-mouth your brand receives, meaning your search ranking goes up. According to The Social Media Revolution, user generated social posts account for 25 percent of search results for the world’s top 20 brands. The more people mention your brand on social media, the cooler and relevant you are on Google. Just remember. With great coolness comes great responsibility. Like creating a celebrity dog Instagram account.
HIGHER CONVERSION RATE
Given the higher-than-average ROIs, influencer marketing also tends to drive higher more conversions than traditional ads. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you’re paying influencers to get the word out for you, often in unique ways that create meaning for your brand. According to this infographic by The Shelf, influencer marketing maintains an average of 3-10x higher conversion rates than regular advertising. That’s a major difference.
This new method of content delivery engages with the functionality of social media, enabling sharing and conversations between two consumers (the influencer and the influenced) that are meaningful, which results in higher ROIs.
INFLUENCERS CREATE AUTHENTICITY
Influencers, aside from being super popular and internet famous, are essentially one thing: storytellers. They know their audience and they know what makes for a good story; one that captures attention without coming across as too promotional. They are effective at weaving your product into their content instead of waving it in your face like an infomercial. That’s because they’re a consumer, too. And they’re adding authenticity to your brand by telling others how your brand has made their life easier, better, or cooler which simultaneously creating a desire for their followers (your potential consumers) to also get their hands on your brand.
Influencers have conversations with the audiences about things that genuinely interest both of them. If a brand can tap into that conversation through an influencer, it will do so with credibility. This is particularly vital for new or hard-to-reach audiences to really present the brand in the right way from the very beginning.