Nearly every purchasing decision we make is influenced by something or someone. An Influencer is someone who already has the trust of your potential buyers and therefore, can very easily sway their purchasing decisions. Influencer Marketing is the process of determining who has influence over your target market and building a relationship with them to promote your business.
And why should you care about influencer marketing?
If given the choice to “buy something” or to be “sold something” most people prefer to buy. If you work with individuals that have influence over potential buyers, you don’t have to worry as much about one of the most crucial parts of the buyer journey, building trust. Influencers already have the trust of your buyers so your marketing spend is much more efficient. Working with the correct influencers also provides direct access to your target market. Additionally, the content created by influencers typically has a long shelf life.
What marketing problems does Influencer Marketing solve?
- Traditional marketing is losing efficacy – Tactics like TV ads, website banner, and display ads, radio, print etc. are a lot less effective than they used to be. Marketers are needing to become more innovative and creative in trying to reach consumers.
- Reaching your target customers – Part of successful marketing is reaching your target audience and developing new audiences. With traditional marketing efforts, it can be hard to know for sure if your target audience is seeing your advertising and interacting with it. Working with the correct influencers essentially guarantees that you are reaching your target audience.
- Measuring ROI – Knowing what to measure to determine ROI is key. Influencer Marketing offers many options in the way of measurement. Is your goal awareness? Is it downloads? Page visits? Social media follows, shares or likes? Phone calls? The beauty of digital marketing with influencers is that all of this is easily measurable
- Creating unique content – High-value content creation is time-consuming and therefore pricey. Today’s consumers are demanding more and more of it. By working with influencers you’ll have access to a consistent supply of unique and targeted content.
- Tight marketing budget – Usually marketers are working with a set budget. When compared to traditional marketing efforts, influencer marketing can represent HUGE savings. If the brand or company were to create this high-value content themselves the cost would be much greater. In addition, many influencers accept product or services as a form of payment.
Fringe benefits of Influencer Marketing
- Always On – Working with influencers on a consistent basis has a long-term impact and creates advocates out of influencer relationships.
- SEO – The great content created from influencers is rich with keywords and links that yield better SEO results.
So who are influencers and which ones are right for you?
There are several types of influencers you should consider:
- Large Publishers – Online magazines, Major publications – More often than not there are a number of publications that have a subscriber base that contains your target buyers. If you’re not already aware of these targeted publications, some simple online searches can reveal them. Some of these publications will allow for guest articles/posts or paid posts. These can aide with authority development.
- Celebrity Influencers – Macro-Influencers – The top influencers in this space can have millions of followers across multiple social channels. The benefit to working with these influencers is access to their massive following resulting in enormous reach for your brand. The down side is, that reach can come at a hefty price compared to other options. So the right decision depends on what your goals are with the campaign.
- Advocates/Ambassadors – Micro Influencers – These influencers tend to have a more relatable feel. These are real people and they typically don’t have nearly the reach that macro influencers do (a few thousand vs. hundreds of thousands or millions). The benefit with these influencers is the personal level of touch they provide and they tend to have a much more focused audience so you can get a lot more specific with your targeting. This tends to result in higher engagement with the content.
Each of these influencer types represents distinct advantages. Choosing the right influencer for you comes down to your goals for the campaign, the audience you are trying to reach and the budget you have to work with.
While influencer marketing has been around for quite a long time, it is only recently catching on as an extremely effective marketing medium. This means there is a HUGE opportunity to stand out from your competition. Whether you are planning to execute influencer marketing on your own or plan to take advantage of the many services available to assist you, the key is to recognize the value this type of marketing represents and take action!