10 May Why Do Influencer Marketing?
If you’ve been paying attention to the marketing world, you’ll know that influencer marketing is very popular right now. More and more brands are trying it out, and those who haven’t yet are beginning to have some serious FOMO: It’s becoming increasingly true that if you’re not doing influencer marketing, someone else is. This means brands often feel the need to incorporate this marketing strategy to remain competitive.
But what makes influencer marketing so successful, and why would a brand want to incorporate it into their marketing strategy? In today’s climate of increased consumer distrust and media savvy, robust ad blocking programs, social media algorithm changes, and the increasing influence of millennial and GenZ consumer habits, there are all sorts of reasons to lean into influencer marketing. Let’s talk about some of the most popular reasons brands choose this marketing strategy.
Enlisting the help of influencers allows you to gain access to an audience you may not already be reaching on your own. Whether you’re unhappy with the size of your audience or you’re looking to reach a different kind of audience, influencer marketing is an excellent way to address those concerns. It’s simple, really. When you post content through your brand’s own media avenues, it can be difficult to significantly change who or how many people actually see that content. If you tend to reach men aged 40-50, for example, you may have difficulty shifting your reach to millennial women.
By having influencers post content on their social media accounts and/or websites, it’s much easier to access the audience you’d like to reach. Just be thoughtful when selecting influencers—make sure you confirm that the audience you want to reach lines up with the audience that influencer does reach.
Influencers are pros at creating engaging content. Whether or not your brand has an excellent Content team, you may find it worthwhile to outsource some of those content creation efforts. Perhaps your Content team has expertise in video but not blog posts, or vice versa. If you’d like to create content for a medium you’re not well-equipped for on your own, influencers can provide an easy work-around. Or maybe you’d just like to ramp up your content creation capacity in general, and get a greater variety of voices and perspectives on your brand. The more content out there that features your brand, the more potential for consumers to see and interact with you. On a related note….
Increase brand awareness
Because influencers can help with creating content and expanding your audience, they can also help increase awareness of your brand. This is especially helpful for new brands looking to accelerate the otherwise slow, painstaking process of introducing themselves to the world. Brand loyalty can still be a powerful thing in driving traffic and sales, but first consumers have to be aware that your brand exists and understand what makes it unique. Influencers with an established social media presence and a personal brand of their own can help greatly in showcasing your brand to an otherwise unaware audience. Continued influencer marketing efforts increase that audience’s likelihood of remembering your brand by name and checking it out for themselves.
Build trust & good reputation
Just as a person can be guilty by association, they can also be deemed trustworthy by association. More than ever, consumers (especially millennial and GenZ consumers) care about the authenticity and trustworthiness of a brand. This is one of the ways influencer marketing really shines over other marketing strategies. Influencers, especially micro-influencers, have a special relationship with their audience that brands cannot replicate. Much like consumers tend to trust the recommendations of their friends, family, and peers over the messaging of a brand, they also tend to trust the recommendations of influencers, either because they identify with those influencers or because they think of them as unbiased experts. Brands, on the other hand, have a vested interest in avoiding negative or even indifferent messaging about themselves. Consumers know that as a result, they cannot be sure of a brand’s honesty when they encounter a traditional advertisement.
Negate ad blocking
As of January 2017, about 22% of people aged 25-34 were using some kind of ad blocker program. Some browsers like Google Chrome even have built-in ad blocking software. The increased use of such programs means less reach for traditional advertisements. But an influencer’s sponsored content does not suffer from the same programs. Ad blocking software does not block content from influencers, even when the material relationship between influencer and brand is clearly disclosed. That’s a big advantage over traditional advertisements.
Work with algorithm changes instead of against them
Much like ad-blocking programs, the algorithms of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can have a big impact on the reach of branded content. For example, recent algorithm changes on Facebook decrease the visibility of content from brands while increasing the visibility of content posted by individuals. This makes influencers more powerful than before when it comes to marketing on these platforms. It’s not just consumers, but the social media platforms themselves that are prioritizing content that appears personal and authentic.
Influencer marketing is also a great way to improve SEO. In particular, it’s an easy way to engage in link-building. Getting influencers to link to your website, especially from a relevant blog, signals to Google that your site deserves to rank more highly in its search results. This can of course increase your traffic and brand awareness in turn.