Gone are the days of traditional marketing where companies would only rely on billboards, commercials, and print ads to get their message out there. In today’s digital world, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition as more and more companies are vying for attention, even more so with the advent of social media. That’s why businesses have to adapt marketing strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
One such strategy that has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years is influencer marketing. But what exactly is it? How does it work? And why is it so effective? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing at its simplest form is a collaborative partnership between a brand and individual(s) with influential pull over a group of people. Influencer endorsements carry more weight and can influence their followers’ purchasing decisions compared to more traditional marketing tactics due to the relationships and trust they create. Like any good marketing tactic, its primary purpose is to reach more customers and ultimately increase revenue. But rather than employ more traditional marketing channels like email and direct mail, marketers can leverage influential people for endorsements and product mentions to help increase brand awareness, boost reach, and improve sales.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Now that we know what influencer marketing is, let’s understand how it works. There are four main steps in the influencer marketing process:
- Taking an “Audience-First” approach: The first step is identifying who your audience is. After you identify and understand your audience, you can then identify the influencers (both micro and macro) they actively engage with.
- Reaching out to influencers: You now know your audience and the influencers they engage with, the next step is to reach out and evaluate if the partnership is a good fit for your brand. When reaching out, it’s important to be clear about expectations and what you have to offer the influencer like compensation, free products, or exclusive access.
- Working with influencers: Your influencer partnerships have been secured and now it’s time to start working with them involving anything from a post about your brand on social media to writing a blog post or article featuring your product or service.
- Tracking and measuring results: The final step is to track and measure the results of your influencer campaign. This will help you determine whether or not your influencer marketing efforts are successful and enable you to optimize your strategies accordingly.
There are plenty of tools and platforms available that help facilitate this process, from selecting the right influencers to measuring impact.
Why Is Influencer Marketing So Effective?
Now that we know what influencer marketing is and how it works, you might wonder why it is so effective. Here are a few reasons:
It’s more trustworthy.
People are more likely to trust recommendations from people they know than commercials from brands or faceless corporations. When people see that someone they respect and engage with is talking about your brand, they’re more likely to trust your brand as well. It is a word-of-mouth marketing strategy at scale.
It’s more targeted.
Another great thing about influencer marketing is that it allows you to target a specific audience. Traditional advertising methods, such as TV or print ads, may reach a large audience but it is likely that only a small percentage of them will be in the market for your product or service. With influencer marketing, you’re targeting people who are part of a more niche community and when you select the right influencer partnerships, these audiences are more likely to convert into customers.
It’s more personal.
Influencer marketing is also effective because it’s a more personal form of marketing. If an influencer mentions your brand, it feels like a personal recommendation instead of a commercial. This is because these influencers can make relatable content that their followers can connect with on a personal level.
It’s more engaging.
You can make use of a variety of different content formats to engage with your target audience through influencer marketing. For example, you can write articles, post photos on Instagram, upload videos to YouTube, or collab with Tiktok influencers. This wide range of options allows you to choose what suits your brand best, making influencer marketing more engaging and thus more effective.
It’s cost-effective (sometimes).
Influencer marketing can be one of the most cost-effective methods to reach your audience depending on the partnership. If budget is an issue, you can select from multiple micro influencers, offer free products, or exclusive access in return for their endorsement.
Indeed, influencer marketing really works! Influencers have taken over as today’s trendsetters. By partnering with the right individuals, you can reach your target audience in a more authentic, trustworthy way that will lead to improved sales and ROI for your business.
But as with any marketing strategy, influencer marketing requires careful planning and execution to succeed. If you’re thinking of incorporating influencers into your marketing mix, be sure to do your research and choose the right partners for your brand.
Curious how StatSocial can allow you to take an audience-first approach to influencer discovery and more accurately measure impact? Schedule a demo today.
Guest blog by Bash Sarmiento