Influencer marketing is the process of promoting and selling products or services through individuals capable of driving action from your target audience.
Influencers share the values of a brand and their customers, bridging the gap between both entities. While influencer marketing is highly popular lately, it isn’t new. Influencers in the form of athletes, celebrities, and even political leaders have driven conversions for decades.
Today, businesses in every industry leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Approximately 86% of marketers used the strategy in 2017, and 92% found it useful.
The benefits of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is an “inbound” form of advertising. This means that the strategy draws leads and customers to you, rather than asking your company to seek them out. Influencer marketing has grown more popular now that 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations, compared to only 33% that trust banner ads. Influencer marketing leads to:
- Increased return on investment: Companies of every size see positive results from influencer marketing. This form of advertising produces up to $11.69 in earned media value for every $1 spend.
- More conversions: 22% of marketers say that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing channel for customer acquisition.
- Enhanced brand reputation: Because your target audience already values and respects your influencers, their opinion of your business improves when you connect with the right people. The “halo effect” gives companies instant credibility.
- Authenticity: Choosing relevant influencers for your marketing encourages raw and genuine connections with your audience. Influencer messages are more authentic and believable than standard ad copy.
- Better audience targeting: Influencer marketing can be as niche or broad as your company desires. Additionally, there’s no need to worry about ad blockers, because influencer marketing is native.
Tips for better influencer marketing
Influencer marketing campaigns start when businesses establish connections with people who motivate and inspire their customers. Influencers come in the form of industry thought leaders, micro-influencers, and celebrities. No matter who your brand chooses to connect with, remember to:
- Approach influencers with caution: Choose someone who fits both with your business vision, and the needs of your audience. Build relationships with influencers by sharing their content and commenting on their posts before you request a partnership.
- Follow the rules: Before diving into influencer marketing, examine the standards established by the Federal Trade Commission. Disclosure guidelines must be set into the agreements you establish with influencers. For instance, influencers are required to highlight sponsored posts.
- Give up some creative control: While brand guidelines and support are essential for influencers, they also need some room to thrive creatively. Social media influencers work hard to build their following and will want to keep their tone and approach consistent.
- Promote influencer posts: Always share the content your influencer creates on your own social media channels. The more you highlight your collaboration, the better the results for you and your influencer.
- Measure results: Track the outcomes of your influencer campaigns. Don’t just focus on vanity metrics like comments and likes. Set a goal for your campaign and list KPIs to measure.