Here’s a look at what influencer marketing is, and how it can help you grow your business in 2019.
Put simply, influencer marketing is the use of key brand social media advocates to push your business and products in order to gain a bigger market share. Although influencer marketing has been around for a while, the concept as a marketing strategy has only gained traction in the past few years, perhaps given the growth of technology in recent times. The strategy involves identifying people with huge social followings and influence over your target market and asking them to promote your business. These can include anyone from a journalist, YouTube personality, Instagram or Twitter bigwig, or a third party such as a manufacturer or retailer.
So is this worth trying out? Indeed. Businesses receive $7.65 USD in media value for every dollar they spend on influencer promotion.
Today’s customers are nothing like their past counterparts. They do not believe things just because they are on the radio, TV, or billboards. Customers today re keen on learning about a company before building trust with them. Simply, the concept of influencer marketing rides and thrives on the premise that a person is more likely to believe influencer opinions as compared to a corporate ad. For this reason, this industry has become quite popular and will likely reach $10 billion USD by 2020.
Promoting businesses through influential individuals on social media is also increasingly becoming an effective technique due to the increasing shift from outbound to an inbound marketing campaign.
Though people might find it old-fashioned, nothing promotes a brand better than a powerful message. Many customers will trust what they’ve heard about a product or service before making a buying decision. This trait goes to show that promoting a business through influential people on various platforms stands a better chance of pushing your brand as compared to newspaper, magazine, or TV ads.
“Given that 92% of customers trust online word-of-mouth suggestions and reviews compared to 33% who trust online banner advertisements, it gives much reason as to why businesses spend between $25,000 to $50,000 on influencers,” says Barry Smith, a Project Manager at Skillroads.
Surveys conducted by the Pew Center concluded that 65%, 35%, and 24% of people online use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in America alone. Therefore, this means that influential people on social media hold much more power in swaying the opinion of customers on such platforms. Businesses that partner with the right influencers can easily create conversations that resonate with their target audience.
When an influential social media personality recommends your business, it easy to make considerable gains from their large social media following.
After all is said and done, you want to know how you can cooperate with online brand ambassadors effectively. So, the first thing you ought to know is which of the three types of influencers will work for your business: mavens, connectors or brand advocates.
Mavens are the customers who use the services and then share their experiences with their followers on the internet. These individuals are responsible for generating useful insights that influence consumer trends.
Connectors help you build networks with a wide range of people on social media. They can help give your product exceptional reach as they are excellent in word-of-mouth promotion.
Brand advocates, or salespeople, are the influencers with a level of charisma who can play all these roles and really help you promote your new business.
If you know what you want, it is better to have laser-focused business promotion strategies. For instance, if you have a product that is tech-forward, a maven can do the job for you more effectively. If you are selling an online course, a brand advocate or salesperson can come in handy as you need someone who can convince people to purchase your product without having to be too subtle. Finally, connectors are useful for promoting businesses dealing in products or services aimed at making life more comfortable or for fulfilling specific needs.
Before working with influencers, review their social media reach, the audience they appeal to, and how they engage their audience.
Just like any other healthy relationship, your cooperation with your social media ambassador ought to be mutually beneficial. The influencer marketing strategy works best if all of you stand to make gains from your interaction. Worth noting is that a survey by Linqia concluded that 39% of businesses were open to increasing their influencer marketing budget in 2018.
It is, therefore, vital that you take working with influencers as an investment. By paying for their positive reviews, you are giving your business a chance to grow and earn good marketing ROI. Worth noting is that while it is true that 69.4% of influencers want monetary compensation, money is not the only way to compensate them. There are different ways to do it such as offering commissions on converted sales, giving free samples and discounts, and allowing them their creative freedom when promoting your business on social media.
As you read this article, you might have been wondering if you can join the team of influencers out there and promote your business on your own. Yes, it is entirely possible for you to become an influencer! Given that many businesses find it difficult to reach the right influencers, it makes sense to want to become one for your company. Luckily, the internet has made it easy to connect with influencers from all over the world who can mentor you on best practices. Alternatively, there are also plenty of useful articles online that provide tips on how to become an effective social media brand ambassador for your product or service.
All in all, influencer marketing is a single marketing strategy that can help you reach a wider audience to promote your business. But remember, as you go about this strategy, it is important to proceed wisely in order to reap most benefits. For instance, you should never work with influencers on a single social media platform alone. This means although Instagram is the number one platform for 92% of influencers, you should not limit your business promotion strategies to this particular platform.
And most importantly, always set a budget. It is easy to go overboard with this approach as different influencers and strategies will appeal to you in some way. The bottom line is to stick to your budget and always to track your ROI.
About the author
Alice Berg is a blogger and career advisor, who helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people to prepare for their careers. You can find Alice on Twitter and Facebook.