Sit up, take notice and get connected, because Influencer Marketing is here to stay
Influencer Marketing is one of the most powerful ways to share your brand’s message, by using people who your audience already trust: individuals with immense personal reach and reader engagement. They make your brand the talking point of their conversations. It’s engaging. It’s credible. And it’s real.
People trust people.
When Aunt Zelda recommends the bistro on 7th Avenue, you know it’s worth checking out. When your best friend raves about a book she read and loved, you know it’ll grab you too. This is the power of personal persuasion and it can be harnessed by savvy brands.
Influencers can be incorporated into marketing strategies and play a pivotal role in how the brand is shaped and portrayed on social media. They can run an effective word-of-mouth campaign which starts conversations and, if done well, gets people talking about the brand across multiple platforms and markets.
So why use it?
Well, it’s not a growing trend just because it sounds nice. A McKinsey study found that word-of-mouth-inspired marketing delivers 37% greater customer retention rates and twice the sales when compared with paid advertising.
Furthermore, RhythmOne data shows that the average earned media value (EMV) of Influencer Marketing programmes in the United States were 1.4 times higher in the first half of 2015 than in 2014 altogether.
Add to this the fact that a Schlesinger Associates study found that 81% of marketers believe that influencer engagement is effective; that 92% of consumers say they trust earned media such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, and you’re onto a winner.
The flip side shows exactly why Influencer Marketing is growing in popularity at such a rapid rate. Brands are in desperate need of that next big breakthrough because consumers aren’t listening to the usual marketing channels anymore.
The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 B2B and B2C Content Marketing Trend report revealed some sobering facts towards the end of last year. It found that although 78% of brands increased the content they produced, engagement with the brand dropped by 60%.
According to the report brand-generated content had the lowest engagement rates on social media. Improvements in ad-blocking technology, which consumers are readily adopting, are lowering brand reach as ads are stopped before they are even seen.
So, it’s pretty obvious why Influencer Marketing is enjoying such a strong and loyal following, while yielding impressive results in value and return on investment. And it’s not just for the chosen few or the lucky guy who happened to launch a campaign at just the right time (although that always works).
It’s ideal for any brand which is ready to engage with influencers using a clear brand strategy, an authentic voice and consistent messaging.
A robust Influencer Marketing strategy will know when to amplify your content, build credibility around your brand, reach new audiences, create and share relevant content and influence the path to purchase.
Now you just need to figure out which influencers are right for you and connect with them in the right ways.