Influencer marketing is the word on everyone’s lips nowadays. In a world where customers are bombarded left and right by advertising in many forms, many have developed a blind spot for traditional advertising methods.
But there is one method that does and will always continue to work, social proof. People tend to naturally trust the opinion of people they know and one trusted person vouching for a product can have a greater effect than a thousand advertising campaigns. And that is the main principle behind influencer marketing, harnessing the influence of trusted figures to promote and bring awareness to new products and brands. But what is influencer marketing exactly and how can your business benefit from it?
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing uses the power and influence of popular figures with strong followings on social media. Businesses will showcase their products and services to influencers and they will then market the products to their audience. With this strategy, businesses rely on the sway and persuasion of influencers to create awareness of their products or services. The personalities used in this form of marketing gain their market influence through popularity, reputation, and expertise.
Businesses have used celebrities for years to market their products. When celebrities use certain products or services, their followers develop trust in those brands. Bloggers with a large following are also among the most preferred influencers. Business owners are now putting more and more effort into marketing their products to key influencers before marketing them to their target clients.
The first step in this marketing strategy is to identify key leaders in your industry or region that can help you drive brand awareness. The influencers must have a large number of loyal followers, preferably in your target market. The next step is to develop organic relationships with the influencers. You need to proactively reach out to the influencers and request them to be your brand advocates.
After establishing the relationships, you need to create a marketing campaign specifically for the leaders and their audience. The leaders will use the campaign to drive awareness of your products or services to a wider audience. Create content that is easy and convenient to share, especially on social platforms. Most influencers rely on social media to connect with their followers. If possible, create content that influencers can integrate into their social media accounts. Measure the results of the campaigns to determine if you need to change your content or strategy in identifying influencers.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
1. Generating New Leads
If you choose the right influencer, you’ll be able to build your visibility and increase awareness in your target market fast. The key is to choose influencers that are relevant to your target audience. You’ll generate high-quality leads fast if the influencers represent your brand well. Influencers will market your brand effectively if they believe in your products or services. Give them free samples of your products so that they can test and appreciate their quality. As the influencers share the information about your products and their quality, you will get new leads from their followers. You can then apply the appropriate strategies to turn the leads into repeat buyers.
2. Reaching New and Wider Markets
Marketing through key leaders allows you to reach new markets that would be difficult to reach with traditional marketing methods. Even with the current wave of social media marketing, personalising your message for different audiences can be difficult and reaching people outside your network of loyal customers can harder still. Some key leaders attract followers of different ages, occupations, and locations on their social platforms. Some have global influence that can help you reach new clients in other countries. One post or share about your business from a powerful influencer can reach thousands of potential buyers.
3. Improved Lead Conversion Rates
Influencer marketing does not only allow you to generate new quality leads, but also improve your conversion rates. Identifying a key leader to promote your brand or products does not automatically mean that your sales will increase. You must combine the strategy with other incentives for this new audience if you want to turn them into customers. One common strategy that businesses use is to give influencers discount codes. Buyers get a discount for buying specific products that the influencer promotes while the influencer gets a commission for every sale. This allows you to monitor the results of your campaign better by tracking conversion rates through discount codes.
4. Building Trust in Your Target Audience
One of the greatest challenges for startups and small businesses is building trust with their potential clients. Most people trust established brands and will rarely buy products from unknown brands. Influencers play a key role in helping small and new businesses build trust in the presence of established brands in the same market. Clients will develop trust in the brand simply because the influencer believes in it.
You’ll also have to think beyond merely promoting your products to win the trust of your target audience. For instance, you can work with the influencer to support a cause or community project that is important to the target audience. The influencer will then help raise awareness of your company’s contribution to the cause.
5. Higher Search Engine Ranking
Gaining maximum visibility is essential in the current digital world. Many businesses use influencers to boost their online presence and search engine rankings. Influential bloggers can be a great tool for improving search engine ranking.
A higher ranking on the search engines translates into more visibility for your brand and eventually more customers. You can achieve this through inbound links from key influencers, especially high-ranking blogs. High-quality organic links from influencer websites are a great way to improve your rankings on search engines. However, you’ll need to be persistent, proactive, and strategic to get as many influencers to link back to your business website.
As a business owner, you must be flexible and open to new ways of marketing your products or services to your target audience. Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful and cost effective ways to bring awareness to your brand. It allows brands to bypass traditional marketing methods and benefit from the trust and close relationship influencers have with their following, allowing you to reach new markets and audiences you could never reach before.