The idea of influence isn’t new. It has been around since there was more than one human on the planet. Marketing campaigns are regularly built around pressure to buy because your friend has something you don’t. While so much focus is on influencer marketing, a lot of people forget about everyday influencers.

Everyday influencers are brand ambassadors that absolutely love your brand, but they don’t come with a cult following. We’re talking about a loyal customer who talks about your brand in a positive way, not someone you’ve pitched to receive blogger reviews and coverage.

How it works

Social media and the internet have changed the way we see influence as consumers. We are all constantly connected and have access to opinions of other “normal” people just like us. In many cases, everyday influencers are credible experts within their group of friends – people who aren’t afraid to share opinions and expertise on certain subjects. We are bombarded with information and advertising all the time, so a review or a referral from a trusted source (aka a real person) can be invaluable.

You have put your blood, sweat, and tears into building your business, including a strong marketing strategy. Everyday influencers help to almost micro-segment your audience to build credibility and reach.

Reasons to use everyday influencers

#1: Makes you seem more human

While you have built a great brand, the reality is that people usually prefer to buy from people. Your everyday influencers are emotionally engaged with your brand, which means that when they tell your story, others will be drawn in.

#2: Build trust

You can talk about how great you are until the cows come home, but If someone else is talking about you, it’s more credible. Overall, people are more willing to listen to their friends than they are brands. Once your everyday influencers have made the first connection, the broader audience will be more willing to listen to what you have to say without thinking you are just trying to close a sale.

#3: Higher engagement

Once the trust is built up and people are listening to what you have to say, you have a greater chance of creating meaningful dialogue with your new customers. The goal should always be to build up a highly engaged customer community.

#4: New customers come to you

One of the hardest things can be to find new clients, so wouldn’t it be great if they just came to you? Word of mouth is more powerful than traditional ads. Someone has already done half of your job by recommending you and saying why you are so great. It either takes a bit of a nudge across the sales finish line or no effort on your part at all. A great example is L’Oreal’s recent Snapchat campaign. They used everyday influencers and sales of the specific product that was marketed rose 51%.

#5: Greater Transparency

Celebrity or blogger Influencer marketing should have its place in your marketing strategy, but sometimes there is a lack of transparency when it is a paid review, which can create a lack of trust among your intended target audience. Everyday influencers, or brand ambassadors, in their truest form are unpaid and can relate directly to your other customer base. In a world where scandal is just a click away, authenticity is key.

#6: Prolonged positivity about your brand

An ambassador will have no issues talking you up in the long-term, not just a review or an endorsement in a survey.

It’s time to identify who your everyday influencers are and tap into their power. You can’t go it alone. Everyday influencers are your army, and they don’t stop outside of business hours.

A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications Blog.