You’ve probably been hearing a lot about influencer marketing lately. It’s a trend that’s been heating up steadily for the past few years, and one that a lot of brands are going to be investing in this year. In a survey by eMarketer, 48% of marketers reported that they expect to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2017. And it’s easy to see why that would be the case — there are some enticing benefits to working with influencers. Still not sure if influencer marketing is right for your brand? Read on to find out some of the key reasons to take advantage of this channel.
Reach a new audience
One of the most obvious benefits of influencer marketing is its ability to introduce your brand to new audiences. Regardless of how amazing your products are, or how thoughtful your content is, the chances of those products or that content being spontaneously discovered, are relatively slim. That’s why you invest in marketing, after all. Well at a basic level, influencer marketing is a way of having your products and content shared to a wider audience than the one you currently have access to.
Flashpoint Candles partnered with influencers, including @houseofsixinteriors (pictured below), to help increase brand awareness and engage followers with a giveaway.
In a survey by eMarketer, 89% of marketers engaged in influencer marketing reported that one of the benefits is the creation of authentic content for their brand. Why is that? As marketers, we all work hard to make our content and brand messages genuine and authentic. But there’s no denying that as consumers, we are inundated daily with marketing messages and we’ve become accustomed to tuning those messages out. Furthermore, try as we might, it’s not always possible to make our marketing messages feel or sound totally authentic. They’re marketing messages, after all, and users know that they serve a purpose. Influencer posts, on the other hand, come from a person as opposed to a brand, and there’s an added level of authenticity when a message is generated from a real person. Even though users know that influencers are compensated for their partnership (indeed, it’s an FTC requirement that this fact be disclosed), the implication is that an influencer would not agree to a partnership with a brand their values or aesthetic did not align with.
We’re all about thoughtful, curated, and engaging content — and hopefully you are too! Influencer marketing is a fruitful means of generating additional content for your brand. Ideally, the content your influencers create is in sync with your overall aesthetic and brand message, but it won’t look exactly the same as your branded post would, and that’s a good thing. Influencer posts add a bit of diversity to the content in your portfolio. Whenever possible, try to structure your agreements with influencers so that you can re-use some of the content they create. Whether it’s for creating a landing page on your website, or sharing via your own social channels, re-using influencer content is a way to make it work extra hard for you.
Below, Patagonia partners with ambassadors who represent different sports and outdoor activities. They feature each ambassador on their website:
Add a personal touch
An influencer post about your brand often has the effect of feeling like a personal recommendation. We all know that in terms of effectiveness in convincing someone to make a purchase, it doesn’t get better than word-of-mouth marketing. A post or mention from an influencer is pretty much as close as you can get to the level of trust generated by a word-of-mouth recommendation from an actual friend or acquaintance.
Consider Chevrolet for example. The brand partnered with spoken word artist, Prince Ea, to create an inspiring video.
Influencer marketing can feel a bit risky to brands who aren’t accustomed to relinquishing any creative control to outsiders. The key though is in finding the right influencers to work with and then negotiating mutually-beneficial agreements with them so that you know exactly what you’re getting beforehand. If you can do this, you’ll find that there are many benefits to working with influencers — from authenticity and that added personal touch, to the ability to reach a new audience and generate more content for your brand.