Influencer marketing has seen its fair share of criticism, and while some critics are spot on, others have grossly underestimated its importance. Despite its accessibility, many marketing teams are still hesitant to utilize influencer marketing in their strategies. However, with influencer marketing expected to become a $5-10 billion industry in the next five years, perhaps these marketing teams should reconsider.
Influencer marketing offers many advantages that can help your business model stabilize and grow. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught business owners anything, it’s that having a digital presence is crucial to success. The average time an adult spent on social media in 2012 was 90 minutes, which sky-rocketed to 126 minutes in 2016. Last year, adults spent an estimated 3 hours per day on social media. This spike is primarily due to the boredom and restlessness felt during quarantine and the sudden shift to working from home. Nonetheless, the way we consume content and make purchases has forever changed.
Here are some ways influencer marketing can help your brand shine.
On average, it takes five to seven impressions for people to remember your brand, meaning you need to make sure you consistently put your brand out there to your ideal audience. With so many competing brands on the market, this can be a challenge. One of the immediate benefits of using influencer marketing is an improvement in brand awareness.
Social media helps create brand awareness in ways other avenues do not. For example, banner ads were once a tool marketers used to promote their products or services. But audiences are now blind to this advertising method thanks to the plethora of banner and pop-up ads, which annoy users more as they entice them. The average click-through rate for display ads is only 0.06 percent.
Influencer marketing cuts through banner ad blindness by placing your brand where audiences notice it. A target audience that uses social media will get to know your brand, story, and the offerings you have.
Paid advertising has its limits. You pay for a certain amount of impressions, but the data used to target those audiences may be outdated and can render your campaign useless. One of the reasons influencer marketing has better ROI is because campaigns have the potential to go viral. While you may not see an instant spark in sales from one influencer, what that influencer is helping you achieve is that aforementioned brand awareness.
Shareable content promoted by an influencer can quickly attract attention over and over again, even once the post itself is weeks or months old. Fans will hop on over to the influencer’s profile to look through older posts, allowing your sponsored post to get more and more views. They tag their friends, save or screenshot the post for future reference, and they do it all without the pressure often felt with more traditional ads.
I mentioned earlier that you might not see an instant spike in sales with one influencer post. But the exposure can ultimately lead to sales. For example, roughly 40 percent of people say they made a purchase after seeing a social media influencer use the product or service. Another study found that over 85 percent of Gen Zers use social media to learn about new products.
While it may take some time for you to build brand awareness with the help of influencer marketing, be patient and keep in mind that your product or service is reaching the right people. Influencers expose audiences to new brands, and by aligning your brand with a trendsetting influencer, you show your company as an innovative leader.
Your choice of influencers will play a significant role in brand trust. But, first, you need to identify which influencers are relevant to your target audience and how they promote products. Next, you need to analyze their content quality and engagement rates.
The way an influencer promotes a product, the voice they use, and the honesty levels of their reviews are crucial to building trust with their audience. Ideally, the influencers you choose have built strong relationships with their fans and have established trust and credibility. Their fans respect their recommendations because they exert a degree of authority on the goods or services that they are supporting.
If the influencer you are working with has built that trust with their audience– your target audience– then they are more likely to feel they can trust your brand as well.
Consistently cranking out fresh and engaging content is no easy feat for any marketing team. But an influencer can help move your content creation process along. You can team up with an influencer to create high-quality and aesthetically pleasing content for your audience. And you, in turn, can share the content the influencer has created, allowing for a fresh and consistent stream of content to your own platforms.
If influencer marketing isn’t already high on your marketing strategy priorities, it’s time to reconsider. Don’t let your brand get left behind in the digital age. Instead, do your due diligence, hire a professional influencer marketing manager if needed, and get started now.