In marketing, the power of influence knows no bounds. Having a celebrity put in a good word about your product or services is guaranteed to rake in sales regardless of the medium or the technology used. And social media has taken the power of influence into a whole new level.
However, consumers have become smarter and more skeptical toward marketing techniques to the point that they can instantly spot a fake endorser. Audiences now crave for a more intimate connection with the celebrities they look up to.
A study by Forbes showed that audience engagement slows down as soon as a media public figure reaches the 100,000-follower count. This shows that people prefer to interact with someone who is more grounded and relatable instead of with a public figure who wouldn't have time to connect personally to a massive crowd of followers.
Influencer marketing takes a huge chunk of a company's marketing budget because it is a genuine and non-intrusive way of connecting with consumers. Huge brands have continuously recognized the importance of influencer marketing as 2017 showed a rise in the use of social media influencers by as much as 198%. Getting recommended by the right endorser provides a company with a powerful, direct line to its target consumers. Here are some points on why you should still include influencer marketing in your 2019 marketing plans.
Influencers help your brand reach out to your target audience
When you employ influencer marketing you remove the need to set aside an additional budget to identify your core audience. As long as you choose the right influencer who has already nurtured your target audience on social media, your brand automatically gets a front row seat to the followers who are already interested in your niche market.
This also takes advantage of the fact that audiences spend a lot of time on social media. If an influencer features your product in one of their social platforms, it creates an instant connection with audiences on sites the influencer spends the most time on.
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It enhances brand awareness
Influencer marketing can exponentially expand your reach and enhance your brand positioning online. Influencers often act as the driving force behind movements and ground-breaking ideas. A mere mention by a social media influencer can expose yo ur brand to new users.
Additionally, most influencers possess the creativity to weave a story into your brand and naturally introduce your identity and the solutions you offer. Hiring a trendsetting influencer to promote your brand can even show that your company is an innovative leader.
Influencer marketing provides value to your brand and influences purchasing decisions
Influencer marketing embraces the concept of delivering content that educates, inspires and provides solutions. This aligns with the values of social media influencers whose goals are to provide content that is valuable to their audiences. Influencers are already in tune with the needs of their audiences and they want to ensure that thy create content that attracts users to their channels.
Online influencers can also drive your sales since consumers constantly look up to influencers for advice on what products and services to purchase. A Twitter study showed that roughly 40% of respondents purchase a product after they found out that a social media influencer uses it. Furthermore, according to Bluecore, 85% of millennials discover new products through social media.
It builds consumer's trust
People respect the content and recommendation of social media influencers and this sense of connection and trust can also affect your branding strategy. Influencers spend years building relationships and credibility with their fans.
Influencers are also regarded as experts by their legion of followers. Once a brand is mentioned by an influencer it creates instant credibility for the company and promotes trustworthiness. This even becomes more powerful in niche markets where an industry expert is looked up as an authoritative figure. Once an influencer shares your content it creates a powerful brand recognition.
It can fill in the gaps in your content strategy
Influencers can improve your marketing strategy and fill in the gaps in your own content. Running out of ideas to put out on your own social media platforms? Then let a social media influencer do that for you. In fact, working with a number of influencers will guarantee that you'll never run out of quality content to publish and push to your audience. Companies can help you reach out to several social media influencers who can create engaging content for you.
Influencer marketing can also cut through advertising blindness, the tendency of online users to ignore banner ads on websites and social media. Banner ads used to be the prime method of online advertising, but several software and browsers have been developed to stop them entirely. Influencer marketing creates an opportunity to cut through this ad blindness and provide a non-intrusive way of advertising – by placing your brand among natural, native content.
Builds a winning partnership and a valuable marketing network
Connecting with an influencer doesn't end with just the content sharing. It can open opportunities for live events and joint-projects that a social media influencer may concoct in the future. Influencer marketing can create a long-term marketing strategy for any brand while you grow together.
Content made by influencers has unlimited sharing potential as well. Unlike a paid advertising that has a limited reach and timeframe shareable content provided by an influencer can attract attention repeatedly, especially if it goes viral. This establishes a wide and permanent audience reach at a lower cost than traditional marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing is stronger than ever
It has been almost a decade since social media sites took over and changed the online marketing landscape for good. Influencer marketing, no matter what form it takes, remains a relevant and important strategy in building brand recognition and raising sales going into 2019 and beyond.