The world of marketing is constantly evolving. With the rise in social media and the nearly unlimited access to consumers through cell phones, brands no longer solely rely on traditional advertising methods like commercials and billboards to reach their audiences. Enter influencer marketing: ‘the practice of engaging with target customers not only by leveraging mass media but also by partnering with influential people already active in relevant communities.’
Influencer marketing has been around for a while, but it’s becoming increasingly important as brands realize that you can’t simply throw money at your problems. No matter how much money you spend on TV ads or magazine spreads, if you’re not getting your products into the hands of people who care about them (and will show off the fact that they have them), you’re doing it wrong. Influencer marketing isn’t just for big brands, either—smaller companies do better with this type of outreach, and influencers are more likely to respond to small businesses looking for help.
The following are ways on how influencer marketing can elevate your brand:
1) Show Authenticity
One of the best ways to truly connect with your audience is to show them you’re not just in it for the money. With influencer marketing, authenticity is vital. People don’t want to hear about how excellent your product is from someone they don’t know—they want to hear about it from a trusted source they already admire. This can be a celebrity endorser or an everyday citizen who uses and loves your products, but make sure that whoever you choose to promote your brand aligns with what you do and speaks authentically about why they chose your specific company over others in the marketplace.
2) It’s More Cost-Effective
Influencer marketing does indeed involve spending some cash on partnerships with people who already have large followings—but it can be a much more cost-effective way to advertise than buying ads on the radio, in magazines, and on TV. Why? Because influencers typically share your product with their following instead of actively pitching them something they may not want to buy. This makes it very easy for your brand message to spread organically throughout social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter without too much additional effort on your part.
3) It’s More Personal
The whole point is to encourage those who use and love your products to speak directly to others about why they made that choice—and what better way is there for a customer to communicate their satisfaction with a purchase than by showing off a picture? When someone posts a photo of themselves using your product, they’re also telling their followers about it—which is especially helpful if the influencer has a large following. You have to make sure your products are present in these photos and hope that the exposure leads to more sales.
4) It Can Strengthen Your Brand’s Image
Let’s say your company sells t-shirts. If one of your customers owns several t-shirts from you, then posts an Instagram photo wearing all of them at once, that tells others who see the picture that not only do you produce high-quality shirts, but they can go out and buy even more! This type of endorsement helps strengthen your brand image as reliable and desirable, encouraging other consumers to buy your products.
5) You Can Focus On Different Avenues
Influencer marketing isn’t just for social media—it can also be done through podcasts, blogs, and even TV appearances! As long as you have someone who’s established themselves in a field related to yours, they can be considered an influencer. The benefits are the same no matter what platform they use to interact with their audience.
6) It Builds Trust With Your Audience
According to Forbes, “when consumers trust a brand message from another individual more than the brand itself, there’s huge potential.” This means that if people are already listening to what their favorite influencers have to say about various brands, then it may be that much easier for them to hear when you come along and want to sing your company’s praises.
7) It Empowers the People w/o Reaching Everyone
This is a particularly great option for companies with a particular audience they’re trying to reach. For example, if you’re a women’s clothing company that caters to petite customers, enlisting influencer marketing from small women rather than average-sized ones will allow your brand message to be heard.
In conclusion, when someone is already willing to promote your product, that means they like it enough to actively seek out opportunities where they can share their experiences with others. This not only leads to a stronger connection between them and your brand—which makes future sales more likely—but it also gives them a sense of pride in having a hand in helping a company succeed. They become loyal customers who feel invested in your success since you’ve acknowledged them by allowing them to be involved with promoting you.