Over a decade ago, influencer marketing was only limited to athletes, celebrities, and bloggers. Today, it seems that anyone with a large social media following can be labeled as an “influencer”. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies that has evolved at a rapid pace over the last decade and is expected to grow to be worth $9.7bn in 2020. The latest evolution, ambassador marketing, sees brands engaging customers to create content, provide reviews and suggest future product lines, all while putting the spotlight on authenticity.
What is Influencer Marketing?
influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers and individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche. Influencer marketing works because of the high amount of trust that influencers have built up with their following, and recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to your brand’s potential customers.
Influencer Marketing Isn’t Going Anywhere.
Social media influencers give brands a chance to connect with an audience authentically. For brands, the right influencer can help them reach a whole new audience and help them get away from stock photos and generic hashtags. Today’s viewers on social media platforms know the difference between a personal recommendation and an advertisement.
Influencer marketing is more than just beautiful people with a huge number of followers, there is also a strategy that goes behind it. Brands and influencers need to take a more strategic approach when it comes to establishing partnerships and ultimately, achieving goals. That’s why there’s been this rise in the use of micro and nano influencers over the Kylie Jenner types.
Why it’s Working
When used correctly, influencer marketing is more than a social media trend, but is a powerful tool for connecting with users. Influencers are basically the middleman between a brand and the end consumer, who values things like trust and transparency and feels confident in their purchase. In fact, a recent survey by Talkwalker found that nearly 70% of respondents indicated that influencer marketing is a top priority in the coming year.
How Can Businesses Leverage Influencers?
Move over old advertising, hello to influencer marketing! Brands are getting savvy about influencer marketing these days while incorporating strategy-driven data in order to receive ROI. You need to know exactly what type of influencer brings the most value to the table and drives your audience to make a purchase. Since the influencer space has become increasingly competitive, marketers need to identify the influencers that will best help them reach their target market. Before you launch an influencer campaign, you need to set some goals. What do you want the influencer to do for your brand? Just like Facebook advertising and boosted Instagram posts, you’ll want to approach influencer campaigns with an objective in mind.
Possible objectives include:
- Generate leads—measured by a number of opt-ins such as signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form.
- Increase awareness—Look at engagement rates, impressions, and the amount of content produced.
- Boost direct sales numbers—Track sales through custom links or unique discount codes that tie back to the campaign.
The Bottom Line
It’s worth noting that brands are using influencers more and more as a way to increase awareness rather than secure leads. Influencers are here to stay but how the world of influencer marketing looks and operates has changed at a rapid pace, and in two years may be drastically different from today. This guide will help you get started with building your strategy, and why it is important to implement influencer marketing if you’re looking to gain more exposure for your business. Remember that you should choose the influencer that will best fit your brand’s niche and have a solid strategy behind it.