The world of marketing continues to change and marketing professionals are changing their tactics as well. Simply, today’s consumers no longer look to brands to make purchase decisions, but rather to their peers. It’s a dramatic shift and one that creates great marketing opportunities — if deployed correctly.
Nielsen finds 92 percent of consumers around the world trust earned media (recommendations from friends and family, word-of-mouth and organic media coverage) above all other forms of marketing. This is where influencer marketing comes in. Utilizing influencers allows your brand to tap into their audience by using relatable people and content.
While influencers aren’t exactly in your audience’s inner circle, the influencers that most audiences engage with are ones they feel most closely aligned to. Influencers are often so ingrained in the consumer’s life that they do not make much of a distinction between a real life acquaintance and their favorite Instagram star.
Influence is described as the sum of the number of followers and the brand affinity (i.e, how much credibility and expertise an Influencer is perceived to have). Keeping this in mind, there are a few things to think about when deciding to take the leap into influencer marketing for your clients and their brands.
Five key things to know about influencer marketing
1. Who you choose matters – influence is more than just the number of followers someone has. You want to be sure the influencer engages with their audience and provides a valuable content experience for their followers beyond just pushing out a post.
2. Marketing that induces consumer-to-consumer word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sale of paid advertising. Of those that were acquired through word-of-mouth, brands have a 37 percent higher retention rate.
3. Alignment between your brand and an influencer is key. Seeking influencers that will appeal to your audience and uphold your brand tenants is paramount for success.
4. Influencers can cut through the advertising clutter and talk directly to the audience. Consumers see hundreds of ads a day and we are becoming immune as a result. Influencers help to take the marketing speak out of the equation and talk to their audience like a peer or friend.
5. Influencer marketing is a long-term strategy. Building relationships with influencers will help increase engagement and exposure over time and strong influencer relationships help create lasting content partnerships.
The addition of influencer activations to any marketing plan can help create new relationships with consumers, diversify content for your brand and increase engagement. Take the dive and see for yourself.
Hannah Tooker is the senior content manager at Santy. She prides herself on building brands by fostering meaningful relationships with audiences through serving relevant content with thoughtful promotion.