Media consumption has changed drastically in recent years. Much of the change can be credited to the rise of social media. Global internet users spend roughly 135 minutes, on average, surfing social media networks daily. This has prompted brands to utilize that time and screen space to promote their services on social media.
Let’s be honest, the internet has changed the way brands go about their marketing campaigns. Traditional advertisements just don’t generate the sales they used to. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, does.
Social influencers have created a following for themselves in their niche, by doing things their own way. They’ve become a voice of reason and trust and they’re able to cut through the noise of commercials and connect with consumers. Their way of doing things is unique to themselves yet universal in its appeal.
Let’s take a look at the impact working with social media influencers can have on your brand:
1. Engage your Target Audiences
By being their true selves, influencers are able to engage their audiences through authentic storytelling. Influencers have gotten to the positions they are in by being honest and often humorous with their content. This is why their audiences look to them for inspiration and recommendations.
One of the biggest benefits of influencers is that they tell an authentic story about your brand. And we’re not talking about simply engaging your existing audience. Social media influencers can also help you penetrate circles you’d find difficult to otherwise. For example, as a startup or small business, chances are that not a lot of people have heard about you. Which is why they may be reluctant to try your products.
Partnering with micro-influencers will help you create a buzz about your products or services. That’s exactly what Sperry did when they partnered with 100 different micro-influencers. They identified fans who were already sharing high-quality photos of their products and invited them to raise the roof.
A great way to establish some street cred is to work with prominent influencers from your niche. By speaking on your behalf, they verify your credibility among the demographics you’re targeting. 42% of online customers find recommendations from people they know influential. Considering this, it’s critical your brand establishes some credibility among audiences to help drive sales.
The best way to help you do that is to collaborate with influencers who are already using and loving your products and services. Get in touch with them, and have them publish content such as product reviews on social media. 23% of shoppers are typically influenced by reviews and recommendations on social media.
Trust takes a long time to establish. And that’s exactly what influencers have. They’ve already invested time to earn consumers’ trust and loyalty. As a brand, there’s no better way for you gain that same trust than to have those influencers vouch for you.
Let’s look at YouTube sensation, The Deal Guy, to help establish this point. An Amazon affiliate, he frequently promotes, reviews, and recommends their products through his videos.
The one thing that all website owners want is a good search engine ranking. According to a Google Executive, the top two factors used for rankings are content and the links pointing to your site. Both of which your influencers can help you with.
To put it simply - the quality, freshness, authenticity, and relevance of your content play a significant role in your search rankings.
A great example of this is the social media takeover campaign Luke Evans did for Disney. Disney wanted to promote Beauty and the Beast. Luke took over the brand’s Instagram account and regularly posted photos from the movie premiere.
When links to your website are shared by reputable and credible sites, search engines will rank you higher. Partnering with influencers will help build organic and high-value backlinks for your site and landing pages.
But this is a moot point unless you don’t find and work with the right influencers. It’s here that tools such as Grin can help you. Besides helping you find the right people (based on metrics like outreach and engagement), Grin can help you manage your campaigns as well.
Image via Grin
4. Better Leads and Conversions
Good influencers always have a niche, on the basis of which they create content. Considering them to be experts in their niche, their followers put their trust in the influencer’s recommendations. By working with the right people, you can improve brand awareness in relevant markets.
This way you’re reaching out to the people who are more likely to be interested in your products and services. You can get in touch with influencers from your industry, and send them free samples of your products. Asking them to try them out and post reviews about them. Be sure to tell them the benefits of your products so that they can share them with their followers.
Influencer marketing doesn’t just generate better, more relevant leads. It also has the potential to improve your conversion rates. To give consumers that extra nudge to make a purchase, you can have your influencers provide them with a unique discount code or coupon.
Daniel Wellington, the Swedish watch company illustrates this well. As part of their campaigns, the send free watches to select influencers on Instagram. All influencers had to do was post a picture of the watch, and use the hashtag #danielwellington. They even offered a 15% discount on their watches with special discount codes.
Social media influencers have helped the company grow from a small startup into an established brand. In the screenshot below, you can see Kath, from “she.turns.pages,” promoting the brand on Instagram.
Yet another impact social media influencers have on your business is improving your return on investment. First off, social influencer marketing is relatively inexpensive in comparison to traditional paid media. In fact, a study by Bloglovin’ found that most Instagram micro-influencers charge less than $250 for a brand post.
And Statista reported that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, it returns $11.69. Apart from the obvious monetary returns, influencer marketing also has high returns when it comes to earned media value. Much of this can be attributed to factors like sharing and publicity.
Influencer marketing is especially great for startups or small businesses with tight marketing budgets. Not only can it help you save your marketing dollars, it can also help you connect more intimately and authentically with your target audience.
Take Jacob True, the travel-blogger, who’s brilliant photos easily fetch up to 1000 likes.
Decades ago, companies would pay for ads on radio programs. In exchange, they’d get a few promotional words aired on the radio. Marketing has come a long way since then. The landscape may have changed dramatically, but there are opportunities aplenty for those looking in the right places.
Influencer marketing can deliver impressive results and help you grow your brand. This list of of different ways social media influencers can impact your brand can help you decide whether it’s right for you. If you think there are are other ways in which influencers can benefit your business, please leave a comment below.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.