Influencer marketing continues to be on the rise. In 2017, 86% of marketers used it, according to this report by Linqia. Not only that, the number of Google searches for the term “influencer marketing” increased by over 1500% in the last three years.
So what does this mean? If you’re still not leveraging the power of influencer marketing, you’re definitely missing out on a lot of opportunities. In this post, I’ll show you how brands have capitalized on this secret weapon to grow in leaps and bounds, and how you can do the same.
Now, let’s get started.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing has been around for a while. Formerly, it took the form of celebrity endorsements. Today, it revolves around the idea of a modern-day, content-driven marketing campaign. With influencer marketing, you collaborate with a social media influencer to strengthen your brand’s reputation and increase your brand’s visibility. If you can execute it correctly, you’ll definitely win more customers and make more money. Most people see influencer marketing as something that’s only for large brands with huge budgets. Contrary to this belief, it isn’t too expensive at all. You can easily find influencers who will work with your brand depending on your budget size.
There are a wide variety of influencers with varying rates. These rates depend on factors like audience size and vertical. According to influence.co, you won’t have to spend more than $300 per sponsored post if you work with micro-influencers with less than 100,000 followers.
Why Influencer Marketing Matters for Brands
You might be wondering why influencer marketing is so popular among brands these days. Why is everyone leveraging the power of influencer marketers to grow? Here are some reasons why this strategy is a big deal for most brands these days.
1. It Helps Increase Brand Engagement Through Storytelling
If you’ve been following the growth of brands through content marketing, you’ll probably know that storytelling plays a critical role. When it comes to influencer marketing, it becomes even more prominent. This is because influencers understand their fans and know what to tell them so as to keep them engaged.
A report by TapInfluence showed that about 71.2% of influencers believe that their sense of humor and honesty helps to keep their audiences engaged. And this is why influencers have mastered the art of authentic storytelling. This authenticity leads to an engaged audience. An engaged audience is easier to win over and convert into paying customers.
2. It Makes Brand Sentiment More Pronounced
Most buyers have a specific feeling about the products they use. This is why brands strive to create a positive brand image in the minds of their consumers. By working with influencers, it becomes much easier to create a positive sentiment for your brand. A study by RhythmOne showed that by using influencer marketing for two or more weeks, brands witnessed an 8.73% increase in positive brand sentiment. By infusing genuine positive sentiment, influencers have the ability to portray brands in a positive light.
3. It Leads to a High Return on Investment
ROI means a lot to brands and this is why influencer marketing means a lot to them. With influencer marketing, you’re sure to have a high return on investment, regardless of your budget.
In a recent survey, 89% of marketers say that they get comparable or higher ROI from influencer marketing compared to other channels. Not only that, the RhythmOne study cited earlier also indicated that influencer marketing generates high returns in terms of earned media value (EMV). This is the value that is associated with factors such as social sharing, publicity, and organic digital media exposure.
In summary, influencer marketing helped advertisers to generate at least $11.69 in EMV for every dollar they spent. This shows how much brands gain by leveraging influencer marketing and why it makes sense business-wise.
Examples of Brands that Used Influencer Marketing as a Secret Weapon
As you can see, influencer marketing is a strategy that brands have been capitalizing on for a while. You might also want to know how these brands use influencer marketing in reality. Well, here are some of the ways brands use influencer marketing in different industries.
As part of its strategy to boost their share in the female sports apparel market by 2020, Adidas assembled a team of women social media influencers. The reason is simple. The German brand understands the people they are trying to target. Their audience (who are mostly female) follow a specific kind of influencers on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
So, what did they do?
They put together a team of 25 influencers to work with them on a regular basis. These influencers include athletes, models, authors, coaches, and personal trainers. With this strategy, the brand is set to grow their share of the women’s sports market.
2. Colgate Optic
This 209-year-old company was able to witness a 1116% increase in brand interest by using influencer marketing. The company realized that millennials have shorter attention spans, especially in this media-saturated world. Hence, they figured out that to reach more people of a younger age, they needed to overhaul their strategy and do something different. Colgate Optic collaborated with Andrea Brooks and Blair Fowler, who were both rising influencers on YouTube. This helped them earn some relevance and legitimacy with their target audience, who are millennial beauty enthusiasts. The two influencers created a series of YouTube videos that feature the brand’s products and called it “The Smile Show.” Today, the channel has received over 24 million views in total.
The reason for this dramatic change is simple. These YouTube influencers understand their audiences so well that they were able to produce content that is not only relevant but also useful to them.
Influencer marketing has become a secret weapon for brands to get ahead of their competitors and overcome marketing challenges. It can help brands engage with their audiences through authentic content creation and brand sentiment. Influencer marketing also generates high ROI in the long run compared to other advertising channels. If you’ve used influencer marketing, kindly share your experiences and insights in the comments section.