‘Influencers’ have dramatically changed the marketing landscape in the last number of years. Time and time again, it has proven to be extremely powerful for brands. In fact, recent studies have shown that ‘71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference’.
In the ever expanding digital age, consumers are seeking more efficient avenues to source product information and credible reviews, rather than resorting to traditional means such as magazines. By Sharon Zeev Poole, Director, Agent99 PR
Is such, the power of social media, in particular Instagram, has fostered the as seen in the increased use of ad blockers. These days, particularly the younger demographic, are birth of ‘influencers’. Influencer marketing is a cross between product placement and a consumer testimonial; and when delivered by someone with a large following, it yields huge benefits for organisations and their brands.
Businesses who harness the use of influencer marketing have shown positive outcomes with “over 80% of marketers who had launched marketing campaigns involving social media influencers found them to be effective for driving both engagement and awareness.” Agent99 experienced this first hand as we recently launched the ‘Experimental Series’ for premium whisky brand, Glenfiddich, through a specific influencer marketing strategy, which was awarded the ‘2017
Best Presence in Social Media’ by Australian Drinks Award. But with so many companies competing for the spotlight, all with a unique selling point, how can you be sure your brand will actually benefit
from influencer marketing?
WHAT EXACTLY IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Consumers are sensual learners as they make a lot of their purchase decisions based on what they see and hear. Consumers are becoming tired of traditional advertising, looking to meaningfully engage with a brand they are interested in. Influencer marketing offers consumers the same sensual experience as advertising, but with credibility to back it up, which is why, “marketing induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.”
Influencers are able to promote a brand in an authentic and creative way as they have cultivated a high level of trust with their audience, who tend to be like minded and share common interests. Understanding this opportunity,
Hi Smile Teeth turned over $10 million in their first 18 months by using influencer-led social media campaigns. Instead of a hard sell, they aimed to create a global movement by sending product to influencers, whose following reflected their target market, and encouraging them to promote a lifestyle and culture that was unique to their brand.
SO HOW DO I USE IT?
The first step is to find influencers that are appropriate to your brand or campaign. Just as you would target your audience, you will need to filter through and select influencers that mirror your brand’s image. Consider the goals of your business, and try to look for influencers whose goals resonate with yours – this will make it easier for you to build a relationship with them, and potentially increase the likelihood of them using your product.
Once you’ve found them, you will need to develop a relationship with them. Sharing, liking and regramming posts are all really crucial steps in having them perceive your brand positively. Additionally, it allows influencers to actually see your business and ultimately make a decision about the relationship they may want with it.
Lastly, once you’ve developed a mutually beneficial relationship with an influencer, you will need to trust them with the creative content. Capable and experienced influencers know what their audience wants to see from them, and strategically choose their posts accordingly. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any say, but you should think about how influencers use social media to present their own personal brand – they’ve come this far, so don’t instil doubt.
WHAT BENEFITS SHOULD I EXPECT TO SEE?
Influencer marketing is essentially a more efficient form of word-of- mouth, as “66% of consumers trust consumer opinion posted online,” and “37% of customers are more likely to remain loyal when inspired by word-of-mouth marketing,”
so the benefits are clear. These statistics indicate that influencer marketing deepens B2C trust and will enable you to connect and create a relationship with your audience via this trusted third party. Moreover, you’re likely to see heightened brand awareness as a natural outcome of this deepened trust. Still hesitant? Ask Jane Lu, founder of Australian fashion e-retailer Showpo, who turns over $30 million in revenue off the back of social media marketing and utilising influencers that mirror the young and fun image of the brand.
MY BRAND IS VERY UNIQUE, SHOULD I STILL USE IT?
While we understand that almost all brands are unique to some extent, if yours is considerably niche, utilising influencer marketing could really assist in reaching prospective audiences. The consumer world is constantly expanding due to people’s inherent nature to search for the newest and latest products, it is an ongoing cycle. Due to this
the likelihood that your business will reach certain consumers out there should be expected. Whilst this is fantastic news for your brand, it can still be extremely challenging breaking through the chaos and reaching your audience, which is where influencer marketing can really help.
If you are struggling to reach, engage or impact consumers and their purchasing decisions, you should definitely consider influencer marketing in your mix. Furthermore, if you feel like your brand awareness could be enhanced or your presence within the digital space is lacking, influencers can build credibility in this area. The results highlight that influencer marketing has made its mark and is here to stay, so utilise it as best as you can. BFM
Sharon Zeev Poole, the Director of highly regarded boutique agency Agent99 Public Relations, has grown the agency from a one-man show to a full service, award-winning PR agency located in the thriving creative hub of Surry Hills, Sydney.