As blocking ads became a norm now for users, marketers face unprecedented challenges in respect of visibility. This is why influencer marketing is gaining importance to brands. The reigning importance and role of social media in moving audiences also plays an important role. It is already reported by a number of studies that social reviews make a bigger influence in shaping buying decisions than other channels of marketing. It shows the influence of social media in mobilizing buyers.
Some social media profiles enjoy huge active followers and participant base and often their posts garner immediate attention. There are industry stalwarts who always receive huge attention from the majority of people from the respective industry. There are influential bloggers whose reviews and coverage of products and services influences people more than so-called ads. Similarly, by partnering with reputed brands, companies and digital publications marketers can garner higher mileage for their products.
The Influencer Marketing Process
Influencer marketing refers to a marketing channel that can be used to address a target audience making use of the influence of some people or organizations. People or organizations that enjoy a large follower base either in social media or as a blogger are referred as influencers.
Any business having the objective of creating a bigger influence on their audience will find influencer marketing tremendously helpful. It is true that on the web only a minority of experts, business thinkers and social media participants have a big following while the majority of the business world simply lack the number required for a sphere of influence. This is why influencers have such a remarkable number of interested audiences.
There are some misconceptions on influencers as well. The number of followers in social media does not necessarily show your influence as often such numbers are inflated without requiring any valuable posts. It is the industry specific niche followers that count as influence. Similarly, search engine ranks do not reflect your influence on the audience. It is the blogger with a persistent audience who can consider himself influential.
In the last analysis, influencer marketing is the marketing channel through which a business can venture to address the audience influenced by an individual or organization. Here are some effective ways to use influencer marketing to the advantage of businesses.
- Guest posting: As a guest writer you can write and publish an article or blog on an influential blog or website. In this way, you can enhance credibility and can gain an audience from those blogs or sites.
- Inviting guest posts: You can also invite influencers to post articles and blogs on your website.
- Influencer product reviews: You can make your product reviewed and seek opinions from influential reviewers and bloggers.
- Partnering with influencers: By partnering with an influencer you can promote your product.
- Affiliate marketing: By recruiting an influencer as an affiliate in a campaign, you can make the influencer promote your product and offer against conversions.
- Link building: By featuring links of influential websites and blogs in contextual topics and in return by asking influencers for linking your website and page you can enhance credibility and build valuable traffic from quality sources.
- Featured guest: With your comments on a topic you can be featured in the content of someone and can also be featured on their resources page.
- Content promotion: This influencer marketing requires writing content and then getting promoted by influencers or getting links from an influential source.
- Expert roundup: With this you can feature the responses of influential experts on the topic inside your content.
10 Reasons Influencer Marketing is so Hot
Thanks to social media, customers now get more influenced by the reviews of fellow customers or reviews that enjoy more influence among their audience. Instead of being influenced by the ads of companies, now consumers by opinions from fellow consumers or their favorite personalities. These individuals who have massive followings on social channels like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and other platforms can easily influence the buying decisions of thousands of people.
The influential blogger and web reviewers with great audience following also make a considerable impact in the marketing of products and services. Here are 10 reasons why influencer marketing is destined to become the next big thing for marketers.
#1. Powerful word of mouth
Often an assuring word of mouth as a recommendation is more powerful than so-called ads. Various studies revealed that consumer-to-consumer word of mouth garners at least twice the amount of sales compared to paid ads. Moreover, the sales achieved through word-of-mouth recommendation enjoy more than 37 percent higher retention than others. Influencer marketing in social channels is word of mouth marketing with the only difference that it influences more people.
#2. It is social in character
While the social media is the ground for generating, spreading, supporting and garnering support for opinions, nothing makes an opinion influential as long as it does not have robust social admirers and following. Yes, most influencers have a large and highly active social following and naturally they can easily create a buzz around a product and spread the good word.
#3. It is trendy
Influencers, by featuring a product or a fashion brand, often help make it a trend. They spread the news on what is going to be the next big trend in web design, fashion, digital marketing, etc. Other bloggers and sites just grab their opinion and make their finding seen. In a way, they make and shape trends.
#4. It is paving the path for success for many
Suddenly influencer marketing has reached the lips of everybody. As per Google the keyword ‘influencer marketing’ is one of the fastest growing keywords now. The reason is quite simple, after remaining as a robust trend consecutively for some years it has paved the path of success for many marketing’ initiatives.
#5. It is inexpensive marketing offering more value
Yes, influencer marketing creates more value than the effort it takes. While with this marketing you can quickly see your product is being talked in various circles garnering good sales, often all it takes is contacting influencers and just making a mutually beneficial deal to share links and posts or offering a product for reviewing.
#6. Soon influencer marketing can be a competitive zone
Inexpensive and easy influencer marketing cannot last much longer as demands are soaring high. More people are learning about them and soon the demand can help increase the price tag they demand. So, before it is too expensive, you need to take the full advantage of it.
#7. Paid ads are tiresome already
The average US citizen needs to face at least 5,000 ads a day including the billboards, media, publication, web, mobile and all other mediums. When people are exposed to such an extent, they become insensitive to them. This phenomenon is called “banner blindness” and makes ads futile for most audiences. As an alternative social media reviews and influential blogs have come up as hugely effective.
#8. Native ad experience
Traditionally, advertising is perceived as distracting, disturbing and thoroughly non-contextual, because in most cases ads interrupt what we are doing. Contrary to this is the case of influencer reviews and blogs. People read and view them and interact with them as something of value adding to their knowledge and know-how.
#9. It boosts SEO
Besides building the brand and boosting the sales figures, influencer marketing can play a positive role in optimizing your search engine rank. As per the study by Social Media Revolution, social posts generated by the users take up one-fourth of search results for top 20 brands on the globe. The bigger your brand gets social exposure, the higher and better ranks you get in search engines.
#10. You can track the performance better
Any marketer knows the challenges involved in tracking the performance of so-called ads. Often they grope in darkness before coming out with some partial figures on sales, penetration and audience reach. On the contrary, in digital platforms the impact of influencer marketing can be put clearly under the scanner through a number of analytics tools. Moreover, this huge volume of data offers further insights that marketers can put to use.