Today’s marketing landscape is highly varied and full of options. Companies and businesses are straining to keep up with trends and figure out what marketing investments actually move the needle. Sometimes they succeed, but many times they waste precious time, energy, and resources.
There’s a better way: the rise of influencer marketing has made available a highly profitable marketing strategy that, when done right, can significantly change the way your business finds and connects with its audience.
What is Influencer Marketing?
“Influencer marketing” refers to enlisting influencers, individuals who have curated a social media following within a particular niche or interest commonality, to market your brand or product(s).
The Benefits of Working with Influencers to Market Your Business
Including influencer marketing in your business’s marketing mix can be a lucrative strategy for optimizing your marketing efforts. Influencer marketing has been shown to create several strong advantages for companies that do it well:
- Influencer marketing boasts a strong return on investment. Studies and figures estimate that influencer marketing can yield a return of $5 or more for every dollar spent. This figure also has the potential to be increased substantially because unlike other forms of marketing, influencers often accept compensation in the form of product discounts, samples, and reciprocal promotion outside of monetary compensation.
- Influencer marketing can yield higher quality leads and customers than other marketing channels. This is thanks to the deep, cultivated relationships influencers develop with their audiences that make consumers more likely to readily accept and engage with brands or products influencers recommend. This can lower customer acquisition cost, shorten onboarding time and resources, or increase revenue per customer when using influencer marketing to source leads.
- Influencer marketing garners significantly higher social media engagement than in-house social media content. Social media engagement makes up a significant portion of average consumers’ time and influence, especially in younger audiences. Because influencers are experts in social media engagement, using influencer marketing can help your business thrive in this playing field much more quickly and efficiently than trying to develop your social media marketing game in-house.
- Influencer marketing can help you broadcast data-driven stories. Using data to tell a story or share a compelling message is vital to many marketing efforts. Doing this well requires creativity, narrative mastery, and aesthetic appeal. Influencers work in these currencies already, and rely on their talent for storytelling and creating compelling content to be successful. This makes influencers a huge asset when crafting a campaign – especially one that relies on data or using data points to convey a message.
- Influencer marketing can keep your company in front of trends. Engaging in influencer marketing requires engaging with the trends influencing your markets. Influencers can provide a huge asset for your company or business because they expose you to the heart of emerging trends. Engaging influencers to market your brand gets your company closer to the epicenter of your market and can also provide critical insight into what trends may emerge in the near future.
Tips for Getting Started
If your business or company is interested in employing influencer marketing, here are a few tips for how to move forward:
Look at Existing Influencer Campaigns in Your Vertical or Industry
Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Look at best practice for similar verticals. Gain an understanding of what’s already being done and how your company might either emulate or improve on current trends.
Identify the Market or Market Segments You’d Like to Reach
Influencer marketing can be hugely varied but tends to center on particular demographics more strongly than others. It’s important to define the possible ages, geographic locations, gender(s), interests, and other identifying features of markets you’d like to reach. Make sure the influencers you might engage have active audiences that match the needs of your business.
Gather and Then Refine a List of Potential Influencers
Do your research and prospect a wish list of promising influencers whose content, storytelling, and personality might fit well with your brand, before making contact. This will help you craft your pitch and have a better idea of what your business needs are so that you and any influencers you speak with can more quickly gauge a good fit.
Create a Clear Project and Proposal
Working with influencers should be navigated intelligently and strategically just like any other type of marketing. Thinking through your objectives, assets, timeline, strategy, and deliverables will make the experience much easier and more profitable for everyone involved when you decide to engage an influencer to help you with your marketing.
Not sure if influencer marketing is a good fit? Unlike some more traditional forms of advertising, influencer marketing can be tested and tweaked using modest resources and can provide a low-threshold alternative to other marketing channels that make it easily accessible for a range of business types.
Whatever your business’s size, needs, or industry, influencer marketing could prove a highly lucrative marketing strategy and create significant gains and growth if done right. Now is the time to explore what difference influencer marketing might make for you.