Influencer marketing has continued to increase in popularity over the last decade; if you’ve never been tempted to purchase a new product you just happened to spot showcased on a social media channel, well… you’re part of a ‘non-influenced’ minority.
Since Instagram was founded in 2010, individuals have been able to create a stage for themselves, gaining a loyal audience by opening up their lives via their smartphones. Whether you’re into beauty, fashion, pets, parenting, fitness, travel or food, an influencer slap-bang in that space is just an app away.
Realising the purchasing power of these individuals, countless brands have tapped into the opportunities provided by influencers. Always ready to find new, effective ways to promote their brand, influencer marketing helps businesses improve brand advocacy, increase awareness, reach new audiences and generate high ROI through leads and sales.
As people find new ways to shop and platforms become more interactive and ‘shoppable’, brands consistently work to identify key opportunities with influencers that have high engagement, reach and a loyal following. This ensures they access new audiences, remain visible in the marketplace, and attract more people to the brand.
Here we look at three of the reasons why we believe influencer marketing is here to stay:
1. Influencer marketing generates a positive image
Influencers play a significant role in promoting brands and brand alliances help businesses remain relevant and connected to consumers. Many consumers trust an influencer’s opinion on a product or service, having built trust in their thoughts and opinions, they are influenced by a positive endorsement. An influencer’s ready-made niche audience can be reached in a relevant, relaxed way, often having a much greater impact than when the brand itself shares its own benefits, and who could blame them?
Influencers act as the bridge between a brand and their consumers and, as a friend might do, they offer their real-life take on a product. If they don’t like or believe in a product, an influencer will often turn down the opportunity to use it or simply return it. By carefully considering the brands they endorse they further build their follower’s trust and loyalty which is ultimately what maintains their success.
In order to generate a positive brand association, influencers which see the true quality and potential of a brand must be identified. Positive influencer marketing offers brands the human-side of marketing which they would struggle to find with quite the same quality or quantity elsewhere.
2. Influencer marketing reaches new audiences
Influencer marketing is not simply reserved for large corporations with eye-watering budgets. Any business, regardless of size, can run successful influencer campaigns. Ensuring influencer activity aligns with a general marketing strategy can benefit the growth of almost any business by reaching new, engaged audiences.
Influencers have the ability to connect with their followers in a much more relevant, personal way. For this reason, brands are continuing to move away from traditional advertising to harness social media ‘star power’ in order to increase exposure, reach new, more targeted audiences and to ensure potential consumers are on board with their product or services.
As an effective way for businesses to increase reach, raise awareness and to market their products, marketers consistently believe a strong influencer strategy provides a high return on investment.
“The majority of marketers believe that influencer marketing offers the highest Return on Investment (ROI), even more so than the more traditional marketing tools such as SEO, email marketing, social ads, and SEM.”Ying Lin, Oberlo.
3. Influencer marketing drives online sales
It’s crucial that a marketing approach evolves with consumer shopping habits and the way in which people use social media. Using influencers is an ideal way for brands to identify buying trends and direct consumers to a website.
During the coronavirus pandemic people have found new ways to access products and services, with online shopping becoming increasingly important as non-essential shops closed. These shopping habits are unlikely to reverse and influencer sales look set to continue as part of a wider communications strategy.
Influencers can reach thousands of people, quickly turning views into direct sales. With added social media features such as ‘buy now’ and ’swipe up’ links, social media shopability is now easier than ever.
The Influencer Marketing Factory recently conducted a study, focusing on Gen Z and Millennial shoppers, and found that 60% of those surveyed purchased at least one item on their smartphone due to influencer content. 45% bought at least once a month as a result of seeing influencers’ content.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for driving sales and, as it has advanced so rapidly over the past year, it looks set to be here for the long haul, perhaps now more than ever. Will online shopping truly take over the high street for good? With the convenience, ease and speed of online shopping it’s easy to see why many think so.
To conclude, it’s evident that influencer marketing is due to be around for much longer, thanks to its ability to increase a brand’s awareness, reach new audiences, generate a positive brand image with authenticity and trust and, of course, boost ROI. So, it comes as no surprise that 89% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is not just effective but crucial to a brand’s success. (SocialMediaToday, 2021).
If you’d like to know more about how your business could harness the power of influencer marketing get in touch.