Is “Influencer” Just Another Buzzword?
It’s no secret that social media has had a huge impact on our daily lives, our culture, the way we shop, what we wear and more. One of the biggest byproducts of social media has been influencer marketing. The word influencer may seem to be overused or just another of the multitude of buzzwords that are trending now, but in reality, influencer marketing can be one of the most effective ways for businesses to gain new customers and grow their revenue.
The Power of Word of Mouth
Believe it or not, everyone is capable of being an influencer. When you purchase a product and tell your friends about how amazing it is, and they hop online to purchase one for themselves, you are demonstrating skills of being an influencer. Think of the items you have in your household and if any of those have been purchased since a friend recommended it to you. People make their livelihood by promoting products on their social media platforms, and it’s important to know how they become successful and what makes them a good influencer.
What Makes a Good Influencer?
Despite what many people think, having a lot of followers isn’t what makes a good influencer. Engagement is another big piece of an influencer’s overall ability to help your business get new customers. Engagement is a score that combines an influencer’s number of likes, shares, views and comments on their posts. There are online tools that allow you to see these analytics when deciding which influencers to give your product or provide your service. Some of these tools include Tagger, Grin, and Fourstarzz.
Breaking it Down
Influencer marketing is now a well-known marketing strategy that many brands leverage to connect with their customers and engage them. More and more brands are choosing to incorporate influencers into their marketing strategy, and for good reason. According to research, 74% of consumers say they trust the opinions they see on social media — including those from influencers — when deciding whether or not to purchase a product. With a percentage so high, it’s important to determine if the power of influencers could be good for your brand or not. To say that influencers are all good or all bad for a brand wouldn’t be fair. Like just about any marketing opportunity, there are both pros and cons to this marketing strategy. So, let’s take a deeper look into influencer marketing.
The Pros of Influencer Marketing
Collaborating with the right influencers for your brand can help you reach relevant audiences through social media marketing. You can approach influencers who endorse brands similar to yours. This makes it easier for you to identify influencers who have an audience that you are trying to target. For example, if you want to promote your hotel or restaurant, then you need to look for a successful travel or food blogger on social media. Popular travel or food bloggers can help you engage their followers using beautiful images backed by genuine recommendations. To help you save time, there are many influencer marketing services that are willing to assist you in the process.
Influencer marketing also helps you build trust and credibility. Trust takes time for brands to develop, and people trust the influencers they follow on social media. So, if an influencer talks positively about a brand, then their followers are more likely to believe them. Having that affiliation with an influencer can go a long way toward motivating potential customers to make a purchase.
One of the biggest pros for a company is that influencer marketing tends to be less expensive than many other marketing strategies relative to the potential ROI. The marketing platforms mentioned above allow you to see the rates of different influencers to stay within your budget. Grin for example, allows you to filter based on price range so you can stay within your price point.
While there are many positives in influencer marketing, it’s also important to know the not-so-positive things about this marketing strategy.
The Cons of Influencer Marketing
Unfortunately, there are influencers who do your brand more harm than good. According to a survey, 61% of marketers find it difficult to identify the right influencers for their campaigns. It can be difficult to evaluate if an influencer has genuine followers or not. It is not uncommon for fake accounts to make up some portion of an influencer’s followers. So, how can you avoid this problem? Tagger, Grin, Social Blue Book, and Fourstarzz are all platforms available that allow you to filter the influencers based on their location, niches, reach, and more. It’s also possible to search for them based on hashtags, handles, and names.
Another con that comes with influencer marketing is that influencers are bound to make mistakes. There is no handbook to a successful influencer marketing strategy, so most of the time, brands learn from their hits and misses. Some of the common mistakes that influencers can make include, but are not limited to, not disclosing that a post is sponsored, posting content that doesn’t match their target audience, ignoring the FTC enforcement guidelines, inflating followers by purchasing bots, and more. One of the biggest mistakes an influencer can make is representing themselves in a bad manner. When an influencer’s name is in the media over a controversial topic, it can negatively impact the brands they promote. If people no longer support an individual, they are likely to stop supporting the brands they chose to promote. At the end of the day, you’re still dealing with humans that make mistakes, and it is important to think about these factors.
So Now What?
Once you take a deeper look into the pros and cons of influencer marketing, you need to decide if this marketing strategy is in your brand’s best interest. If you’re looking to take your company’s marketing strategy to the next level, think about investing in influencer marketing. Despite the cons, it is one of the fastest and most effective ways to reach new customers, promote your products, and increase your engagement and revenue. Still have questions about how to test the influencer marketing waters? Reach out to your Media Stewards, and we’d be happy to guide you.