Social proof has become a growing necessity for e-commerce over the past decade. A survey showed that 82% of people trusted social networks to inform their purchasing decisions. In part, this is thanks to digital influencer marketing. As a digital marketing strategy, influencer marketing has huge benefits. A report says that it has a Return of Investment (ROI) of 500%. That’s something no business would ignore or overlook. So let’s take a look at the influence that influencer marketing has, and how you can best leverage it for success.
The rise of the Influencer
As social media became more popular, the demand for content creation increased. Platforms like Vine sky-rocketed to fame because users were looking for short-form, easy to access the content. And Vine was the perfect place for them to find just that. However, Vine crashed in 2016 because the company didn’t monetise itself. Content creators jumped ship to other platforms like YouTube and Instagram, in search for profit-driven opportunities. It was at this moment that the rise of the digital social influencer started.
The idea of normal, everyday people with the same status and following as traditional celebrities getting paid to promote products quickly became a mainstream practice. Brands realised the potential impact influencers could have on their audiences and subsequently, their sales. This is because influencers allow businesses and brands direct access to their customers. Since they are looked upon to provide sincere and reliable advice or reviews for their followers, influencers increase reach, leads and conversions. According to statistics from Mediakix, 70% of marketers agree that influencers can generate higher-quality customers and traffic than the industry average. The core of their success relies on trust. A digital social influencer can influence buyers’ decisions based on their ability to garner trust in their social circles.
What is Influencer Marketing and how does it work?
Influencer marketing, now a mainstream practice, includes a collaboration between brands and people who have the ability to shape the behaviour of others. The digital influencers create content to endorse products and brands, usually in return for money or free products or services. They talk about a brand’s products or services that they themselves are enthusiastic and passionate about. Influencers have a keen and trusting group of followers on their social media and web platforms. These followers expect to receive first-hand information that can help them make decisions or shape the way they think about something. This was made even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, where users were looking for people online for guidance, assistance and that could relate to their experiences. In certain cases, followers look to influencers as the experts in their fields.
How can Influencer Marketing boost your business growth?
- Influencers directly target your audience
Influencers already have a well-established relationship with their audience and reach, i.e. their followers. They look up to influencers for guidance and according to research, consumers even trust influencers as much as their own family and friends. In 2016, the beginning of the rise of influencer marketing, 40% of consumers said in a survey that they made a purchase after seeing an influencer use a product on YouTube, Instagram or Twitter. Collaborating with an influencer that already reaches out to your target audience is a great way of educating them on your products or services and creating brand awareness. A good tip when looking for an influencer to collaborate with is to find one that is already talking about your business. You can also check their platforms to see what they post about or which hashtags they use and if they’re relevant to your business. That way, you know they’re already passionate about the same things you are and will easily share this with their followers.
- It promotes brand exposure and awareness
Influencers are creating and posting content all the time. They’re also usually charismatic people, which can help get your target consumers excited about your products or services. Influencers are hyper-aware of what their followers’ preferences are and how they can be more relatable so they know best how to create awareness in a meaningful way.
Influencers create a lot of video content, and according to statistics, users are more inclined to receive information in video format. 94% of marketers have said that they increased user understanding through video content.
- Influencers help build trust in your brand
Users trust influencers because they genuinely talk about the things they’re passionate about. Statistics show that 20% of consumers are willing to stop following an influencer if they seem disingenuous about their advertising or sponsorships. So because users already trust influencers’ opinions so much, they are likely to trust your brand and its products. Making a purchase can involve a lot of dynamics so influencers can help make their followers’ decisions easier. For example, an influencer could make an unboxing video or post, which are a popular way to show and talk to users through first impressions of a product. Users get to see the experience first-hand through the eyes of someone they trust and relate to. This could influence their decision to buy.
- Influencers promote engagement.
Audience engagement levels increase customer acquisition and retention. And since influencers thrive on interacting with their audience and getting to know what their preferences are, they can promote engagement with your brand. Influencers can encourage more user-generated content which will help keep up the engagement levels. It’s important to be involved with your target audience so that you are more personable and trustworthy.
The bottom line
So is influencer marketing worth it for your business? It most definitely can be. It’s key to remember that not every influencer will boost your business, so finding the right one matters. Make sure that their brand and values match yours. Once you’ve found the right fit, influencers can grow your business by sharing a message with their followers that show how your business is tailored for their needs. Creating credibility through influencer marketing will increase your opportunity for success. If you’d like to know more about digital marketing strategies, we offer smart solutions that are personalised to your business’s needs.