Unlike traditional advertising, which broadcasts a single message to a wide audience, influencer marketing relies on the trust established between influencers and their followers in specific niches.
This trust differentiates influencer marketing from other digital strategies and makes it one of the most compelling marketing strategies in today's advertising landscape.
Influencer marketing enables small businesses to establish a reach previously out of their grasp and empowers big companies to find new audiences.
As advertising on social media and other platforms increasingly infiltrates our lives, consumers are looking for trustworthy sources of information. An influencer's power is in authenticity—a trait modern consumers crave.
In fact, consumers are increasingly turning to influencers and rejecting the perfect polish of conventional ads. According to Hubspot, 50% of millennials trust influencers to suggest products and 33% of Gen Z-ers have purchased something based on an influencer's recommendation.
The way influencers weave brand endorsements into their content means consumers don't shut down and hit "skip" when the ad starts.
Where other digital marketing strategies push content towards users, influencer marketing pulls users towards the content. Consumers line up to hear an influencer's take on the next product or watch the next unboxing video.
The shift from push to pull marketing is about creating a marketing strategy that builds brand awareness through informative messaging rather than bombarding consumers with ads.
To find the right influencer partnerships, you need to nail down your target audience's demographics and interests. Collect data through social media analytics, surveys, and market research to build customer profiles.
When you know who your target audience is, find out who's influencing them. Tools like BuzzSumo or HypeAuditor can help identify potential matches. You can also find out by asking your customers through surveys.
One of the great things about influencer relationships is how many options you have in how to sign on. Influencer collaborations are as varied as influencer niches, ranging from sponsored content to full-fledged brand ambassadorships. You may already have your next influencer on the payroll, which we’ll explore in more detail in the next section.
There are all kinds of opportunities for authentic content within your own organization. Employees have in-depth knowledge and passion for your business that can make them a powerful voice for your brand. True, not every employee is excited to jump on TikTok and show off your latest product, but you may be surprised by how many are.
And you don't need to hide the relationship you have with this influencer. The fact that your influencer is your employee is fantastic for brand awareness.
Here are some examples of how to transform an employee into your best advertiser:
Professionals in any industry have sway, but when the target audience is well-informed and analytical, the endorsement of industry experts is particularly impactful. Experts provide in-depth knowledge and insights into specialized products or services, explaining complex nuances while marketing the product.
Cause-related marketing is a powerful way to resonate with audiences who increasingly care about the ethics and behavior of the companies they choose. Over 60% of consumers under 30 feel an affiliation to companies who "subscribe to a larger purpose." Cause marketing is a superb way to show your purpose and build loyalty in your target audience.
For example, a business offering eco-friendly products might supply a lifestyle influencer with what they need to pursue environmentally-friendly living. Not only will the influencer's followers associate your business with an eco-conscious lifestyle, but you get to showcase your products to a target audience highly likely to purchase them.
These collaborations can extend far beyond product placements:
You won't have to look far to find influencers with causes your business could support, and the benefits of this kind of collaboration are twofold: powerful brand building and targeted advertising for products or services.
Now that you have your influencers, let's dig into how to capitalize on your relationships to maximize profits.
Influencer marketing campaigns are a powerful driver of brand awareness, offering a unique opportunity to reach a target audience where they are most open to suggestions: in the feed of their favorite influencer.
The genuine content of influencer marketing is highly likely to result in sales and conversions, even with a limited budget. To make the most of engagement rates generated from influencer marketing, be sure to have a robust loyalty program in place to turn casual customers into lasting ones.
To be sure that the loyalty program never skips a beat in collecting data and offering promotions at every step of the sales journey, integrate it with a powerful POS system.
With the right collaborations, tactics, and data collection, you'll find that you can make a huge return on investment in influencer marketing.