Influencer marketing is here to stay. It has been embraced by small and big brands alike. They have seen its potential and are now integrating influencer marketing into their strategy. Yet, a lot of small brands are still dubious over the fact that they need influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a mix of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign. Here, the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers. It revolves around influencers, many of whom would never consider themselves famous in an offline setting.
An influencer is someone who has:
- the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.
- a following in a distinct niche, with whom they actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of their niche.
Here’s why small brands need influencer marketing
Improve trust in your brand
One reason behind influencer marketing’s success is that it is all about the girl or boy next door. At the very beginning, social media users decided to share their daily life and then accumulated thousands of followers. Even though now some influencers can be compared to celebrities, there still is this element of proximity and relatability.
From a marketing point of view, this is great to establish, build and strengthen trust in a brand. Individuals tend to trust people they can relate to more. While it is difficult to identify yourself with a movie star, especially knowing they are paid to endorse a product, it is much easier to get to trust an Instagram influencer genuinely promoting a product they love.
Internet is a crowded place. People are bombarded with content. It becomes difficult to stand out. However, finding the right influencers for your brand may solve this. Influencers now are respected voices. Positive exposure from them helps to build trust in your brand. Thus, people will take notice, remember longer but also feel more comfortable buying from your brand.
A study shows that 92% of consumers trust recommendations and word-of-mouth over any other types of advertising. Influencer marketing is a referral form of advertising and goes a long way towards building long-term trust.
Reach your target audience
One reason why you need influencer marketing as part of your marketing strategy is simply because it allows to put your products or services in front of the right audience straight away. Of course, this will be true only after good research, due diligence and strict influencer vetting.
You will be able to find influencers that have the exact audience you are trying to target: demographics, location, age, lifestyle, etc. Searching for the best influencers to recommend your brand results in your products being exposed to an audience who is already open to your type of products or industry.
Influencer marketing allows you to target the right audience but also to show your products to a warm audience that is potentially already interested in your products.
For example, a fitness brand working with a lifestyle influencer will increase awareness of the brand and expose the product to thousands of people. However, working with a fitness influencer followed by fitness addicts guarantees that the audience is already interested in such products, which increases the likeliness that they will make a purchase.
Improve your SEO
Small businesses need influencer marketing because it can really help boost SEO, organic search and ranking. As a result, online visibility also increases. The more influencers discuss your products, the more your brand awareness increases. This positively affects your SEO in several ways:
- More back links: As bloggers mention your products and brand on their blog, they will link back to your blog, which will send a signal to the Google Algorithm.
- Increased domain authority: The more blogs and other sites link back to your website, the more your domain authority increases and the more likely you are to rank higher in Google search. This works if bloggers you work with already have a high DA themselves.
- Social mentions: Bloggers discussing your brand on their blog and social media increasing your social mentions, which sends a signal of popularity to Google. The more people mention you, the more Google think you are an authority in your field and the higher you rank.
- Increase traffic: If people link back to your website on their blog, social media, Instagram stories, etc. you will see an increase in traffic. Using utm tracking links will help you see where the traffic is coming from and help you decide who to carry on working with.
- Genuine review: Influencers will provide a review of your products and advertise it to their followers and/or readers. Such recommendations count as referrals.
- New content: you get a lot of content about your brand and your product, increasing visibility, awareness and engagement.
Accelerate growth rate and ROI
Advertising requires enormous budgets and cannot always be monitored and tracked. How do you guarantee x amount of people will see a billboard? Getting the attention of customers is one thing, keeping them engaged is another.
Influencer marketing is much more efficient that display advertising. Retention rate is 37% higher, especially has influencer marketing is a long-term game. Influencers will keep on promoting your product, even maybe outside of the initial collaboration, thus giving you even more awareness.
Influencer marketing’s return on investment is 11 times that of display advertising. Furthermore, for $1 spent in 2019, influencer marketing generated $5.78.
Considering 60% of consumers are influenced by social media when it comes to purchase decisions and that 6 in 10 teenagers listen to influencers for product recommendations, it is no mystery that small businesses do indeed need influencer marketing.
Produce high quality content
Content creation is expensive and time-consuming. Nowadays, content is king. While written content is more straightforward, images and videos take much more time to make. Social media users and consumers love to see fresh content everyday.
Influencers and bloggers are great for creating written and visual content that their followers will consume. When such content focuses on your brand, you can re-purpose it on your own social media channel. This will help you save time and energy over content creation.
User-generated content (or UGC) is great for your brand. You can post or share it on your social media. It serves as social proof that people love your products so much they want to talk about it around them. They increase trust in your brand and can help you build a community around your brand.
By encouraging people to share content displaying your product using a specific branded hashtag, you will end up building a community around that hashtag. With the promise that you may share posts using that particular hashtags, people will be more willing to use it.
Influencer content keep your brand alive for much longer than it would from a different type of advertising. Influencers also often perceive brands from a new perspective and provide fresh and interesting content.
Small businesses needs influencer marketing because it relatively cheap compared to other forms of marketing and advertising. It provides a lot of great advantages such as a high return on investment, content that you can re-purpose, higher awareness and improved trust in your brand.