Influencer marketing: do it or die, writes Detch Singh.
It’s well known that word of mouth marketing has become explosive as a result of social media. With 92% of consumers now believing peer recommendations over all forms of advertising, influencer marketing has become a critical element of the marketing strategy for many brands.
However, whilst many marketers realise the importance of influencer marketing, some don’t prioritise it to the extent they should.
There are three key reasons as to why influencer marketing needs to be at the core of your brand’s marketing strategy:
1. Conversation is key on social media… but brands no longer drive it
So much of social media is about conversation, but consumers have become much more discerning of push advertising. They only want to engage with the content that they subscribe to, not ads that they are forced to view.
Your customers subscribe to, and interact with so many powerful digital influencers when making purchasing decisions (even before they realise they are making them!). These influencers are already talking about the products and services you provide (or worse, what your competitors provide). They are the ones driving authentic conversations around trends, brands and purchasing decisions. To remain relevant and be front of mind for consumers, it’s necessary for your brand to play a core, positive role in these conversations.
2. Access your demographic more effectively
Think about the billions of dollars spent on traditional media for advertising you couldn’t be sure was actually reaching potential customers.
On social media (particularly channels like YouTube and Instagram), you can reach core audiences because so many influencers are focused on specific verticals. Speaking simplistically, beauty vloggers reach people who are interested in beauty advice, products and services. Instagrammers focused on women’s fashion reach an audience of women who are interested in their taste in fashion. That’s powerful targeting and results in an ROI which is significantly better than advertising on social media channels or traditional media.
3. Generate authentic recommendations and drive real advocacy
Social media influencers are extremely conscious of their own brand because their posting decisions can have a huge impact on the reaction of their subscriber base.
This is the most important point. It means that usually when an influencer posts positively about a brand, they actually like it. This subsequently drives genuine recommendations for the brand and specific products or services they provide. Better still, if an influencer continues to post about your brand, it truly demonstrates advocacy which will be repeatedly seen by the same, relevant audience.
Detch Singh is co-founder at Hypetap.