Have a quick scroll through any social media platform and it won’t take you long to find content from an influencer. Scroll a little further and you will probably find an example of an influencer working in collaboration with a brand, promoting their products and services.
But have you ever stopped and thought - why?
Why do brands spend time and money on working with influencers? In this article, we explore and answer this question.
What Are Influencers?
If you are reading this article, you have probably already heard of influencer marketing. But for the sake of clarity, let’s begin by highlighting who we are referring to in this article when we use the term ‘influencer’.
In its simplest form, an influencer is anyone who is influential over others. This means we are all influencers in some way. After all, our friends, family and colleagues are all likely to be influenced by what we say and do.
However, when the term ‘influencer’ is used in marketing it is more likely referring to social media influencers. These are typically individuals that have large followings on social media who they hold influence over.
Why Collaborate With Influencers?
So, why should brands consider working with influencers? Below we list some of the top reasons why influencers are becoming a common feature in many brand marketing strategies.
Reach New Audiences
Influencers grow their audiences by publishing content that resonates and entertains their audiences. Although an influencer can have any sized follower count, they typically range from 5K to 1M+.
These followings offer brands an opportunity to reach new audiences that they may otherwise struggle to reach. This is why it is important to assess an influencer's audience when looking to work with them, as it is their audience who you are communicating with.
Boost Brand Awareness
Not only does working with influencers help you get your brand in front of a wider audience, but it also helps you build brand awareness with those who may have already heard of you.
For example, when an influencer posts about your brand, a member of their audience may have already come across your own social media accounts or even heard about you from a different influencer.
You may have heard marketers mention The Rule of 7 which highlights that a potential customer needs to hear about your product or service at least 7 times before they will take the action to buy it.
Of course, this oversimplifies it a little as there are a number of factors which come into play. But it illustrates well how having multiple touchpoints with customers will increase their awareness and boost the potential of making a sale.
Tap Into Expertise
Influencers are often experts in their niche. This is how they develop high levels of trust with their audience. So, when brands collaborate with influencers not only do they benefit from reach and brand awareness, but they can also tap into this expertise.
For example, a sportswear brand may decide to work with a fitness influencer. This influencer could get the sportswear brand in front of a wider audience, but could also offer them advice on the type of content that resonates with that audience. They could even provide feedback on products and offer valuable insight into some of the challenges that their audience wants to overcome.
When influencers make recommendations on products and services to buy, it helps those brands generate leads and fill up their sales pipeline. This is because influencers are usually trusted by their audiences, making any direct recommendation a powerful marketing tool.
This works best when the influencer can include a link to your product or company website, giving their audience an easy way to enquire about what you offer.
Working with influencers can directly result in sales. This works much in the same way as generating leads, except where influencers direct their audience to make a purchase rather than make an enquiry.
Typically, whether an influencer generates sales or leads will depend on the product you sell. For example, if you sell a high-cost item such as luxury cars, then an influencer is more likely to generate interest in that product, resulting in leads. On the other hand, if you sell low-cost items such as budget sportswear then an influencer could realistically generate sales.
Although there is a clear difference between influencer and affiliate marketing, when the campaign and product fit correctly then a brand can provide an influencer with a unique link which can help you see exactly how many sales were made as a direct result of the influencer content.
Create Expert Content
An often overlooked benefit of influencer marketing is the fact that influencers are expert content creators. Not only do they create content that is of a high quality, but they also know what types of content resonate with your target audience.
Although you will need permission to reuse anything created by influencers in your own marketing, it can be a great way to get super-engaging content to use in anything from paid advertising to your own social media feeds and even your website.
Why Work With Influencers: Summary
There are few marketing tools that bring as many benefits to the table as influencer marketing. From boosting brand awareness and reach to generating direct sales and creating expert branded content, there are countless reasons why we are seeing brands increasingly working with influencers in their long term marketing strategies.