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Top 3 Reasons to Add Influencer Marketing to the Mix

By Daniel Beldowicz, Director of Digital Marketing

Influencer marketing is soaring, as evidenced by its 198 percent growth in 2017, according to a Klear study. By measuring the volume of Instagram posts, tagged with the #ad hashtag in 2017 and 2016, there was tremendous annual growth. The trend of influencer marketing is positive and showed a constant average growth of five percent month-over-month.

Furthermore, a Collective Bias survey which investigated trends in digital and social behaviors and in-store shopping found the following:

  • Men are two times more influenced by blog reviews than women. One in five men (18.3 percent) have had blog reviews influence in-store purchases, compared to only one in 10 women (9.2 percent) who have done the same.
  • Men and women differ in which product categories they research online. U.S. male consumers (34.4 percent) have purchased consumer electronics in-store about twice as often as women (15.4 percent), as a result of reading a blog review or social media post.
  • Twitter is not used first or most often by consumers researching products online. Only two percent of respondents checked Twitter first when researching products. Less than two percent said Twitter had the most influence on their decision, to complete an in-store purchase.
  • Facebook and YouTube are the most persuasive channels. About 19 percent of consumers find Facebook to influence their purchasing decision most, with YouTube coming in second at nearly 18 percent. YouTube is especially popular with men (22.8 percent) compared to women (13.9 percent).

With this much opportunity, businesses should be adding influencer marketing to its mix. Here are the top three reasons why:

1. Improved credibility
Increasing credibility through influencers is like getting a celebrity endorsement for your brand or product on a smaller scale. It’s basically no different than hiring someone to do a paid promotion or product review, where the influencer is leveraging their relationship with their audience. Influencers can be bloggers, podcasters, youtubers or social media stars with large, engaged followings. Influencer marketing plays on the side of social proof, much like a third-party endorsement and embedded commands that suggest, “if I’m interested or using this, you should too!” This works all day, every day.

2. Reaching Audiences Beyond Paid or Organic Range
Leveraging audiences through influencers is how you can increase your reach, without worrying about advertising and potential ad blockers. Since influencers will be creating native content around your business and brand, you will be reaching audiences that are beyond your paid and organic range and will be hyper targeted. Ensuring you are touching the right people, at the right time, with the right message will come down to doing your homework on the influencers in which you engage. Be sure you know how their audience aligns your business’s target audience. Since the content they create to promote your company, brand or product lives on the internet, you can increase your reach through search engine optimization. The more people that talk about you on social media, the more relevant your brand is to Google search results. Additionally, the more links that point to your site from blogs, podcasts, YouTube and social sites including Facebook and Twitter, the greater your ranking and search visibility will be.

3. Increased sales
Like with any third-party endorsement, the goal isn’t just to increase credibility and reach, but ultimately increase sales. Seeing a return on influencer marketing is going to be key to whether you continue to engage in it or not, as most businesses measure return based on the revenue and profit generated by their marketing efforts. For sales to happen, you will need to have a sales funnel or process for tracking how many clients and/or customers are coming from each influencer campaign.

Influencer marketing is another arrow in the public relations quiver. Comparable to traditional public relations tactics, including industry publication placements where there’s a third-party endorsement, influencer marketing works on a macro and micro level. Some of the many benefits to influencer marketing are that it’s quantifiable and easy to engage, which is why it’s a complement to any marketing mix.

Interested in learning more about how influencer marketing can benefit your business? To start the conversation, contact us today.

Daniel Beldowicz is the Director of Digital Marketing at Creative Marketing Alliance, an award-winning, full service marketing agency that builds reputation, relationships and return on investment.