Why You Should Invest in Influencer Marketing
Are you investing in influencer marketing? Research from eMarketer indicated that nearly half of marketing practitioners planned to increase budgets for influencer driven campaigns in 2017. Influencers know how to post relevant content to their platforms that engages their audiences and builds trust. Recent data shows that 92% of consumers trust influencers more than advertisements or celebrities.
In my previous experience as a marketer in the craft industry, I saw first-hand how influencer marketing contributes to increased brand awareness, direct sales, and website traffic. Though the company I worked for had a well-established brand with a dedicated following, they wanted to reach a new market of crafters. Therefore, we launched an influencer program that put their brand and products in front of new audiences, as well as giving their existing loyal audiences new ideas for how to increase usage of their products.
As the ever-evolving landscape of social media and ad-blocking software makes it increasingly difficult to reach audiences, influencer marketing has become an important relationship-building tactic for marketers.
Influencer Marketing Increases Visibility and Demonstrates Positive ROI
One major benefit to influencer partnerships is the ability to demonstrate ROI in multiple ways. For instance, look to measure traffic, followers, and brand mentions before and after your influencer campaigns. You should also track search results based on your influencer campaigns, since content on and backlinks from reputable influencers’ websites improves your own site’s search rankings.
When working with an influencer, you can track how your sponsored content affects traffic and behavior on your website, newsletter, and social platforms. Use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics to create tracking links to provide to your influencers for inclusion in blog posts, newsletters, and videos. This is a great way to determine if the content is driving visits to your website and converting into sales.
Be sure to keep an eye on the performance of your content on their platforms as well. Depending on your agreement, the influencer can/should also provide statistics on how well your content performed in comparison to their typical content and other sponsored content.
Gain Valuable Insights and Feedback from Real People
Influencers are experts in the type of content that their communities like. So by working with them, you can gain insights into the type of content that is most popular or most likely to resonate. Having worked with hundreds of influencers over the years, we’ve seen that most are more than willing to share their expertise and help you shape the best content for your partnerships. Furthermore, engaging in these conversations with influencers is incredibly important because it aids in establishing trust and relationship building, which will certainly come in handy as you work on more campaigns.
Having access to influencers makes it easier to have conversations about how your brand or campaigns have been received by the public. By facilitating these conversations, you can create a nice flow and exchange of ideas. If the influencer is familiar with or a fan of your brand, they may even have some suggestions about how they can help you fill in the holes in your current content offerings.
That brings me to another point: When you initially search for influencers to engage, it’s best to start with those who have already organically featured your brand in their content. An influencer who is familiar with your product or service tends to be more receptive to the idea of working with you.
Influencer marketing isn’t only for big brands with big budgets, but understand that you will have to invest time, resources, and budget. Be diligent about your strategy and start small. Figure out who your target audience is, what influencers speak to this audience, the type of content they typically produce, and how often they post. If you take influencer marketing seriously and build a dependable network, you’ll see just how beneficial the investment can be for your brand.