Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that is fairly new in the world of business. This is when key individuals who have massive reach are marketing products in a completely natural way. The customer would assume they use these products in everyday life.
Influencer marketing is an emerging marketing strategy that has become even more prominent with the rise of social media marketing. Influencers are individuals who have made a reputation for themselves online. These key people have gained trust from their followers through honest reviews and opinions and built a community of followers who listen to what they have to say. Brands now take advantage of these influencers by partnering with them and having them review or advertise specific products and services.
So how can an eCommerce brand take advantage of this new marketing strategy? Let’s look at the advantages and some disadvantages in utilizing influencer marketing to help promote your product or service.
Advertising and traditional media marketing have become completely saturated in recent years. Customers see traditional advertising like TV commercials as invasive, and it is reported that 86% of consumers experience banner blindness. Banner blindness is the act of consumers not being able to see or register ads that they see every day.
Native advertising is when influencer create creative content, while partnered with a brand, but it’s not viewed as invasive advertising. Instead, it is a more natural way for consumers to see products or services in mediums they are more connected to like social media. Because it is in a more natural way, influencer marketing content overcomes banner blindness and resistance from consumers and they actually see the products and services.
Improves Your Reputation and Increases Loyalty and Conversion
An influencer who agrees to market your product or services shows that they have a certain amount of trust in your company. Influencers have a certain authority in their opinions and reviews, and customers trust them to show them the very best. When you partner with an influencer, customers see this as a partnership where the influencer trusts your brand. The influencer and your brand have consciously decided to work together, which helps to improve your reputation as a company. Your customers see that your relationship with a trusted influencer is positive and this leads to a positive reputation among your customers.
A better online reputation means your customer is more likely to trust you and your products and services. This can lead to an increase in conversion rates and brand loyalty. A token advantage of partnering with an influencer is being able to directly contact and then negotiate the campaign. For example, after deciding to partner up with an influencer, you can then decide besides the free trial, what else they can offer to their followers. Whether it’s a special discount code, a call to action, or even a hosted competition; it’s all in your hands. This will lead to increased traffic on your website as their follows now become potential customers for you. Once you’ve converted them from shoppers to buyers, your brand loyalty will likely increase as well. As your customers experience your products and understand why their favorite influencer advocated for your products and services, they will keep coming back to your brand.
The main disadvantage of influencer marketing is the price tag. While some influencer partnerships can be done for relatively cheap, most are expensive and a commitment. As influencer marketing becomes more and more popular, the demand for influencer marketing goes up as well. Influencers know they have an influential voice, so they can dictate the price they want. “In 2014, a post by an influencer to promote a brand could have cost $400. Nowadays, this figure can reach $80,000 and remains on the up.”. It’s better to get into influencer marketing now before the market is fully saturated with sponsored posts and at a very high price.
When influencer marketing first started making waves, it was mostly sponsored content on blogs and websites. Bloggers were the most influential at the time as many people trust the opinions of bloggers who tried out products and services for themselves. As social media becomes the most prominent tool, we see a shift and influencer marketing is happening on mainly various social media channels. Instagram and Twitter are the most commonly used social media platforms, with Instagram being the reigning king in influencer marketing. Customers enjoy seeing visual products, and Instagram allows to see what exactly they are likely to purchase.
Two new social media platforms are rising as a ground for influencers. Snapchat and Periscope are two of the latest players in social media to utilize influencer marketing. They both focus on “real time” and this could be a big advantage for companies. Your customers will assume your products and services are being used in everyday life and situations and they are more than likely to purchase from you.
Influencer marketing is a strategy that is here to stay for the long haul. Customers trust opinions from people they know and have a connection with. Influencers use their voice and advocate their followers products and brands they are partnered with. With many advantages and some disadvantages, as a company you should really take the time to look at if influencer marketing is right for your company. While not cheap, influencer marketing has just that. Influence over a large group of people. Their impact on the way customers purchase products or services is substantial and a great way for your company to get your products out there.
- Dan Kogan
- September 21, 2016