Word of Mouth in the Digital Age: The Power of Social Media Influencers
Today you scroll through your Instagram feed, scanning through pictures of friends, food, and that random ad Instagram now places in your feed. The ad you didn’t ask to see. You just scroll past it, not even giving the post a second glance. But imagine if the company paying for the ad used your favorite blogger or Insta-celebrity to advertise the product? Would you pay attention then? Research states that, yes, you would. With a significant 41% percent of consumers using adblock technology, marketers need to invest in new ways to attract consumers, and influencers are the key: 51% of marketers get more sales from influencer marketing because of the trust consumers place on influencers. So rather than placing an intrusive ad into someone’s feed on any social media outlet, why not take a chance with influencers?
1. Influencer Marketing Is More Organic
Influencers are your new best friends; they’re like that kid in high school that everybody knows, and the one who can introduce you to the clique you’ve been wanting to join. An influencer is a person, not an algorithm used to target users. The content they produce is simply not a paid ad for a toothbrush placed robotically onto your Facebook feed. Influencer content is the trusted blogger you’re obsessed with telling you how this toothbrush worked magic to brighten her smile.
With so many ads swarming social media, word of mouth is a prime factor in 20-50% of purchasing decisions. Social media influencers are major players in the marketing world as they already have a long list of loyal followers who will trust their judgement. There is an influencer for everything, from beauty, to health & fitness, even technology. The users subscribing to their content are actively investing their time and interest to follow these influencers. It’s almost like receiving advice from a trusted friend: you would rather listen to them than a random ad.
2. Influencers Can Be Pricey, But They’re Worth it
True, the price of an influencer campaign is growing — with some influencers like Kylie Jenner being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to post photos. But instead of focusing on the price, why not turn your attention to the benefits of investing in a social media influencer?
Most companies search social media platforms in order to find the perfect influencer that represents the brand and is interested in a partnership. Searching specific hashtags and identifying top posts helps track down influencers. When searching for an influencer to match your campaign, their number of followers and levels of engagement are important. Followers can range anywhere from 10K to 10 million, but in most cases engagement is more powerful than follower count; this metric shows that the influencer truly does have a strong relationship with his or her followers.
The only downside to influencer marketing campaigns is that consumers realize influencers need to make a living too. Sometimes their partnerships are ways to monetize their brand and this may conflict with credibility. But, because 92% of consumers trust the advice they receive from an individual when making a purchase, why not take the chance?
Case in point: last July, Adweek showcased an influencer campaign designed by Lord & Taylor where fifty fashion influencers wore the same dress from Lord & Taylor and posted the photos on the same day. By the next weekend, the dress had sold out, and the influencer-crafted content made users believe it was the must have trend of the season.
3. You Can Still Track Sales And Boost Your SEO
When using an influencer campaign, most times you have to hand over creative rights to the influencer as they create their own content and stage their own photos. However, this can work to your advantage. Most influencers create beautiful content for their own social media outlets, and these posts are liked, retweeted, and shared by their devoted followers — and if your brand is attached to a viral post, it will show up higher in Google search rankings, and increase your SEO ranking. It’s a win-win for you and your influencer.
Similarly, using an influencer campaign still allows for sales tracking. When advertising a product using a social media influencer, the brand can promote an exclusive promo code through the influencer. This way, you’ll be able to track exactly who bought your product directly from your influencer campaign.
4. An influencer can completely spruce up your brand
If you’re looking to update your brand, turning to influencers for help can be the perfect way. Using influencers to heighten your brand’s motto can modernize your brand. Take Johnnie Walker Whisky for example: this is a brand that stands for spontaneity and adventure, and partners with influencers whose lives reflect that same sense of boldness.
Partnering with influencers to promote an array of key points in your brand’s story can make huge waves on social platforms. Whether your product is for a good cause or the anniversary edition of a luxury handbag, influencers disperse knowledge and create hype unlike any others.
Are You Convinced?
Social media influencers help attach a face to your brand or product, a recognizable face with lots of power. That face is friendly and offers his or her followers advice when purchasing products, and this is more organic than ordinary product placement. While influencer campaigns are growing in number and price, social media influencers are definitely worth it. With a target audience only a tweet away, influencers are the new, creative way to spread the word.