Written by Tim Hyde, Founder and Director of Social Media Marketing Agency, TWH Media
By the close of 2020, the spend on influencer marketing is forecast to exceed an incredible $10 Billion.
A clear area of growth for marketing strategy and spend, Businesses, Brands and Organisations globally are now fully aware of the potential impact Social Influencers can have on promoting and representing their brand.
But in forging new collaborations, do brands have a clear grasp on what really works in Influencer Marketing? And, more importantly, do they fully understand how Influencers can add a different dimension to their social media marketing?
Focus on awareness, not sales
So many businesses and brands try to use Influencers to drive sales and acquisitions, but, in reality, the shot gun tactic of hoping an Instagram post will deliver 10 new product sales will not produce results.
Influencers are typically best used for increased awareness and engagement, or what we call ‘upper funnel’ communication. Though it can and is certainly possible to use influencers for acquisition, building innovative ambassador campaigns to create touch points and positive sentiment with influencers will drive increased engagement and longer-term results.
Create brand loyalty
Brand evangelism and loyalty are key for successfully growing any business or profile online. Social Influencers provide another media channel in which to build, create and establish this trust and loyalty, by consistently communicating and reinforcing positive brand messages to stakeholders online.
In understanding the true value influencers can provide in brand representation, not only will businesses experience an increase in online conversions, but as a communications channel, influencer marketing will appear more authentic and effective as a result.
A measured but holistic approach
Many businesses and brands fail to take a holistic approach to influencers, focusing solely on their number of followers as opposed to evaluating how much influence they have over their owned audience, as well assessing what level of content will be created and distributed as part of their collaboration.
In taking this more holistic and measured approach to influencer marketing, not only will brands be able to identify quality influencers that actually build sentiment with and are trusted by their followers, but they will be able to forge relationships with influencers that are more likely to convert consumers online through positive brand representation.
Influencer Marketing has grown significantly in recent years, but many businesses and brands still fail to get it right by focusing solely on Following and Acquisition.
Taking a measured and holistic approach that evaluates audience engagement and the potential for growth through an effective content strategy, will not only enable brands to transform influencers into ambassadors, but will also offer a new way of distributing impactful content that converts consumers into customers.
Used properly, influencers can add a different dimension to Social Media marketing. It all comes down to setting clear, measurable objectives and integrating it with the rest of the marketing activity to ensure its success.