What Are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
In the age of visual platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, influencer marketing is becoming one of the most promising methods of getting eyes on a brand or product. It’s a simple process, really: Companies pay social media moguls with large followings to show off their products and services, expanding their reach and gaining credibility and recognition in the process.
According to Forbes, influencer marketing is growing even more quickly than digital ads, staking its place as one of the most effective means of online marketing. And that was the case back in 2017! As social media has continued to evolve, influencer marketing opportunities have only increased in recent years, and they show know signs of slowing — though they haven’t wiped more traditional forms of advertising off the board completely. The important thing is to know when to leverage each method.
As with any type of advertising, there are pros and cons to influencer marketing that need to be weighed against what a brand is attempting to accomplish through their promotional campaign. Basically, the question you’ll need to answer is this: Do the benefits of influencer marketing sound like they’ll help your company reach its goals?
Of course, first you’ll need to understand what those benefits are. Here are some of the biggest upsides of taking advantage of this marketing strategy.
Influencer Marketing Increases Trust
Why does having a well-known influencer tout your product work so much better than sharing it via your company’s social media pages, or through ads on someone else’s website? One major factor to consider when answering this question is consumer trust.
It’s no secret that most people don’t enjoy being sold to, at least not in a way that makes the seller’s intentions obvious. This is especially true of younger generations, like millennials and Gen Z, but it’s probably safe to say there’s a level of mistrust present for all consumers when it comes to ads. (Of course, you, the company selling this product or service, would say it’s great. You need to sell it!)
Promoting through influencers, on the other hand, builds a level of trust that isn’t present with advertisements — because, to a certain extent, that trust already exists between the consumer and the influencer. Influencers spend the majority of their time online building a relationship with their followers, and studies show that younger generations look up to and admire these social media personalities. With that in mind, it’s no wonder they’ll take an influencer’s word for it when it comes to buying a product.
And although the consumer may know deep down — or even be told directly — that the creator is being paid to talk about something, they still find more credibility in a third-party opinion. If that influencer is considered an expert in the category the product falls under, that’s even better.
Get Around Adblockers
Another benefit of using influencer marketing over traditional digital advertising is that consumers won’t miss out on your promotions due to something like adblockers. Although a study from AudienceProject suggests that less and less people are taking advantage of adblockers these days, the report shows that, depending on the location, anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of internet users still have programs in place to block or limit pop-ups and advertisements from appearing on their screens. Sure, that may seem like positive news, since it’s under half — but that number also represents plenty of people your company might be able to sell to under other circumstances!
Since influencers do most of their promoting on social media platforms, brands don’t need to worry about having their promotions blocked from the get-go. Instead, they can trust that their marketing campaign will reach the right people. Speaking of…
Pinpoint Your Target Audience
Companies can take advantage of as many promotional tools as possible, but it won’t matter if they aren’t reaching their target audience with their marketing strategies. For example, if you were selling exercise equipment, you’d want your promotions to reach fitness enthusiasts and individuals looking to get in shape, not consumers who detest the very thought of putting on running sneakers.
If it’s done right, influencer marketing helps with this endeavor. Of course, this does require some work on the brand’s end: You’ll need to do research to figure out which influencers have audiences similar to your company’s. Finding the right creators to promote your brand is worth the effort, though, as it helps pinpoint your target audience. From there, businesses can rest easy, knowing their products and services are being showcased to the very people who might buy them.
Boost Brand Visibility
Reaching a target audience is one of the biggest focuses of influencer marketing, but it doesn’t hurt to get your brand’s name out there in a more general sense as well. And continued influencer marketing will inevitably reach social media users outside of your chosen demographic.
While this may not be the goal of your influencer marketing campaign, it is an indirect benefit, as it gets your brand’s name out there and positions your company as a known entity in whichever field you specialize. In the best-case scenario, this could also attract customers who aren’t within your target audience — and sales are sales, no matter where they come from.
Increase Your Web Traffic Through SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t all about your company’s website and content (although those things are important, too). The more your brand or product is being talked about online, the more likely it is that a search engine will begin to recognize it. This is one of the indirect benefits of influencer marketing that could help your company rank more highly on search engines like Google —and that alone could convert to sales somewhere down the line.