So far in my Influencer Marketing 101 series we've talked about:
- What a social media influencer actually IS and how they can help your biz
- The 5 rookie mistakes all businesses make when working with influencers
- The criteria every influencer you work with NEEDS to meet
Now, it's time to talk about the 8 key ways influencer marketing can help your business grow. Let's get down to it, folks! 😄
Build brand awareness
If you want to get your brand out of the shadows, then influencer marketing is the way to go. It's almost as if you're grabbing your virtual megaphone and shouting "hey, I exist!" to your target audience.
I've definitely been on the consumer side of this. I've seen a blogger post about a new brand I'd never heard of before, and then suddenly it's everywhere - YouTubers are recommending it, Instagrammers are posting about it, and I think "wow, this brand has got such a strong influencer campaign going on here". 9/10 times I'll end up purchasing from the brand I've been seeing everywhere and I'm sure I'm not the only one that does the same!
Does your target audience know your brand exists? You might not want to fiddle around with social media ads but perhaps influencer marketing is more natural solution to this problem.
One of the best results of influencer marketing is the connections you make. I'm sure I don't need to preach to you about the importance of networking for your business - well, influencers are some of the best people you can connect with.
Of course, partnering with an influencer is a two-way street: you know they can offer you a path to their audience but what can you offer them? Perhaps you could reach some kind of barter or agreement
If you run a smooth influencer campaign (and don't make any rookie mistakes), you'll come out of it with some strong working relationships that could be great for your long-term marketing strategy.
Builds a community
By collaborating with an influencer, you are reaching their audience and exposing your brand to a loyal community. Brand communities can grow and develop on an influencer's platform, especially if you have a long-term relationship/partnership with the influencer in question.
If the influencer is being positive about your brand, they can encourage positive feedback and comments from their audience. This can start conversation around your business online - and you can't put a price on word of mouth!
If you have a strong strategy in place, you'll hopefully be interacting with this audience and have links in place to encourage them to find you elsewhere online (your blog, your social media, or your email list) to ensure that this community becomes part of your own audience.
Reaches a new audience
If you are launching a new product or taking your brand down a new path, you might want to get exposure to an audience you haven't reached out to before. On the other hand, you might have a strong marketing strategy in place for your business but you know there are more likeminded people you want to reach. This is where your influencers step in!
You can work with an influencer to reach a whole new audience of people who have never heard of your brand or business before. Who better to introduce them to your biz than someone they respect and admire?
Top tip: Remember that the influencer knows their audience inside and out so let them take the lead when it comes down to creative ideas and how to position your brand.
Increases SEO performance
We've all heard about doing guest blog posts to add backlinks and improve our SEO. Well, the same rules apply with influencer marketing.
Asking an influencer to link to your website will really help your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ranking! Now, I'm not super techy so I've found another great explanation of how this works from Onalytica:
Off-the-page SEO in social is defined by the amount of shares you receive but also by the influence of who retweets or shares your content. Key influencers on social media can highly increase your reach on those networks but they can also have a very positive effect on off-the-page SEO.
So, basically, influencers have a positive effect on your SEO, which will mean that you get more referrals from Google, which (hopefully) means MORE SALES! 🎉
It is welcomed advertising
As opposed to paid advertisements that consumers have no say in seeing, influencer collaborations are welcomed advertising. Audiences are actively seeking new content from their favourite audiences and, organic or sponsored, they are usually happy to read/watch/view any new content.
A Facebook ad, for example, is pushed to whoever Facebook thinks matches your target audience. Chances are, your ad is going to get scrolled past with maybe a little engagement but even fewer conversions.
On the other hand, if you work with a YouTuber, you're putting your brand in front of your target audience, sure, but you've also paired it with someone who has influence over them! This brings me nicely onto my next point...
Increases trust in brand
You've probably heard this statistic before (and it sounds like a broken record to me) but here it goes:
84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from people their know about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness. - Nielsen
Consumers are much more likely to purchase from a business after they have heard a positive recommendation from someone they know than after seeing an advert for the same business.
Influencer marketing is essentially strategic word of mouth, and, believe me, nothing builds more trust in a brand than word of mouth. Would you rather be telling you audience you think you are great (in FB ads, blog posts, social media) or having someone they trust tell them you are great? I know what I'd pick 😉
Creates shareable content
Working with an influencer to help promote your business will mean you will have some great content to share with your audience.
If you work with a YouTuber to create a video, you can share that on your Facebook page or embed it in a blog post. On the other hand, an Instagrammer's photo is great content to regram or add to a product gallery on your website!
This isn't a huge reason to get started with influencer marketing but it's definitely a great side effect!
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