Influencer marketing has not always been considered a legitimate business tool. The concept originated in early 2006 when, PayPerPost, the first influencer marketing platform, was founded. At the time, influencer marketing was a revolutionary idea, and not widely recognized in the field. As it often goes with innovative business ideas, PayPerPost was questioned for its idea to monetize the digital space. This newfangled concept came well before the days of paid ads and marketing campaigns, but it truly paved the way for the versatile virtual marketplace of today.
Though influencer marketing has evolved exponentially since the early 2000s, certain industries still remain skeptical about the effectiveness of bringing someone in just for their following. Influencers tout thousands, and often millions of followers, and promise enticing conversion rates for brands they partner with. If you have thought about launching an influencer campaign, your business will likely benefit from one. The versatility of this marketing funnel ensures that you can adjust and customize the plan to best suit your brand needs. Here are three reasons why your business needs influencers.
Influencers Drive Purchasing Decisions
Word of mouth is a powerful tool. It drives and formulates marketing decisions by swaying the individual buyer. Think about influencer marketing as word-of-mouth messaging, but simply on a much larger scale. Consumers are looking more and more to influencers and brand representatives as the deciding factor for their purchase decisions. The modern customer prioritizes small businesses, local resourcing, and sustainability. When an influencer reinforces these ideals through their personal promotion, it allows customers to feel more confident with their purchase decision.
Influencers Broaden Your Reach
When you partner with an influencer, you automatically widen your audience reach a thousandfold. Influencers bring an established audience and a solid reputation to the table. This provides a receptive demographic for them to market your products and services. When determining the right influencer for you, keep an eye on the audience engagement level with their content. The worst-case scenario is the influencer touts over 100K followers, but has under 100 likes on each Instagram picture. This activity is typically indicative of a purchased following (ie bots). Your influencer of choice should have at least 10% engagement when compared to the quantity of their following.
Influencers Benefit the Long Game
If you expect to make thousands of dollars in sales from a single influencer post, it is likely not the marketing tool for you. The purpose of influencer marketing is to invest in your audience long-term and to take the time to steadily build your brand reputation within a larger demographic. Because of this, it is essential that you look for longer term partnerships versus a one-time deal. Your influencer should support your brand vision and genuinely enjoy the products you have to offer. Many influencers are open to product exchanges, where you provide a certain quantity of goods as a trade for story and feed posts. Consider adding this clause to your contract to make your long term partnerships more fiscally sustainable.