Influencer marketing has strengthened as consumers continue to turn to the internet for social connection, education, and shopping needs. In fact, according to Influencer Marketing Hub’s Benchmark Report, the industry raised more than $800 million in funding last year and is projected to grow by $16.4 billion this year.
There are many strategic ways to implement influencer marketing in order to boost your brand’s awareness. Influencers are a powerful means for creating content that is more personal and targeted to your specific audience. Working with influencers will also allow you to create additional campaigns that can broaden the reach of your brand.
1. Create Personal Content
The personal aspect of influencer marketing is what makes this method effective. Consumers prefer interacting with their peers rather than a business. As a result, including influencers in your marketing strategies can be an effective way for brands to create meaningful connections with their audiences.
“Influencer marketing is successful because it breeds a whole new realm of human-to-human connection and innovative brand creativity,” says Sherri Nourse, co-founder of influencer marketing company, Ambition Media. “People trust advice from family and friends over that of third parties and business entities. They are naturally inclined to follow and are persuaded by peers having social gravitas exemplified by social proof — followers, likes, and shares.”
This is backed by research as well. According to a survey by Rakuten Marketing, 46% of consumers said that influencer recommendations can help them decide on a product to purchase. Furthermore, good taste and passion were the two things consumers used to determine the authenticity of an influencer. This authenticity encourages 43% of consumers to continually trust influencers who openly disclose their partnerships with a product or brand they are recommending.
2. Get To Know Your Target Audience
One of the most common tips I’ve heard given to new influencers is to niche down. In other words, new influencers are instructed to become extremely knowledgeable about their specific audience and to learn their target audience’s language. An influencer’s knowledge about a specific group of people becomes the key to their success and the reason certain brands find great success working with them.
A brand is able to gain access to more individuals in its target audience through influencers who have already done the work of building intimate relationships and trust with individuals. However, once a brand has acquired audience members through an influencer, it must maintain trust and provide social proof of the effectiveness of its product or offering. Learning how to maintain relationships with new audience members can also be learned through the example of influencers.
Linqia’s Vice President of Strategy, Keith Bendes, says, “The world of influencer marketing is also heavily self-regulated. If you don’t keep your audience engaged, you will lose the audience, and if you lose the audience, you lose the ability to make a living. Influencers are thus incentivized to create quality content that their audience wants to engage with and that means only working with brands that fit their persona and thus can authentically be woven into the fabric of their content.”
When considering which influencers to work with, do not completely disregard micro-influencers, or influencers with smaller followings. Often, these accounts have the bandwidth to be actively involved with their audience and your potential followers.
3. Implement Campaign Tactics
Once you have found influencers to work with that fit within your niche, you may consider more creative ways to expand your audience. Few influencer marketing campaigns are as effective as holding a contest or a giveaway, especially when it invites followers to tag their friends for additional reach. According to SproutSocial, these campaigns raise customer loyalty, convert leads, and may increase a brand’s following.
When determining which contests or giveaways will be most effective for your brand, consider asking your audience. You may even consider offering an award to the person who invents the best content idea. Either way, communication with your audience may allow you more insights into what they need or which products they are most willing to share with friends and people they care about.
Another campaign to consider as part of your 2023 influencer marketing strategy, is sending products to influencers to review and post on their personal social media accounts. According to a survey by Later, 77% of businesses indicated that they had sent free products to influencers in exchange for sponsored posts.
While working with influencers feels like a new game, building trust with customers has always been important. As the world changes and customers have new expectations, businesses must embrace influencer marketing to boost brand awareness.