In recent years, there has been an increase in brands utilizing the power and popularity of influencers to promote their products. Influencer marketing has nearly doubled since 2019, with more and more brands looking to incorporate it as a part of their marketing strategy.
Influencers hold a key power that is a fundamental factor behind any strong brand: trust. Studies have shown that consumers are losing trust in the brands with which they do business.
That being said, companies are looking to build on the trust factor with consumers, and that’s where influencers can come in.
THE TRUST FACTOR
Influencers possess a lot of authority within their audiences. Oftentimes, they are looked at as reliable sources for making purchase decisions that affect the daily lives of their followers. For example, a beauty influencer might have a valued opinion of the best hair straightening product. A food influencer might be the most trusted when it comes to finding the best steakhouse in town. Their views hold significance among their subscribers, which is why brands are using them as an avenue to pitch their products.
However, the loyalty influencers receive from their audience doesn’t happen by chance. For most creators, it happens by being consistent and selective with the products they promote and always putting their audience before any sponsorship check.
Many successful influencers tend to only work with brands and products they believe in. One lousy recommendation can be a big blow to their reputation and deprive them of their most valuable asset.
That “asset” of trust, which influencers take years to build, is essentially borrowed by brands when using influencers to promote their products.
USING INFLUENCERS TO GROW BRAND AWARENESS
Aside from brand-building, influencers are also commonly used for efforts to grow awareness. Their reach can subsequently contribute to top-of-funnel marketing measures to gain visibility.
Here are a few ways brands can collaborate with influencers:
1. AFFILIATE PARTNERSHIPS
Affiliate marketing allows brands to provide influencers with automatic kickbacks from sales generated through unique affiliate links. Many startups use this method when dealing with limited budgets since it allows them to secure sponsored posts with minimal upfront costs.
2. PRODUCT GIFTING
Product gifting is another great way to gain visibility from influencers on a smaller budget. This works by sending influencers your product in exchange for a shoutout.
This method may not work for influencers with large followings since their barrier to promotion can be much higher.
3. SPONSORED CONTENT
Sponsored content is one of the oldest ways of influencer collaboration. This works by directly paying influencers a flat fee in exchange for a promotional post or other types of sponsored content.
4. GUEST BLOGGING
Guest blogging is commonly used by service companies looking to raise awareness for their businesses or by thought leaders looking to grow their personal brands. Guest blogging works by providing value in the form of content (usually an article) in exchange for reaching a blogger’s readership.
5. BRAND AMBASSADORSHIP
Brand ambassador partnerships are longer-term partnerships between brands and influencers. In these partnerships, influencers become the “face” of the brand and promote its products or services on an ongoing basis. This can include creating content for the brand’s social media channels, attending events on behalf of the brand, and providing exclusive offers and discounts to their followers.
Keep in mind, many influencers receive numerous requests from brands, so it’s essential to stand out and make a good impression. This can be achieved by offering a unique and appealing partnership opportunity or by highlighting the benefits of working with your brand.
Marketers are always trying to get their products in front of the right audience. Influencers focusing on specific niches tend to have easily identifiable audiences, which is ideal for marketers since reaching the right audience is essentially built-in.
It’s important to note that the best influencer for your brand may not necessarily be the one with the most followers. Instead, it would be best to look for an influencer with an engaged following relevant to your target audience. This will help to ensure that your message reaches the right people and has the greatest impact.
HARNESS THE POWER OF INFLUENCER MARKETING
With the growth of influencers, it’s easy to find creators in every space, promoting all kinds of products and retaining all sorts of audiences. Influencer marketing can cover multiple marketing touchpoints, from raising awareness to engaging and building trust with potential customers.
Influencer marketing enables reaching potential customers at every stage of the decision-making process, from when they first become aware of a brand to when they are considering making a purchase. Its dynamic nature allows it to stretch out through the entirety of the marketing funnel, giving influencer marketing a key advantage over many other marketing avenues.
In addition, influencer marketing can be highly flexible and customizable. Brands can work with influencers to create content tailored to their target audience and can use a variety of formats, including sponsored posts, product reviews, guest posting, and more, making it a powerful tool for reaching specific demographics and building meaningful connections with potential customers.
Overall, if your brand has not yet utilized the power of influencer marketing, it may be time to consider incorporating it into your marketing strategy.
Source: Fast Company
Mendel Cohen is the CEO and Founder at Krafted Digital, a Miami-based Digital Marketing Firm.