If you’re looking to grow your business you first need people to buy your products and trust your brand. You’ll want to create reassurance within your target audience that when purchasing from you, they’ll receive high quality products and a good consumer experience.
More often than not, users trek through customer review after customer review, seek recommendations from friends and family just to listen to other people’s opinions of you. All to try to find out whether they can rely on you or not.
With social media growing, we’re seeing a shift from users voicing their experiences only on customer review sites to using social media too or instead. That means with billions of social media users over the world, pretty much anyone can become a social media influencer and hence be an advocate for you brand.
“Influencer marketing” as a search term on Google Trends, has risen by 400% in the last 2 years. – Forbes
Businesses both big and small, are taking on board “influencer marketing” tactics to build their brand credibility and gain more exposure. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the importance of adding influencers to your content marketing strategy.
Who Are Influencers?
Influencers can be bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers and similar, who usually have large followings. They’re people or groups of people that your audience will often look up to. Hence, they’re asked by many businesses to promote their goods and services to help brands tap into their large followings to gain both awareness and conversions.
It’s crucial that you understand using any generic influencer won’t always work for you. Instead, you need to do plenty of research to find someone who is honest, relates to not only your product but also your brand values, to ensure you make a collaboration that will generate success for both parties.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Once you’ve formed a successful partnership you’re likely to start receiving some of the many pros it offers. Below, you’ll find seven business-changing benefits to influencer marketing.
1. High Quality Content
One of the most popular points is that influencers are a great addition to your digital strategy for, if chosen carefully, they create excellent pieces of content. After all, the content they’re producing will be featured amongst their Instagram feed, Facebook posts and even YouTube channel, hence, they’ll want it to look good and fit within their theme.
Tip: If you don’t already, find a theme for your social content. Sometimes, you can create your website in an array of colours and “make it look pretty” but forget to adopt this approach across your other platforms. Rookie error.
Make sure you keep your colour palette consistent, use the same fonts and in most cases, keep the same tone of voice. It’ll help you better stick out as a brand when your profile starts to grow.
Not only does the content that influencers produce look great, it can also save you a lot of time and resources. Sometimes, businesses turn to social promoters to help take the weight from their shoulders. If they can get someone with a large social following creating their graphics, it’ll give them more time to dedicate to other areas within the business. For example, customer service or similar.
Furthermore, particularly for companies that don’t have the skills and equipment to produce high quality images or video content, it can make use of someone else’s skills whilst capitalising on their social following rather than bringing in an external video agency to produce a video that still requires promoting by an influencer anyway.
2. Quick-Win Content
Not all social media collaborations are free. Sometimes it’s worth brands paying influencers to create content in the form of a paid product review. This works best when trying to establish a connection with a huge social influencer who isn’t willing to openly talk about your product for free.
Good To Know: Not all collaborations are paid and you don’t want to fall into the trap of constantly paying social media users to promote your product, particularly if their following isn’t within the 50K-100K+ range. Do your research first.
Find people who will bring value to your brand and then, if they require payment, you can weigh up how much revenue you expect to come from them to derive whether it’s worth paying for or not.
Perhaps their time is limited and so, even though they may love your brand and product, payment is needed to be featured on their highly popular page. Plus, if you’re paying for a review, you’re more likely to ensure the quality of the piece is of an excellent standard.
However, it’s important to remember that a fundamental point of influencer marketing is to approach and establish relationships with people who actually like your product and are happy to promote it. Sometimes, influencers can be already using your product without sharing that they are.
Tip: To find these people, it may be worth having a look at your consumer orders, though it can be a lengthy process. We recommend, sending a follow up email to your customers, encouraging them to write a review on either your website or on an external review site.
3. Save Time & Target Their Audience
Another key reason why businesses collaborate with influencers is to easily tap into an established audience. This helps to eliminate the problem of having a smaller number of followers on your social channels and if done right, can help transfer their followers to become your followers.
For example, by running a competition or giveaway hosted by them, the influencer can ask their followers to “like” the picture posted, “tag a friend” to boost awareness and then “follow” your profile as the terms and conditions to enter.
This is a great way for increasing awareness, engaging and trust towards your brand. The average person is deemed to thoroughly enjoy winning something and if your prize is of value, for very little consumer effort they can do just that.
Targeting their audience saves you time. You no longer need to allocate as many people to monitor, manage and interact on social channels in attempt to gain followers and traction. Instead, your social media influencer does (most) of the hard work for you.
4. Improves Brand Awareness
To continue, if you have bloggers that are from different areas, you’ll likely increase your brand awareness in these specific places too. This is particularly useful for brands looking to expand.
Most influencers will utilise all social features (and for best practice, so should you) meaning when posting their Instagram content, they’ll often tag their location, include hashtags from around that area and similar.
By doing so, your brand will show up in the “explore” section of Instagram as a “latest post” for this specific area and also as a “most recent” or “top” post when searching for a specific hashtag that’s been used within the post. This is perfect for giving you increased exposure. It places your content in the eyes of not only your influencers audience, but others in the area and using those hashtags, too.
5. Gives Your Users Amazing Value
Influencers are already in tune with the needs of the people they serve and so, by utilising them in your content strategy, you’re likely to provide your viewers with lots of useful information. More so, than you would operating as your brand alone.
Even if the content you were previously posting was similar to that the influencer contributes, it can be the way they do it, the times they do it and the places that they do it that determines its success.
6. Utilise Their Knowledge
Bloggers will often have stories of the blood, sweat and tears that they’ve put into their social media channels or blog. They’ll usually be full of actionable tips that you can use to help generate growth for your social channels. It’s your job to listen hard, understand how they overcame challenges to ultimately, make great use of it.
It’s important to listen to your influencers so that you can learn from their skills and pick up their understanding of your audience. Sometimes, they’ll find that certain tactics generate better results from your readers and so, take this on board. Just because your marketing research states your users should like a certain type of content, isn’t always the case.
We suggest doing the following 3 steps with your influencers:
- Ask them for advice – no idea is a bad idea. What do they think is good about your brand or product? What would they change? How would they initially think to promote it?
- Host meetings to get their thought on relevant trends and technologies. We know that Instagram have recently launching IGTV. Do your influencers think you should be using this? What ways do they suggest using it?
- Ask them what customer feedback they receive and trail through their post or video comments. What are people saying? Do they like your brand, do they have any recommendations or product/customer service suggestions?
7. Long-Lasting Winning Partnerships
Connecting with a social media influencer can be the start of a powerful relationship. When it flourishes, it will more often than not will increase sales, increase revenue and ultimately grow your business.
Whether you’re in it for the long-haul or not, partnering with a well-known influencer who is “right” for your brand, will usually help generate at least awareness, a social following and an adequate amount of sales.
As you’d expect, the longer you stick to promoting with a particular blogger, the more you’re likely to be trusted and respected by their followers, ensuring both their loyal following and purchasing of your goods, over time.
For more influencer and content marketing information, check out these other Marketing.com.au articles:
- How to Obtain High Quality Links with Influencer Marketing
- 5 Tips for Content Marketing Success
- How to Create a Great Content Marketing Strategy
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- Importance of Adding Influencers to Your Content Marketing Strategy - August 7, 2018