5 Reasons You Need Influencers to Revive Your Content Marketing
More and more consumers are turning to social media channels as their primary source of news and entertainment content. But thanks to the algorithm updates on social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, only a small percentage of your 100,000 followers may actually see your brand’s message, particularly if that message is pushing a product or using any of the same content from your traditional advertising. Brands need to get creative if they want to break through the clutter. They need to go beyond traditional digital marketing and enlist passionate subject matter experts to speak on their behalf and in the appropriate channels.
Enter: Influencer Marketing.
Influencer Marketing is “partnering with social content creators, those with key audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, to help brands connect and engage with consumers through an authentic and trusted source.” (Source: TapInfluence).
Over time the influencer builds a relationship with their followers. They form a bond of admiration, loyalty and trust which is built on the values and interests they share with their following. Big brands will often hire influencers to extend their own marketing efforts, either to push out the brands content or create additional content along the same theme.
Read on for the top 5 reasons to use influencers as part of your overall content plan.
Reason #1: Influencers have a more loyal and engaged audience than brands and celebs
According to a study by TapInfluence, content pushed out by influencers generates 11 times the traffic of a traditional digital campaign. (Source: TapInfluence)
As a brand, forming genuine connections with your connections is difficult. At the end of the day you’re trying to sell them something; the relationship is transactional. The brands with the most longevity are the ones who can successfully turn this transactional relationship into a long term content relationship based on mutual interest and shared values, but this is often easier said than done.
It’s important to note that using celebrity spokesman is not the same thing as hiring an influencer. Using a celebrity spokesperson with a massive social following is much more costly and less effective than using a small collection of influencers. Celebrities tend to have a more diverse audience, including “bandwagon” followers that care more about pop culture news than the celebrity’s life and purchase decisions. And for good reason – these follower are smart – they know a celebrity endorsement is likely more about the money than about genuine interest in the product. Take this example from Scott Disick’s Instagram (see image at right) – he literally copy-pasted the entire email from the Bootea Shake marketing team directly into his Instagram post. (Source: GQ.com)
Fame and followers begets more fame and followers when it comes to celebrities, but this audience is not nearly as loyal and trusting as that of an “influencer” blogger or vlogger. Instead, the shotgun approach of using celebrity endorsers may hit some of your target, but it will also reach plenty of people who find your message completely irrelevant to them.
Reason #2: Fresh ideas
Likely you’ve had the same people working on your brand for some time, so dreaming up new and exciting stories can be difficult. Finding an influencer than emulates your brand identity and message allows you to outsource some of that ideation. And since the influencer knows their own audience best, you can get some peace of mind in knowing that they know how to deliver a message that will resonate with their own audience. Simply brief the influencer on the core messaging for your brand and then give them the creative freedom to infuse that message into their content.
For example, Buick worked with influencers on a campaign around holiday happiness, with a core focus of finding balance despite the usual holiday craziness. Buick then outsourced some of this storytelling to select bloggers, simply by giving them a vehicle and asking them to write in their blogs and social channels about how they find balance while getting ready for the holidays. (Image Source: aloveaffairwithfashion.com)
Reason #3: Influencers ensure audience engagement
An influencer’s #1 goal for their own content is to generate active engagement from their followers. Compare this to a passive medium like television, where your audience may see your ad but they have no way to engage with it (nor do they want to).
Influencers also tend to based their content around certain passions points, and in turn their audiences share those passion points and come back to see similar content on a continuous basis. Topics range from fashion, food, travel, “lifestyle” (all of the above) to more niche topics and hobbies that garner a very specific audience. This gives you, as a brand, the opportunity to align with a targeted audience whose passions directly aligns with those of your target persona. For example, if my brand is targeting moms who are trying to get back into shape after having a baby, I’ll choose a blogger who pushes out that type of content (Example below).
Reason #4: Create trust in your own brand by leveraging the influencer-follower bond
A successful influencer is continuously working to uphold the relationships with his or her following. They are up front and honest with their followers, and they keep their audience engaged by listening and responding to what their followers have to say (Source: eMarketer). The network followers, in turn, feel a connection to the influencer due to these shared interests and values, and will come back again and again to re-engage with the influencer’s content.
“According to Nielsen, trust is the #1 factor in any buying decision with conversions increasing by 90 percent when someone trusted suggests a product.” (Source: TapInfluence/Nielson)
By syncing up with an influencer your brand is personified through that influencer, so the trust that influencer has built with their following becomes borrowed trust for your brand. The best part is fans generally don’t care that the content is sponsored. They care about what the influencer has to say and trust the influencer to only align with causes they honestly care about. This undoubtedly stems from the influencers’ selectivity when partnering with brands. It’s a two-way street; most influencers are just as concerned with aligning with a brand’s core values. (Source: eMarketer/TapInfluence)
Reason #5: Influencers put your message in the context of real life
By putting your brand message in the hands of influencers, you’re giving them the freedom to digest it and deliver it in their own words, and in the context of their own lives. An influencer adds a human element to your story, and in turn their followers are able to imagine your product in the context of their lives.
This is even truer when pushing out very niche topics in your content marketing. At this point you can go even further by using micro- influencers for hypertargeting an audience with very specific passion points and interests.
A micro-influencer is a content producer with a much smaller following (under 100,000 connections). Micro-influencers tend to be cheaper to work with, and although their overall following is smaller, the bond they’ve built with their followers tends to be much stronger.
Using microinfluencers also allows you to work with multiple content producers – and thus reach multiple new audiences – for the same cost as one higher-profile celebrity. The cost of most micro-influencer posts range from $250 to 500 each (see eMarketer image at right), while one post from a celebrity can run well into the thousands (Source: Jezebel.com); even a C-list celeb like Scott Disick requires between $15,000 and $20,000 for a single sponsored post (Source: GQ.com).