The landscape of marketing and how brands reach new consumers is ever changing and often elusive. From good old fashioned print advertising to toys in our cereal boxes, advertising techniques have always changed with the times. This year is no different. Influencer marketing is the newest and fastest growing trend in digital marketing of 2018. Influencer marketing is a term you have probably heard tossed around a bunch lately. It’s classified by Google Trends as a “Breakout,” meaning that the keyword is experiencing growth greater than 5000 percent. Whoa!
Many businesses have already been experiencing the value of using key influencers in their field to do the marketing for them. It’s pretty genius. The idea, essentially, is that instead of targeting your consumers directly, you reach them through key individuals that already have your consumers trust. The theory being that customers are more likely and willing to trust their peers than a brand they don’t have any experience with yet. It’s not that influencer marketing is completely revolutionary idea, it’s been around for decades. But combining influencer marketing with social media is what’s changing the game.
Top 5 Reasons Why It’s The Fastest Growing Marketing Trend of 2018
1. Highly Targeted and Customizable
Influencer marketing provides a level of targeted advertising unprecedented in 2018. Sure, we’ve been using Facebook remarketing for a while with some level of effectiveness, but having a key influencer be a proud sponsor of your brand can take your conversion rate to the next level. People who follow an influencer are likely to also follow the same brands as that celebrity or figure. Making avenues like social media a great platform for your business to connect with potential clients.
Additionally, think about the wealth of information available to marketers simply by visiting an influencer’s platform. For example, check out Doug the Pug’s Twitter feed or this 27 year old Youtuber who’s net worth is close to 10 million dollars. In less than a couple of minutes you can have a pretty well rounded idea of who’s following these accounts, what kinds of products they’re interested in, and what they value.
2. Gives You an SEO Boost
There are many factors that influence your ranking among search engines. According to Sourceline Media, the two at the top of the list are backlinks and high quality content. Backlinks are simply when a top ranking website links directly to your site. The more backlinks you can obtain the higher your page will climb! This is where key influencers come in. The influencer might have a blog with several hundred thousand subscribers, run a Youtube channel, or other social media platform. An influencer might mention how much they love your brand on their social media account. This is your opportunity to contact them and offer to send them free product in exchange for back linking your website or dedicating a blog post to you.
3. Builds Trust and Authenticity Among Your Audience
According to Tap Influence, 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source. Say you’re a small business that specializes in wedding videography but you’re struggling to expand your reach. But then you book the wedding of a fashion blogger that has close to 1 million Instagram followers. That fashion blogger shares clips of your video on her Instagram account and her blog. All of a sudden your calendar is booked solid for the rest of the year! You just increased your brand awareness by close to 1 million potential viewers. Also, her followers see her as an authority in her field. So loyal followers of her brand in turn become loyal followers of your brand.
4. Consumers Will Prefer Native Advertising in 2018
With many consumers utilizing Ad-blocking software, marketers will have to get more and more creative with how they reach their consumers. According to Reuters, in 2015 47% of consumers were using ad-blockers, and this number has only increased. Additionally, there have been many many studies on the type of advertising most preferred by consumers. Native advertising is almost unanimously preferred and the most effective. IAB and Edelmen were reported to have, “surveyed approximately 5,000 consumers to get their opinions on native advertising. According to the results, relevant and meaningful in-feed, sponsored content that tells a story was the most important factor for making an ad a success.”
5. Inexpensive Marketing With a High Return
In decades past, many brands threw thousands of dollars of their advertising budgets at consumers through every avenue possible hoping something would stick. And much of the time, their efforts weren’t targeted enough to get their brand’s message in front of the right audience. Additionally, in 2016 advertisers lost over $12 billion due to invalid traffic ; I.E. clicks driven by bots instead of by actual consumers. Advertising has historically been extremely costly and the margin of error extremely small. Influencer marketing has changed that entirely. A company might not even have to directly pay the influencer in order to be featured. It might be enough to simply send that individual free product in exchange for a blog or Instagram post. According to Tomoson, on average brand’s are receiving 6$ for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. That is a huge ROI for companies of any size.
Once you’re ready to create a plan of action tofind influencers, don’t overlook the “micro influencers.” These are individuals who have 30k followers or less but are actually very powerful assets. In fact, according to some sources your ROI with micro influencers could actually be higher than with a more widely known internet celebrity. This might seem counter intuitive, but it actually makes a lot of sense. The most famous of internet celebrities likely receive tons of requests a day from brands wanting to sponsor them, so you’ll have a lot more competition to fight with and have to spend more of your advertising budget.
Additionally, the larger the influencer’s following, the less and less targeted the advertising becomes. If you can hit the sweet spot and work with an influencer of around 30k followers, you can still get your name out there to a ton of potential clients but not have to spend nearly as much of your precious advertising budget. In turn, your ROI will be much higher.
So before you go throwing your life savings at a 10 second ad spot on local cable TV, invest some time and a little money into influencer advertising. Many major brands have already experienced immense success with this form of advertising and it’s popularity continues to grow.