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7 Burning Questions Answered: Why Influencer Marketing Is A Game Changer

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Awareness, engagement, and sales–for many marketers, these are the three steps that make for a good marketing campaign. However, it's not something that is done through a linear, step-by-step approach, making marketing a field that has always been a tough arena to navigate. This is because a lot of the decision-making and power lies with the consumers. Thus, a new tactic, which leverages not only awareness and engagement, but also a select few who wield a lot of influence, maybe the key to increasing your business's traction and momentum. If you have ever wondered how you can use influencer marketing in your business strategy but stayed on the fence about it, this may be the time to reconsider. Check out these seven burning questions about influencer marketing that may help you decide on your next mode of action.

Why is Influencer Important in Marketing?

The world of influencers offers both a wider reach and a precise means of targeting one's audience. Think of them as the middle ground between endorsers and the common consumer who loves to post reviews. They have the power to influence people and still be trusted because their expertise makes them knowledgeable about a field. So, what is influencer marketing, and how can you benefit from it? By affiliating themselves with your brand, your brand gets a seal of approval as one that they would patronize. The reality is that brands are no longer the authority in the market–this power now lies with the people. And those who wield some of the biggest guns of authority in this area are the influencers.

How Do You Find Influencers?

In this day and age, influencers seem to be a dime a dozen. Some have niche specializations and topics that they aim to become experts in. Others are more dynamic because they make use of their preferred platform. It's easy to assume that you can easily and immediately find the influencer you need just by looking around. There are more efficient ways to find an influencer whose specialization and content match your brand. Here are some of them.

Tapping Content Platforms

Some platforms, such as ClearVoice, exist as a hub for users to create their own content. It also functions as a creator marketplace, so their portfolios are available to businesses to see and connect with. This is optimized for both content creators and businesses. On the marketers' side, one can access influencers through keyword searches, project-specific needs, and results measurement.

Be Influencer-Friendly

It might be tempting to assume that influencers will flock to your brand, especially if it is a well-known one. But influencers now wield a power over certain customers. As you take care of your brand reputation, you need to do the same with influencers. Influencers have a big reach, and they talk to each other about their brand experiences. They enjoy that sweet spot between being partners and consumers of your brand. When you engage in influencer marketing, don't forget the part where you also engage them professionally and amicably.

Why Do Businesses Use Influencers?

Of course, there will be marketers and business strategists who will go with the idea, "Simple is best." If a strategy has worked for a company in the past decade, then there is nothing to change. Technically, traditional marketing still works and reels in audiences. Yet just how long will this engagement last? Adding a new factor into the mix does not mean everything will change. It could be as simple as adding a wildcard taste that is subtle but still hits the spot. This is how influencers can change the game for your business.

Exposure to a New Audience

The difference between a brand ambassador and an influencer is that the latter rarely gets paid. If anything, they are paid in kind or in a way that boosts their reputation in the community. But this does not mean you cannot create a reward system that lets your influencer benefit from your brand's reach. Think of these as incentives for every share or like that your influencer can get for a post that features your brand. In doing this, you may bring your brand to more audiences' radar.

Build Your Credibility

Influencers have their own badges of honor. Because they focus on specific fields, they hone their reputations as experts. Some become household names and thought leaders in their fields. When these same names get mentioned in the same breath as your brand, their reputation can be linked to your brand. In the same way, allowing your brand to be affiliated with your influencer boosts their credibility. This partnership allows for growth on both sides, which makes long-term work even better.
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Brands are no longer the only authority in their fields. It pays to look at influencers who are creating their own ground and reach with their following.

Add a New Perspective

Many more prominent brands fall into this trap. They already have tried and tested formulas that never change because they bring the same results. But a repeat of the same old thing can become tiring, even the most trusted brands will find some competition if another brand offers more than just utility to consumers. Influencers breathe in new life to a brand because they have their own vibe and personality. Some brands may tap influencers who already embody their values. This reinforces consumers' views of the brand's ideals. On the other hand, some brands may opt to find fresh faces that are a unique take on their current values. This allows them to reach more audiences in the younger market.

How Do You Work with Influencers?

More traditional brands have a lot of adjustments to do. One of these involves tapping new avenues that could let you reach out to more customers. Influencers fall in this particular circle. Think of influencers as a new way to bring the brand closer to your audience. But first, you need to know which audience you are tapping. Then you can choose which influencers will best do the job. Don't forget that there are four types of influencers you should get used to. When you are working with influencers, always keep in mind that each type can have a specific benefit to your different markets.

Mega- and Macro-Influencers

If you think about celebrities and renowned stars in their own mediums, those are the mega and macro-influencers. They have anywhere between 100,000 to a million followers. They are great for established brands since they can match the price that their endorsements need. Typically, brands pay for the influencer marketing effectiveness statistics when they tap mega influencers. Their posts and mentions can easily rake in thousands of likes, bringing immediate exposure with just a single tweet or post. However, do note that these bigger influencers rarely specialize in their fields. They expand them by going horizontal in scope. Your brand might very well be on par as others that influencer's arsenal.

Micro- and Nano-Influencers

Just because a potential influencer has a small following does not mean they cannot drive engagement. If anything, micro and nano influencers may have quite a lively engagement when it comes to fans. In some cases, they may also have high-quality followers that your brand can definitely benefit from.
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If you need a more targeted approach to gathering an audience, it may be good to start with a nano-influencer.

Do Influencers Drive Sales?

This may be most marketers' question whenever they include a new strategy into their plan. Some are hesitant on a new investment if it will not translate to off-the-shelf revenue. There's still a distinguishing factor between advertisements and public relations. Marketers expect advertisements to sell because they directly call on the people to act and buy. Public relations is concerned with building the brand's reputation so they can drive more engagement for potential sales. The keyword is "potential" because it is not the main concern of PR. When tapping influencers, one can get a little of both. They become your walking advertisements because their followers will link your brand to them However, they also hold that special place as influencers where they create dialogue and conversations about the brand. While these do not necessarily translate into numbers, they are redefining the meaning of word-of-mouth. Once you become the topic of conversation, a good sale is not that far.

Is Influencer Marketing Worth the Investment?

So, knowing this, is influencer marketing still worth investing in as a strategy? The short answer is yes. On the long-term plan, engaging with influencers allow you to cultivate partnerships. Expect that you are not the only partner that your influencer has–and this is a good thing! As they grow their network, you also get to see other connections that you can possibly tap later on. By investing in these partners, you can create channels that will easily open because the partnership is already there.
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Influencer marketing can boost engagement and awareness, which in turn elevates chances of positive sales.
On the immediate gains, think of them as a new channel that you do not have to pay for. Other than the prior arrangement that you have with your influencer, you can expect sponsored social media posts, blog posts, mentions, and other tactics. They will be the ones to curate these output, and all your brand needs to do is supply any products for photoshoots and displays. Think of the media mileage equivalent that this brings to your numbers.

How Do You Succeed in Influencer Marketing?

What makes influencer marketing successful? Like in most business strategies, there is never one perfect strategy in influencer marketing. But there are some formulas that, when put together, can create more successful avenues to reach audiences.

Focus on Content

Even with the shift of platform and medium, content will always be the first point of entry and engagement with your market. Note that content can come in different forms. Content can be the written word on websites and apps. It can be the spoken word by your influencers and business thought leaders. It can even be the small exchanges and scripts that your brand uses in everyday communication with your market. Reach more audiences with your content by varying the formats you use. Blog posts and online content may be a staple but complement them with interactive content. This uses different mediums so you can engage the audience on a different level.

Make Technology Work For You

As society heads further into the digital age, industries discover new ways to utilize technology to work in a brand's favor. Currently, interactive content seems to be gaining more traction due to its novelty. Just look at how powerful Instagram influencer marketing is. However, when paired with quality content, even the novel and gimmick technology can become a major platform of engagement. [visualizer id="1637"] Source: Mediakix Content and targeted audience remain the top reasons as to why influencer marketing works ║Source: Mediakix

Search For Insider Influencers

Sometimes, the passionate people who work in the company can become your very own influencer. Nowadays, influencers can come from any background, as long as they have a passion for the niche they chose. Hence, company employees can become your very own influencers. Don't think of influencers as merely one who has social media accounts with a big following. Just like nano-influencers, a person has his/her sphere of influence that can reach an audience you may not have imagined. Even a small start-up can have an employee influencer, especially when they are passionate about the industry. A simple reward program can help encourage your employees to tap their circles and be your brand's spokesperson.

Go With What Fits, Not Who Follows

In the earlier days of influencer marketing, a lot of marketers appear to value influencers whose followers are in the thousands. A common misconception then was that numbers translate to warm bodies that will, in turn, result in sales. However, one should never forget the existence of bots. Some accounts make use of bots to increase their followers. Imagine an influencer with a thousand followers, but only half of them are organic follows. Then there is another follower who only has mid-thousand followers but comprised of an organic fan base that has followed the influencer since they started their passion. Who do you think will get more meaningful engagement? There's a reason why micro and nano followers are considered valuable. They can be your everyday person, and yet they should be on any brand's radar for influencers. This is because they bring the kind of engagement of fans who are truly interested in the industry. They follow the influencer because they see them as an expert or a thought leader. They trust the influencer's judgment. With more trust comes the more valuable response to call to action. This is where a lot of mega and macro-influencers fail in because their touch base with their following does not go as deep in terms of engagement.

The Future of Influencer Marketing

Whether your brand needs a makeover, or if you are just starting fresh, influencers need to be part of your overall strategy. A lot of their approach towards their fan base is one that is ideally based on authenticity and interest. They are there to pursue a passion, share their thoughts with their followers, and discover new avenues that their followers can enjoy.
woman talking on a smartphone
While sales are not the main priority of influencer marketing, it helps create call to action points and motivations for sale.
Since brands are more than their products, consider your brand as one of the valuable things they can discover. From here, you can open a new path for your brand.
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