In a society where people are more connected than ever, consumers are looking more and more to other consumers for information to guide their purchasing behaviors rather than the companies themselves. With this shift comes an extreme change in the ways that companies can successfully market to their audience. That’s where Influencer marketing comes in.
Influencer marketing focuses on pinpointing key and trusted individuals within your target audience to help generate genuine brand awareness and persuade others to take action. Basically, they do the talking for you.
With a growing reliance on influencer marketing, more and more brands are focusing their marketing efforts on social media influencers rather than paid advertisements. According to SocialChorus, influencer marketing campaigns are driving 16 times more engagement than paid or owned media. And brand advocates are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information, says MarketingCharts.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Farther reach: With more social media platforms than ever—Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc., it’s increasingly easier for brands to directly and organically reach their target audience. Plus, this also brings a higher frequency of views—if an influencer posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, consumers are most likely seeing that post 3 times.
Native advertising: Traditional advertising, by definition, interrupts the consumer experience to promote paid content. Native advertising—influencer marketing—places brands and products within the organic content of the consumer’s lifestyle, which then creates a more pleasurable experience and encourages action.
Consumers are exposed to A LOT of ads on a daily basis and studies have shown that most consumers are unconsciously turning a blind-eye to paid advertisements—answering an email while waiting for the banner ad to expire before they can read the article or view the video they clicked on, scrolling past paid ads in their social media feed.
Qualitative Analysis: Examining hard numbers alone isn’t the only way to determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Analysis of influencer marketing is driven by qualitative results rather than quantitative. You might not know exactly how many people were reached, but you know that the people that were reached were engaged and that you reached the exact target audience that you were hoping for.
Retention: Consumers rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations, whether it’s from friends or family, other consumers, or, now, influencers. Hearing a review or recommendation from someone else, puts a feeling of confidence behind a product that leads to purchases, as well as a higher retention and loyalty rate.
Examples of Influencer Marketing
DIFF Eyewear, a company that aims to offer the highest quality sunglasses at a fair market value, all while placing a distinct emphasis on giving back to the community, has taken the trending idea of influencer marketing to the next level. DIFF Eyewear employs fewer than 10 people, donates one pair of reading glasses to charity for every pair of sunglasses purchased, and notoriously keeps their prices exceedingly lower than competitors, and they are rapidly growing their customer base. The launch of their business, brand awareness, and rapid growth have relied solely on Influencer marketing—known as their ambassador program.
DIFF has employed a unique brand ambassador program that offers mutual benefits for both the brand and the ambassadors. It has enhanced brand awareness and excitement through the use of celebrities and local influencers who market their eyewear through their personal social media profiles. By allowing these influencers to back their brand, DIFF has developed a stronger follower base stemming from the support that these influencers give them, which encourages the ambassador’s followers to take action. The ambassadors are provided with unique incentives to grow the brand in their own light, but also have requirements to make sure that the best advocates are selected and act within DIFF’s goals.
Earlier this year, Comcast partnered with Niche and their parent company Twitter to promote the new X1 box. Popular influencers were given the X1 box to try and then create and post videos about their experience. More recently, influencers took to social media to promote the new and improved #XFINITYTVApp and persuade consumers to download it.
Calvin Klein’s #mycalvins campaign has generated massive growth for the company since February 2014, when Justin Beiber and Lara Stone shot a billboard ad that trended for over 48 hours. According to Google Trends, the term “my calvins” has sustained growth since 2014.
The campaign started with influencers on Instagram and Tumblr taking selfies in their gifted Calvin Klein sports bra and underwear, with a hazy filter and simple, white background. In just one year, Calvin Klein’s social following increased by millions and user-generated content reached over 25 million brand interactions globally. Users can post images to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #mycalvins, and the best content is reposted on Calvin Klein’s microsite where visitors can browse thousands of submissions and easily click through to the brand’s e-commerce site to purchase more Calvin merchandise.
Revolve is a high-end e-commerce retailer that caters to young, fashion conscious consumers with a large, disposable income. Revolve focuses their social media strategy on Instagram, where they have 1.2 million followers and posts images daily of influencers wearing outfits from Revolve, pictures of bloggers on branded vacations or event coverage. As a result, Revolve’s followers are engaged with about 170-250 pieces of content a month.
Images that consumers post of themselves wearing Revolve merchandise along with the hashtags #RevolveintheHamptons and #RevolveMe are filtered for the best content then uploaded to the Revolve Me section of their website.
Over to You
Who are your favorite social media influencers to follow? What are some ways that your company can use influencer marketing to boost your revenue? What are some of the most effective influencer marketing campaigns you’ve seen or engaged with?