65% of digital marketers plan to raise their influencer marketing budgets in 2020.
89% of digital marketers think return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing is comparable or better than other strategies.
Now in 2020, Instagram ranks #1 for the most influencing social media platform, and it is the most used platform for influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing can seem like one of those gimmicky trends, but it can actually be a very effective way to expand your consumer base and increase brand awareness. In 2018, Marketing Dive did a study where they concluded 39% of marketers would increase their influencer marketing budgets. That’s comparable to the predicted increase of 65% now in 2020.
So here’s the question: Does influencer marketing for businesses really work?
First, let’s breakdown what this actually is.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing takes the old school idea of celebrity marketing, combining it with the current trends in social platforms and viral media. It takes advantage of the most effective aspects of social media and content marketing to create buzz—not to mention a more dedicated consumer base—in a particularly powerful way.
This is because influencers make brand promotion feel more authentic to a target audience, because most of them are already hooked by the influencer. You have their attention, and this gives you the opportunity to generate leads and sales more easily.
Who are Considered Influencers?
There’s a little more subjectivity when it comes to that question: “Who is an influencer?”
Because really, anyone could potentially be an influencer if they have the right following. From classic celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Hart to bloggers and YouTube stars, even notable leaders within your specific industry, influencers are everywhere.
ProTip: these are the people who have hundreds of thousands to millions of followers on social media platforms.
They have a presence in mainstream media and a unique brand of their own, so when you’re able to connect with influencers that may have a following that intersects with your target market, and create content that reflects both of your brands, you can get some truly impactful results.
Why Influencer Marketing Works
Let’s give you an example. The power of influencer marketing for businesses is obvious when you take a look at CelebGap, one of our clients who are just about to launch their new platform for connecting people with their favorite celebrities through personalized videos and signed merch.
They define “celebrity” the same way we define influencers: people who have massive followings and know how to use it. This means actors, athletes, musicians, vloggers, photographers, fashion designers, makeup artists—so many avenues where people find prominence based on their talents and skills, as well as their ability to connect with people.
The Many Benefits of Influencer Marketing
We’ve touched a bit on the key benefits of influencer marketing, and how it can significantly impact your business. But let’s make it clear. Influencer marketing:
Builds Trust & Authority
If you can get someone “known” to not only take an interest but endorse your brand, the result is as effective for establishing your authority as backlinks are for SEO. People inherently trust the influencers they follow, which means your target audience will trust you more as well.
Increases Brand Awareness
We’ve talked about this already, but one of the most obvious benefits of influencer marketing for businesses is how it can reach even more online users through social media and content strategies to increase brand awareness. It’ll expand your online presence and introduce your name, as well as your products and services, to wider audiences and marketing niches you may not have thought you could reach.
Diversifies Your Content Strategy
If you’ve been looking for more creative ways to create dynamic content, collaborating with influencers can give you great ideas to do just that. You can even adopt an influencer’s tactics in content creation to make something truly unique that also fits your brand.
Creates Connections & Partnerships
Sometimes the creative process in working with someone new creates a genuine connection, and even partnerships if an influencer decides to fully endorse your products and services going forward. This way, you can create lasting relationships as you continue building your authority as an industry leader yourself.
Can Reach a Younger Demographic
Not only will you be able to reach your own target audience more effectively, but you’ll also be able to reach Millennials and Gen Z demographics that appreciate and consume mainstream, viral media the most.
Provides an Opportunity to Set Trends
Influencers are successful because they innovate. They set trends in mainstream media. Working with influencers also gives you the opportunity to achieve the same accomplishments. You can be the go-to source of information for what’s new and exciting in your industry and communicate with your customer base in a more meaningful way.
Generates Leads & Sales
Of course, the most lucrative benefit of influencer marketing is how it’s able to generate leads and increase sales. Speaking more persuasively to your customer base ultimately means more responsiveness to your CTAs and more money in your pocket.
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Step 1: Find the Right Influencers & Reach Out
Identify the key players in your own industry. This means those influencers who have a similar target market, or those you think will be most relevant (and influential) to your target market. Watch how they interact with their own customer base through social media and other web content and follow their platforms. Reach out to their PR department, or directly through their social media to get in touch professionally about collaboration.
Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas
Have a few ideas for what content you want to produce before you reach out. But if they do agree to a meeting, try brainstorming some more creative ideas. Video marketing is highly effective for collaborative content marketing.
But developing a campaign could utilize a combination of multimedia across a variety of platforms. Like email blasts, blogs about the experience of working with the influencer, and of course, social media posts. The most effective social media platforms for influencers include Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Step 3: Track & Optimize After Launch
After your campaign has launched, be sure to track its effectiveness with your target audience. And continue to optimize with SEO tactics to ensure that the content reaches as far as it can. The influencer can also post on their own social media and digital marketing efforts.
Ready to Implement Influencer Marketing into Your 2020 Digital Marketing Plan?
Influencer marketing for businesses isn’t just lucrative. It’s about making smart business decisions and lasting partnerships with people who matter—in and around your industry. If you need help getting started with influencer marketing strategies, Digital Resource is a full-service digital marketing company that can fine-tune your marketing plan in 2020 by adapting these captivating trends. Contact us today to talk to one of our internet marketing consultants!
Alexandra is a content specialist, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She has a passion for literature and writing, and has extensive experience in content writing for digital marketing.
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