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Brand endorsements aren’t exactly a new phenomenon. Ever since potter Josiah Wedgwood used royal endorsements as a brand-building tool in the 18th century, the power of celebrity endorsements has kept growing. From Michael Jordan becoming the face of Nike to Snoop Dogg’s endorsement of Just Eat, these collaborations are one of the most popular types of marketing for big brands in particular.
However, a new type of endorsement marketing has emerged and become increasingly, well, influential, particularly as it’s much more accessible to smaller brands too. The type we’re referring to is influencer marketing. As leading marketing agency Pitch explains: “[Influencer marketing] falls under the umbrella of social media marketing. As a strategy, it uses endorsements and recommendations from individuals with dedicated followers on social media, AKA “influencers”, who have power to impact and sway your consumer base.”
The global influencer marketing industry is now worth an estimated $21.1 billion, with over four fifths (82%) of brands intending to have a dedicated budget for it this year. But should your own company follow suit? Here are four reasons why you might want to consider using influencers.
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1. They raise brand awareness
First and foremost, influencers are great at helping more people discover a brand’s products and services. This is largely down to their large follower bases, which enable them to promote businesses to anywhere between a few thousand to a few million people.
Aside from this, influencers are typically very charismatic, meaning they know how to talk to their followers in a way that meaningfully raises awareness of a brand. Say an influencer produces a video of them unboxing a product, users get to see a first-hand experience of this through the eyes of someone they trust. This is something that could positively impact their decision to buy the product in question.
2. They help to build trust in your brand
Speaking of trust, influencer marketing is great for building this in a brand. Social proof, which is when people “read reviews, recommendations and ways that others have used a product before making their decision”, is huge in today’s marketing climate. The best recommendations are from people you trust, and this is where influencers come into play.
As influencers typically only discuss things they’re genuinely passionate about, their followers are more inclined to trust their opinion, and in turn the brands and products/services they’re talking about. 37% of people actually trust influencers over brands themselves. Consequently, brands can benefit from this stamp of approval seeing as their own advertising often isn’t as effective.
3. Influencer marketing is highly targetable
Most influencers have a specific niche — for example, Mrs Hinch’s is cleaning, Huda Kattan’s is beauty, and Joe Wicks’s is fitness. Consequently, they have a dedicated audience that’s interested in the particular subject they produce content on, which is great news for brands. This means they can easily find influencers with the same audience, and jump on their existing community to promote products they’re almost certainly going to be interested in.
Compare this to traditional advertising mediums like television, where all kinds of demographics may be watching an advertisement at one time. This can make traditional media advertising a lot less targeted.
4. Influencer marketing has great ROI
Similarly, influencer marketing provides a lot better return on investment (ROI) than other types of marketing. Compare it to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, for example. Here, you need to bid against other brands for an ad placement, before paying every time someone clicks on your ad. Costs can quite easily and quickly accumulate.
In contrast, influencer marketing generally involves one flat fee, which can help it work out cheaper overall. According to Meltwater, businesses see a return of $5.78 for every $1.00 spent on influencer marketing campaigns. This is significantly higher than Google Ads PPC, for instance, with businesses making an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend.
So, in response to the question of whether influencer marketing is worth it, the answer is that, yes, generally speaking, it is. It’s important to point out that influencer marketing won’t be appropriate for every type of brand. However, for those that can work with influencers that have similar audiences to theirs, it’s highly likely to pay dividends.