Influencer marketing is a relatively new form of marketing that is fast becoming one of the most powerful and effective ways to increase brand awareness and boost online sales for businesses of all sizes. It is a process by which brands leverage individuals that have cultivated a large social media following and/or have established an expertise in a specific niche to promote their products or services.
Industry influencers are perceived as top experts in their field, and they leverage storytelling to create a more intimate way of communicating with their audience. They exhibit significant influence over a specific demographic who follow their advice and trust their suggestions. And they are able to do so because of the tremendous value they consistently provide in their community. In addition, influencers offer a perspective that is more relatable and trustworthy to their audience.
A whopping 97% of people say customer and peer reviews influence their purchase decisions. According to research by Sprout Social, 74% of people turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions. This is why influencer marketing content has been proven to deliver at 11 times higher ROI over all other forms of digital marketing including organic search (SEO) and PPC advertising.
Influencer marketing is now a fundamental part of digital marketing, and can add tremendous value to your brand. The service is becoming increasingly invaluable especially as more and more people tune out of advertisements.
Adblock is used by nearly 200 million people and experienced a growth of 41% in 2017. In addition, consumers are more likely to trust reviews by real people instead of relying on ads by brands. This means it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to rely on online ads, making influencer marketing an essential online marketing tactic. In a 2017 survey, marketing managers picked influencer marketing as the “fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method” over SEO, email marketing, paid search, and more.
If you need further proof of what influencers can do for your brand, check out this stunning statistic shared by Neil Patel, himself a highly influential influencer in the digital marketing space.
What is influencer marketing?
According to Wikipedia, influencer marketing isa form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole on social media. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential customers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
Most people tend to think of Instagram when they hear the term “influencer”, and it is overwhelmingly the platform of choice for social influencers. However, because it is such an open platform, Twitter is the best social network for you to reach out to and build relationships with influencers in your industry.
According to a study conducted by Tomoson, businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. The study also found that influencer marketing has been one of the most cost effective consumer acquisition strategies. And according to the study, the quality of customers acquired through influencer marketing, has been better than traditional advertising.
Influencers hold so much marketing power for brands because they tend to feature the brand’s product or service in a way that’s native to them and relevant to their audience. An influencer’s perspective is more unique, relatable, and has that storytelling aspect that consumers seek out and trust.
With influencer marketing now dominating the digital landscape, it’s important to become familiar with the terminology of the industry so that you’re aligning your business with the right influencers for your brand.
There are two main categories of influencers. The first category are the power influencers. This category includes actors, artists, athletes, and social media stars with 500,000 plus followers. The idea behind using these types of influencers is that if consumers see their hero using a product or praising it, they will be more likely to purchase it.
The second category is the macro and micro influencer markets.
Macro influencers are characterized as having bit of a larger follower count, around 50,000 to 100,000 followers on a particular social media channel. Macro influencers tend to have a dedicated audience that has grown organically over time, and their content is often comprised of a focused passion or topic.
Micro influencers have a follower range between 500 to 10,000 followers. In the US, they are the influencer type of choice. Even with smaller number of followers compared to other influencer types, micro influencers are known to generate higher engagement. Because of their much smaller following, they have developed real and more intimate relationships with their followers. And of course they’re going to be more accessible, more affordable, and more relatable than other types of influencers.
Micro Influencers May Get Better Results
The notion that an influencer must be world famous or have millions of followers in order to have the best impact on your brand’s marketing campaign is wrong. In fact, numerous studies seem to suggest that the larger an influencer’s following, the lower the engagement rate becomes.
On the other hand, research by Digiday UK found that niche-specific micro-influencers who generally have much smaller followings can achieve significant results for businesses in terms of traffic and sales.
This is borne out by actual studies. According to a study by ExpertVoice, micro-influencers improve your chances of conversions even more than the normal batch of influencers. Furthermore, micro-influencers achieved 22.2 times more conversations than average when they recommended products to their audience.
There is no universal agreement on the definition of a micro influencer. However, a micro-influencer can be defined as a social media user with significantly smaller but a targeted, more engaging following than a macro-influencer (who tend to have millions of followers). They are generally experts in their niche, and when they recommend a product or service, it is often because they truly love them and are happy to spread the word about them. If you’re considering leveraging influencers for your next marketing campaign, you may want to consider working with micro-influencers because they have the ability to add genuine value to your brand, thanks to the high level of engagement they have with their fan-bases.
Working with a micro-influencer would be the best option for you if you’re a small business with a limited budget. Even with a relatively small following a micro-influencer can still add tremendous value to your brand.
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