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3 reasons why influencer marketing is still a thing

by Ana Lopez
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Look around you. Not so many people pick up the daily newspaper or watch long commercials on TV. However, they do have one thing in common. Regardless of demographic, they scroll through social media on their phones.

According to Pew Research, 70% of Americans check Facebook daily. It is second nature for young people to use Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok several times a day. This is how they communicate, read the news, raise awareness – and shop.

So it’s not surprising that brands are allocating larger portions of their marketing dollars to social media. And within that ad spend, influencer marketing has been going on a steady rise. Here are three reasons why.

1. Consumers identify with influencers

Millions of people watch influencers make their morning coffee or run after toddlers who mess up because they can relate. People may like seeing Pinterest-perfect photos, but they also like getting a peek into real life.

There are obvious benefits to hiring celebrities to plug your product. They’re familiar, plus the aspirational glamor factor. However, when a movie star says she puts cute little notes in her kids’ lunchboxes every day, people don’t always buy it. Her claim seems inconsistent with her jet set lifestyle.

But when a mom influencer they’ve been following for years says the same thing, they believe her. Plus, they’re likely to follow her lead. Companies can capitalize on this recognisability to increase brand awareness without feeling like a paid commercial.

Influencers feel more accessible. Many even comment on social media posts. So when they recommend a pair of comfortable pajamas, consumers don’t hesitate to click on the affiliate link.

2. Influencers can deliver a better ROI

When a Hollywood A-lister touts your eye cream in a TV or print ad, your sales could increase, but it’s hard to say by how much. In addition, the bump probably won’t be instant. Influencers, on the other hand, drive sales conversions through direct links, which means companies can get back on their investment faster.

Since many influencers work independently, brands also save money when there is no agency in the equation. If the influencer’s social media reach really matches the numbers in their media kit, your brand can get more impressions for less cost.

Once influencers really like your product, they can turn from short-term brand partners into long-term brand advocates. Every time they have their morning vitamins or use that hair tool, they advertise for you. Followers often send messages asking for links and discount codes, even after a collaboration has ended. That’s another reason why long-term collaborations are becoming more popular than a single post.

Evaluating influencer marketing’s key performance indicators is easier than for billboards, TV commercials, or print ads. Each social media post provides detailed statistics of what has been achieved with that specific content. It’s easy to see how many people liked, commented, shared, and saved the post. You can also see how many times a link has been clicked.

3. Influencers forge more authentic connections with diverse audiences

Because influencers have unique follower demographics, brands can use it to reach specific segments of their customer base. Consumers click on links shared by their favorite influencers because they look authentic. Although advertising agencies have access to a variety of models, they are simply matched with other actors on a film set.

In contrast, when an influencer of a certain ethnicity shares your product, the interactions with their relatives are genuine. Consumers have seen their children, partners and pets in their Instagram stories. Their devoted followers tune in to their shopping live stream or try their recommended spice mix because they are a real family.

Influencers can also be more creative. They produce new content that often comes straight from the heart. Their fans can tell it’s not heavily written. Influencers can also have a faster turnaround time. There is less hassle without the intervention of an agency. Your marketing team sends the influencer a creative briefing and they can respond immediately.

Choose your influencer carefully

With so many benefits, influencer marketing isn’t going away any time soon. However, there are some words of caution. Make sure the influencer you choose aligns with your brand values. Someone can be very popular, but if they are controversial or politically deaf, they can damage your brand.

Don’t be overly impressed by the sheer number of followers an influencer has. The ideal influencer should have a loyal niche following. Some micro-influencers can get better results because their followers are highly engaged. Sign a partnership based on their organic reach. Ask for stats and insights from the past three months instead of that one lucky post that just happened to go viral.

It is definitely worth investing time to find the right influencer. They can do wonders for your brand with less money – and more natural flair.

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