There are certain tactics that just about every marketing strategy should entail, like email and digital advertising. Increasingly, influencers are on that must-include list too.
The idea of influencers isn’t new. For decades, brands have relied on recognizable faces to help promote their products — think Michael Jordan and Nike. But in the internet era, the term “influencer” has a much broader definition.
There are still celebrity influencers, of course. Kylie Jenner can earn upward of $1 million for a single Instagram post, and so can actor Dwayne Johnson. However, there is now also a galaxy of micro-influencers, or “someone who has between 1,000 to 100,000 followers,” explains CMS Wire. These could be popular bloggers or Instagrammers in a specific city, or people with expertise in a niche space — like dog grooming, DIY home improvement, or even waterskiing.
And in case you haven’t heard, “Granfluencers” are even a thing now. Writes the New York Post: “Web-savvy seniors called granfluencers are racking up thousands, even millions, of Instagram followers — along with mountains of money.”
As you craft your marketing strategy for 2021 and beyond, here are a few things to remember if and when you engage influencers:
Influencer marketing makes a real impact
Influencer marketing is no longer an unproven concept — the benefits are crystal clear. Nearly half of all consumers rely on influencer recommendations, according to the Digital Marketing Institute. And based on a survey reported by AdWeek, 53% of women interviewed had made purchases based on influencer posts.
If that’s not evidence enough, consider how much time and energy major brands are investing in influencer marketing. Household names like Adidas and Blue Apron have poured major money into influencer campaigns in recent years.
It’s no surprise, then, that the ROI for influencer marketing “doubles after three months with no extra investment in the influencer campaign,” according to Forbes.
Influencers can reach exactly the right audience
Some marketing tactics cast a wide net in hopes of reaching the right audience. Think of billboards or mass mailers, to name a couple.
But in recent years, internet influencers have helped marketers narrow in on exactly the right audience with incredible precision. That’s because there’s an influencer for just about every subject you could imagine. And they command the attention of countless consumers.
So how do you capitalize on this? Define your audience — geographically, demographically — and let that inform your decision. For example: If you’re a new restaurant in Chicago, seek out a partnership with the city’s top food blogger, or a popular Instagrammer who snaps photos of local entrees. If you’re a real estate agent, think about the interior design and DIY home renovation influencers who may be important additions to your network. They may only have five thousand followers, but all five thousand are potential customers.
In short: It’s better to reach the right people than a big audience who doesn’t care about your mission or brand.
Influencer marketing does carry risk
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool, but it isn’t without downsides. Marketers beware: When you work with an influencer, you’re inviting a third party to represent your brand. As a result, any missteps the influencer makes can and will reflect on your brand too.
As you craft your marketing strategy for 2021, make sure to consider the potential of influencers. If you’ve been struggling to cut through the noise and reach your audience, having the right partner might just do the trick.