Marketing amid a pandemic, supply chain crises and escalating energy prices can feel uncertain. And, just like a minefield, must be navigated with caution.
While it is difficult to predict where the market is going just now, it is safe to say that online routes remain important as social media and online consumption continues to rise.
The rise of influencer marketing
To penetrate the increasingly busy digital domain, marketers need to take a very strategic and targeted approach, identifying the best channels for reaching their audiences. Key in this is understanding what target personas want, as well as tuning into the impact of the current climate on consumers today.
‘Opting out’ has made it trickier to target mass audiences via social media advertising but returns can still be made by working with content creators that can help you influence very specific sets of consumers.
Influencers have been helping brands stay relevant and consumer-facing since the rise of social media in the mid-2000s.
Now, with more vehicles for creating and publishing dynamic content, influencer power has never been more valuable. In a world where people have been losing faith in big businesses and can’t try before they buy, consumers have become more reliant on information, reviews, and recommendations from real people.
Placing trust in people
The adage ‘people buy people’ has never rung truer, with 61% of people more likely to trust recommendations from a friend, family member or influencer on social platforms.
Influencers can help consumers understand how a product really looks, fits, feels, and functions. This ‘social proof’ has been vital during the pandemic when many shops were closed. Not only that, but influencers can also share their experience of a product or service in everyday life.
Now that content creators are required to flag when they are promoting or advertising products, consumers have better awareness and understanding that they are being marketed to. This has helped demystify the once blurred lines between what looked like paid or promoted content versus what was genuinely non-paid and self-generated. Again, this has helped influencers earn trust from audiences and build loyal communities of followers.
The influencer market is on track to become a $15billion dollar industry by 2022, with some 63% of marketers intending to up their influencer marketing budget next year!
By identifying credible, relatable and authentic influencers to work with, brands can increase the depth and reach of their marketing efforts.
Here are some top tips for identifying influencers your brand can work with:
- Firstly, look for influencers by sector or specialism to ensure their content will be relevant and resonate with your target audiences – are they a high-end UK fashion influencer or a down-to-earth local foodie?
- Refine your search by location to ensure their content will reach your target audiences – whether by region, city or country
- Look at an influencer’s average engagement rate to weigh up their value proposition and think about how they can help drive interest in your products and services
- Assess how an influencer currently works with brands and consider how they could help promote your business – do they have the ability to share links to buy products? Do they take a ‘video first’ approach?
- Think about the type of content an influencer could create on your behalf and be prepared to grant them the freedom to communicate your key messages in their unique way – they too have a brand personality to protect
- Consider the relationship you’d like to have with a content creator and how you can strike a mutually beneficial agreement – do you see this as an ongoing collaboration with year-round benefits or a one-off activity for a quick win?
- Don’t expect influencers to work with you for ‘free exposure’ or to enhance their portfolio. Think about the value of an influencer partnership and the potential ROI this can deliver while setting campaign budgets. The beauty of influencer marketing is that it is measurable so that budgets can be allocated and adjusted in almost real-time.
As in-store shopping levels have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, influencer marketing is crucial for helping brands remain front-of-mind with key consumers and ensuring they are getting the word out at the right time in the right way.
Beyond stimulating awareness, working with the right kind of influencers can help to drive sales and, ultimately, grow your business!
If you need help kick-starting your influencer marketing campaign, contact the Represent team – we’d love to chat!