Social media’s role in affecting buying power is an undeniable truth in today’s increasingly digitized world. What this means for businesses is that now there are new opportunities to engage with their customers in innovative, a-traditional ways. Peer-to peer recommendations are becoming more integral in the path to purchase, and since consumer behaviour is as straight-forward as navigating a labyrinth —blindfolded— businesses should consider strategic activations to evolve with the demands of the digital landscape.
At the end of the day, people (especially Millennials) want to be entertained and informed in the most organic way possible, and they want to know that they were at the helm of their path to purchase.
This is precisely why influencer marketing is on the (rapid) rise. A recent study found that marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Since social media is a medium for the amplification of word-of-mouth messaging, this is exactly where influencer marketing thrives.
Let’s cut to the chase here— here are 3 reasons why you need to consider Influencer Marketing (seriously!).
- Niche Marketing Magic
Influencers are the ultimate representatives of the consumer, having gained their traction through rigorous product testing, and subsequently sharing the experience with their peers. Platforms like Instagram, Youtube and more recently, Periscope and Snapchat, have allowed individuals to grow massive followings in niche markets, including fashion, food, games and beauty. With word-of mouth being the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions, this poses a potential for businesses within these niches to capitalize on their popularity.
We have access to all of the information we want– right at our fingertips, but often times this is overwhelming rather than empowering; enter Influencer. A trusted peer review takes the demand out of the experience, leading to a successful path-to-purchase much more effectively than with traditional advertising.
Studies show that there are three factors that indicate the impact of word-of-mouth-marketing: the message, the messenger and the medium. These 3 M’s are all satisfied by influencer marketing, where each can be strategically curated for desired results.
- Brand Identity
So your business is doing well, but you could use a little help with the ‘it’ factor to surpass the competition. OR you’re in infancy stages, and need help solidifying a strong brand identity. Either way, influencer marketing is definitely your move. By harnessing the persona of an influencer for your own brand voice, you’re essentially creating an ambassador out of someone who represents a certain type of consumer, and who already has a strong following to leverage off of. The latter aspect is particularly important when it comes to platforms like Instagram, where the most significant KPI is follower growth. An effective strategy to consider when thinking about engaging in Influencer Marketing for branding purposes, is the Instatakeover. Tapping into the experiential nature of word-of-mouth marketing, the takeover leaves the channel entirely in the hands of the Influencer, whose own loyal following will be more inclined to follow in order to stay up to speed. Plus which, by associating themselves with your brand, that influencer is endorsing a product/lifestyle associated with it that will immediately trigger brand loyalty in their following.
We recently did an Instatakeover with a local celebrity with over 1M Instagram followers, and the results were remarkable; the client’s followers increased by 9423%, with the majority of that occuring within the first 24 hours. Total impressions reached a whopping 391,000, catalyzing the brand to Instagram success in no time. Because of the loyalty of the followers to the Influencer, the brand gained a quality following, and the retention rate was also hugely successful.
- Community Building & Content
Fostering a community is majorly beneficial for a brand’s selling power. Exercising a more subliminal undertone is not only more effective these days, it’s really, truly, less annoying. A good way to build community is to allow members of the community to either post via your channels (including a takeover), or to dedicate featured posts to these members on your page. A recurring theme is a good way to establish this as a routine that followers will anticipate, which helps with loyalty.
People want to know that you are consistently active, and that that activity is substantial— no one has time for fluff anymore! An example of an account that does a great job in community engagement is the @mygastown Instagram. Not only do they enlist influential members of the community to takeover their account, they also steadily feature members of the community in their posts. Hats off to them for being awesome neighbours.
Similarly, an Influencer can be used to beef up the content on your page, adding a fresh perspective and re-energizing the spirit of your content. We had branding guru NewfoundBrand grace the stage of our Instagram page, and the results were stunning; the themed posts were a strong and relevant addition to our brand, showcasing the things which inspire his craft (and ours!).
All of these reasons are integral to Social Media strategy, and can be satisfied by one powerful tool—the influencer. Shoot us a DM, a Tweet or an old-fashioned phone call if you want to learn more about it—we speak social!