The goal of a brand is to deliver the correct message to the appropriate audience at the right time and in the optimal environment.
In a noisy online landscape where competition is high and consumers are naturally distrusting, this can be challenging. But if there’s one strategy that’s working, it’s influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
“Influencer Marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools, taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign,” InfluencerMarketingHub explains. “The main differentiator in the case of influencer marketing is that the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers.”
Influencer marketing can involve major celebrities, but it often works best when the influencer is simply a “normal” individual with a significant following that’s highly engaged. For example, Subaru recently partnered with Devin Graham (@devinsupertramp), a YouTube influencer with more than 5 million subscribers, who published a video of him and his friends propelling down a slip and slide off a 500-foot cliff. In the video, you see Subaru vehicles and branding. And since Devin’s audience is so highly engaged with him, this natural vouch for the brand is highly influential.
Exploring the Top Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is renowned for its versatility and effectiveness. Here are a few of the top benefits for brands:
Resonates With Gen Z
Marketing to Gen Z is challenging, yet important. Most brands make the mistake of lumping this generation together with millennials. And while there’s certainly some overlap in beliefs and behaviors, they’re distinct in how they view brands and products.
Gen Z – which includes kids born between 1997 and 2019 – doesn’t trust overt advertising and blatant marketing. They’re highly pragmatic and respond to authenticity. Influencer marketing satiates this thirst for legitimacy by utilizing people who they already trust.
Credible and Honest
Anyone can hire a spokesperson to regurgitate a sales pitch and turn it into a radio spot or television commercial. There’s something more credible about having a trusted figure vouch for your brand in their own words and style. When influencers partner with brands, the goal is to make the relationship seem as organic as possible. There’s rarely a script. The content is typically developed in the same manner as the rest of the influencer’s content. There’s a degree of amateurism and rawness that makes it seem more honest and credible to the audience.
When a brand runs a banner ad, PPC ad, or another form of paid content, there’s always the risk that it won’t be delivered to the right people or in the appropriate fashion. But when you partner with an influencer, you already know who they are, who their audience is, and where they’ll publish the content. This eliminates much of the guesswork and ensures greater relevance between the message of the content and the audience receiving it.
Beats Advertising Blindness
“One of the benefits of influencer marketing is that the strategy far outweighs other advertising options,” writes Kim Kosaka, Director of Marketing at Alexa. “Banner ads were once a tool that marketers used to promote their products and services. But audiences have become blind to this advertising method. The average click-through rate for display ads is only 0.06 percent. Influencer marketing cuts through banner ad blindness by placing your brand where audiences notice it – in natural, native content.”
Advertising blindness is a very real challenge that today’s brands face. Influencer marketing is still seen as organic, which counteracts this issue and paves the way for more meaningful engagement.
Unlike an advertisement that has a shelf life and ceases to exist when the campaign is over, influencer marketing generates sustainable content that can continually be shared for days, weeks, and even months beyond the publishing date. This leads to higher returns and greater long-term value for both the brand and the influencer.
Getting Started With Influencer Marketing
The most appealing aspect of influencer marketing is that no brand is too big or too small to leverage it. Whether you own a small business or a Fortune 100 company, there’s value in utilizing influential social media users and figures to cultivate trust and communicate a powerful message.