Influencer marketing continues to be de rigueur, with it being the marketing strategy of choice for many leading e-commerce brands. Why? Because, first and foremost, it can be a cost-effective way of boosting revenue by leveraging audiences. If you want to find out more about influencer marketing and how it could work for your brand, keep reading…
What is influencer marketing?
First things first, let’s look at what an influencer is.
Put simply, an influencer is an individual who has a dedicated audience within a particular niche. They’ve typically developed this audience by demonstrating their authority or expertise within said niche.
That’s potentially a bit abstract, so let’s take a look at a tangible example:
With over six million followers on TikTok, Alix Earle has developed a passionate audience. And, it’s an audience that has disposable income.
In fact, if Alix Earle promotes a product, it is bound to sell out. Her leverage is such that her influence has been dubbed the ‘Alix Earle Effect’.
According to one piece of research, a single video from Earle can increase searches for a product by as much as 100% in a single day.
Influencers have formidable power over buying behaviour and can easily turn screen-scrollers into buyers, with just one or two social media posts. Influencers continually post content, engage with their audiences and create a media experience that people can relate to.
In turn, this offers brands like yours the perfect opportunity to tap into a ready-made audience and promote your products.
Think of influencer marketing as the modern day equivalent of celebrity endorsement. A once expensive and (relatively inaccessible) marketing tactic has now been democratised and made available to brands of all sizes.
What are the business benefits of influencer marketing?
We appreciate that the example above may not be enough to make you want to engage in influencer marketing (a single post by Alix Earle can cost as much as $70,000).
However, there are several tangible benefits that your brand can derive from engaging in influencer marketing. Let’s take a look…
1. It builds trust with your target audience
It’s no secret that when a customer trusts your brand they’re more likely to buy from you.
Unlike traditional marketing strategies where it can take years to build a relationship with your audience, with influencer marketing you can build trust quickly, right from the get-go.
The trust and loyalty influencers have established with their audiences is one of their most valuable assets. In fact, people instil the same level of trust in influencers as they do their friends (in fact, some observers have suggested that many followers develop ‘parasocial relationships’ with influencers).
In a landscape where only 4% of consumers trust traditional advertising formats, the ability to speak to your audience through a source they trust is an essential tool that can propel revenue for your brand.
Influencers have cultivated audiences that share their likes, dislikes and values. This positions influencers as individuals who have the best interests of their audiences at heart.
Influencers also share many idioms, lexicon and slang with their audience. Thus, if you want to speak to Gen Z, a Gen Z influencer will (quite literally) ‘speak their language’.
2. Help you reach a niche audience
As we mentioned earlier, an influencer’s community tends to be built around a shared interest.
Their audience follows them because they want to see the specific type of content they produce. This means their followers are interested and invested in their niche.
Put simply, a niche is an influencer’s USP (unique selling proposition). It’s what sets their content apart from others, and makes them the ‘go-to’ influencer for certain types of inspiration.
For example, a generic fashion influencer is all well and good, but if this influencer has carved themselves a niche around certain types of clothes or specific style they emulate, their audience will be more focused and receptive.
When an influencer has a clear, defined niche they’re more likely to form deeper, long-lasting relationships with their followers. This will result in higher engagement, generating more ROI for brands that engage those influencers.
Note - when selecting an influencer, it’s important that you conduct ‘brand safety’ checks and vet them. They must align with your brand and conduct themselves in a way which will not cause reputational harm to your brand.
3. Influencers can generate quality leads
Because influencers allow you to tap into precise, highly-relevant audiences, there’s a significant chance that your brand will resonate and lead to conversions/sales.
In fact, 50% of marketers report better quality leads through influencer marketing. This is great news for your business because better quality leads means more conversions, and more conversions mean higher revenue.
4. Improve your SEO
Working with influencers can also improve your rankings on search engines like Google.
This is because they improve your link profile by generating more inbound links to your website.
What’s more, influencers often have their own high-authority websites with quality content and large online audiences, which in turn passes on authority to your own website.
5. Build brand awareness
Finally, one of the greatest benefits of influencer marketing is its ability to build significant brand awareness.
With so much content floating around on social media these days it can be hard for brands to achieve ‘cut through’ and reach their target audience.
When you collaborate with influencers you cut through the noise.
Influencers have effectively done all the hard work for you and built loyal, engaged audiences. All you need to do is work with an appropriate influencer to showcase your brand to their followers.
Influencer marketing can work wonders for e-commerce brands. If you’ve got something to sell, and want to engage with a highly-relevant and engaged audience, influencer marketing will typically offer the biggest ‘bang for your buck’.