[Estimated read time: 5 minutes]
Influencer Marketing is more Important than ever.
In 2015, marketers can’t ignore the advantages of aiming their efforts towards media benefiting from a high level of trust. Which media are these? Any publication from what is called an “influencer”: a person or organization with an engaged follower base that will value any type of content produced by her. The advantages of working with digital platforms which already have engaged communities is clear, and the results are even more so: it’s very easy to track the results of any Influencer marketing campaign because of all the tracking tools at your disposal today. Influencer Marketing reconcile Brand Marketing in advertising with ROI-driven campaigns used online.
2014 was a year where 75% of publishers said they engaged in some kind of Influencer Marketing (including Native Advertising). As a marketer, now is the time to start building a proper Influencer Marketing strategy and benefiting from this pool of smaller publishers. You need to reach your audience differently.
It’s all about Trust!
Trust online is a crucial element of any branding strategy. Everyone knows that, right? So why are marketers spending most of their budget on channels that only promote the number of members in their community, disconnected from any trust figure? A blog is more likely to influence purchase than any social media channel (yes, even Facebook). Why is that? Because an avid reader of any blog respects its author’s opinion and trusts her judgement. Readers almost consider a blog editor as a friend! 45% people trust the information written on a specialized blog (be it sponsored articles or not). In comparison 51% trust their friend’s content on Facebook. Partnering with the right influencer gives your brand the level of trust you would have if you were actually friends with your target. Isn’t this any marketer’s dream?
Your Competitors are not currently seizing this opportunity
Everyone must be doubling down on influencer marketing right? Only the big corporations must be able to get in touch with the right influencers, right? The data suggests otherwise. On average, only 6% of Social budgets are invested in blogs (the main media for influencers). Everybody is competing for the same eyeballs on the same channels. Shouldn’t you try to reach those eyeballs from another angle? An angle that brings your friend-like trust for a fraction of the cost seems like a fair deal to explore! If you’re going to explore this, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to reach only to the top 1% of blogs with a community in the millions. The more members a blog has, the less engaged its audience is. The level of trust also shrinks: 54% of people on the internet say they trust a Niche blog better than a big blog. This is what you should consider when selecting the influencers you want to partner with: seek influencers with small, highly engaged audiences, and partner with a lot of them to reach the numbers you want! Simple, really. We call this “the power middle”
What about engagement?
Congratulations, this is the right question to ask. Reach is nothing without engagement. Your boss doesn’t care about new creative marketing campaigns unless you can show the metrics that support your assumptions: you need reads, clicks, likes, shares, and of cours: sales! Well rest assured, Influencer Marketing is also the best way to get handsome metrics to show your colleagues. The average click through rate (CTR) we see at Upfluence on an article published in partnership with the blogger is between 10 and 13%. Also consider that this content will stay online for a long time, driving natural traffic to your website overtime (which is not the case with paid online advertising like AdWords of any social media platform, where you pay for 1 click, end of story).
Don’t trust us?
You should not take our word for it! You should try your own Influencer Marketing campaign: reaching out to relevant influencers to have them cover a product launch, try your new product or attend an event you’re planning. This is way less expensive than a PR agency, and the results are guaranteed (you only pay for something that actually gets published!). At Upfluence, we’ve been doing this for years and we’d love to help you set up your 1st Influencer Marketing campaign!