[Estimated reading time: 7 minutes]
When we think about Influencer marketing, brand endorsements are often the first thing that comes to mind. But by viewing influencer marketing as merely a hip way to mention a brand or product through social networks, we miss out on the true utility offered by influencer marketing. Even though marketers understand the need for influencer marketing in today’s market, many don’t fully grasp what the benefits of influencer marketing actually are.
This article will describe six unique ways that your brand can benefit from influencer marketing.
USE INFLUENCER MARKETING TO RAISE BRAND AWARENESS
Goal: Use the influencer’s social media to promote your brand.
Benefits: Being introduced to thousands of people.
Compared to traditional ads, the posts you make with an influencer will remain in the digital sphere for a long time and continue to generate awareness over the long-term – well after the post is published. While other forms of advertising disappear with a click, view, or publication, people will come across influencer blog posts time and time again.
Therefore, when an influencer has a following of thousands, or even millions, a single recommendation can drive a plethora of sales. For an example, take a look at HYT and The Fashionisto.
CASE STUDY: HYT AND THE FASHIONISTO.
HYT is a prestigious, traditional Swiss Watch Manufacturer. Like many luxury Swiss watch brands, HYT has engaged itself through its transition towards digital. So, to promote the launch of their new H2 Tradition TimePiece and more broadly their brand, they collaborated with the famous men’s lifestyle blog “The Fashionisto”.
In addition to promoting the watch, HYT also hoped to raise brand awareness with millennials through their collaboration withThe Fashionisto. And it worked!
This campaign resulted in a PR reach of 10,246,156 people.
USE INFLUENCER MARKETING TO BOOST SALES OR OFFER A DISCOUNT
Goal: Offer a discount to the influencer’s community.
Benefits: Generate new leads, increase sales, and directly raise product awareness.
Influencers enjoy being able to offer something special to their followers to make them feel like VIPs. One easy way for influencers to give back to their community is to offer them discounts or freebies.
When a business partners up with an influencer to provide a discount to their followers, it provides a win-win outcome. Not only does the influencer have the opportunity to benefit their followers, but the business will find itself inundated with sales. Consider the case of Wesco and Cranemou as an example.
Cranemou is a mom blogger with a large community and great rapport with parents. Wesco, a children’s toy brand, partnered with Cranemou to promote its website, Wesco-family, by providing her with discount coupons to share with her community. This influencer’s large and loyal following used Wesco’s coupons, which boosted Wesco’s pre-Christmas sales numbers.
USE INFLUENCERS TO MARKET COMPETITIONS
Goal: To launch a competition and have influencers participate and spread the message.
Benefits: Community engagement and short-term brand awareness.
Everyone loves the exhilaration of winning something – and for years businesses have recognized the value of launching a giveaway or competition. However, just launching a competition isn’t enough. It’s essential to get the word out and find people willing to participate.
By partnering with influencers, your competition now has an audience – and the number of participants will increase substantially. For example, consider the Microsoft Campus Challenge.
CASE STUDY: MICROSOFT CAMPUS CHALLENGE
Microsoft’s goal was to create a native ad campaign to reach their target demographic – French students age 18-25. To do this, Microsoft turned to trusted blogs and social media channels to launch the Microsoft Campus Challenge. The challenge involved completing a variety of tasks, and sharing the experience on social media. Challenge winners earned a Surface Pro tablet. The campaign resulted in over 1000 students sharing content read by over 80k viewers.
USE INFLUENCERS TO HELP LAUNCH A NEW PRODUCT
Goals: Raise awareness of the new product and boost sales.
Benefits: Influencer marketing is often more effective than traditional ads, with influencer communities more receptive to the message than traditional ad viewers.
While influencers can be helpful with marketing at any point in the product lifecycle, they are particularly beneficial during product launches.
As bloggers, YouTubers, and other influencers are often considered thought leaders in their industries, viewers expect them to be aware of anything new that’s worth reviewing. So when businesses work with these influencers, they’re reaching viewers who are excited about learning what’s new in the market.
CASE STUDY: RALPH LAUREN AND LUXURY LAUNCHES
To promote the launch of the new Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Watch Collection in the US and Japan, Ralph Lauren reached out to Luxury Launches – a luxury trend blog with an estimated 1.2M+ annual visitors. By announcing the new product on Luxury Launches, the watch has received over 35,000 views to date – and the number continues to rise.
USE INFLUENCE MARKETERS FOR REBRANDING
Goal: To change a brand or product’s identity. Positively influence people’s opinion about a product or a brand.
Benefits: Influencers have a strong influence over their community and their opinion will be highly values. Additionally, results will be easy to measure.
When a business finds itself with a label or reputation that isn’t beneficial, reaching out to influencers can be one of the most effective ways to change the public’s perception.
If a business attempts to make the change exclusively on their own, consumers may dislike the change. However, when a highly praised influencer partners with the brand during the change process, the public will be much more likely to have a positive response – as you can see in the case of Reblochon and Les Joyaux de Sherazade.
CASE STUDY: REBLOCHON AND LES JOYAUX DE SHERAZADE
Reblochon is a traditional French cheese from the Alps. It’s strong brand image has traditionally been associated with winter recipes – such as being melted or baked with bacon and potatoes. However, this results in a substantial sales drop during summer.
To remedy this situation, Reblochon partnered with Les Joyaux de Sherazade, a Maghreb cuisine blog with 7.1M annual visitors. Together they created original summer recipes that didn’t permit for melting the cheese.
This strategy resulted in a 60% increase in traffic to the Reblochon website, where new recipes with the cheese are now posted on a regular basis.
USE INFLUENCERS TO HELP PROMOTE AN EVENT
Goal: Let people know about an important brand event.
Benefits: Less expensive than traditional PR and the results can be measured.
When it’s time to celebrate an event or activity, reaching out to influencers is an excellent way to find others ready to celebrate.
Brands are often personified and people enjoy celebrating their “birthdays” and accomplishments – almost as much as those of real people. Although traditional advertising methods can work to make these announcements, influencers are often a less expensive choice.
By reaching out to appropriate influencers, brands are able connect with the public in a personal way that is able to personify their brand even further, and make it an integral part of the public’s lives. Take, for example, the partnership between Ricola and Life40Up.
CASE STUDY: RICOLA’S ANNIVERSARY AND LIFE40UP
Ricola partnered with Life40Up, a woman’s lifestyle blog based in Germany. The purpose of the promotion was to celebrate Ricola’s anniversary and share with readers the positive things Ricola was doing for the public.
The partnership embraced Life40Up’s 87k+ annual visitors and reached out to their audience via Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of online media.
The campaign had a positive result with over 2000 clicks to Ricola’s website, and numerous positive comments from consumers telling online stories about how the candies reminded them of their childhood.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to personify your own brand because influencers already have a “personal” relationship with their audiences. While television and Google advertisements appear intrusive, comments by an influencer are often viewed as recommendations from a friend.
So, the next time you have a need to spread the word about your brand, consider reaching out to top influencers in your market. Not only will your message remain visible for a longer period of time, but you’ll also be more likely to connect with the public on a personal level.