With more than a quarter of U.S. Internet users expected to have ad blockers enabled when surfing the web in 2017 and many people passing on live TV in favor of online streaming platforms with limited ad space, like Hulu and Netflix, it can be hard to get consumers interested in your brand, and even harder to gain brand trust. Brand trust is essential for building relationships with consumers, and can be hard to earn in today’s multi-channel landscape. But what if you could leverage a voice that your consumers already trust to get messaging across?
Influencer marketing allows brands to partner with social thought leaders who have already amassed trusted followings to push brand messaging in a way that is genuine and unobtrusive to the consumer. Think about it this way:
You’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, when you see your friend’s latest post: a pair of brightly colored drinks sitting on a wooden table; the sun shining down on a patio somewhere that is 100% more appealing than the work desk you’re currently sitting at. The photo caption says “Super Trendy Restaurant’s mimosas are seriously THE BEST.”
If you were to have seen a billboard or TV ad with similar “our mimosas are the best” messaging, would you have been as persuaded to try that restaurant? Probably not. There’s already a level of trust with your friend that isn’t there with a branded ad. It’s like if your buddy is bragging about being the best soccer player in the state. You’re probably more likely to believe a teammate who tells you the same thing, rather than the guy tooting his own horn. The same idea can be applied to consumer trust. In fact, 90% of consumers say they trust recommendations from others, even those they don’t know, over branded content. This is where influencer marketing can help.
From mommy bloggers, to fitness gurus, to foodies, to mechanics, there are thousands of influencers, with different expertise, follower counts, and locations that brands can partner with to create branded campaigns. These influencers help get your brand in front of consumers by seamlessly integrating branded content into their profiles and blogs. Influencers not only help to increase sales, they can also positively affect your SEO, teach consumers about your products without consumers feeling like they are being heavily advertised to, and aid in creating user-generated content that brands can re-purpose in other marketing efforts. And influencer marketing isn’t just for big guys. There are thousands of local and small-niche influencers that localized brands or organizations wit limited budgets can partner with.
There are countless benefits that brands, big and small, gain from partnering with these thought leaders, which is probably why 65% of brands are already dabbling in influencer marketing. It can be a great way for brands to jumpstart their appeal and reach interested consumers without having to spend much money and time doing so.