7 reasons why influencer marketing is a game-changer

5 min read
Jonny Pathan
Model carrying branded shopping bags

If you’re a brand that keeps its customers at arm’s length then it’s difficult to learn more about them and build trust. Brand loyalty is a hot idea for most businesses and one way to improve loyalty with customers is to try and be authentic and trust-worthy.

This is where influencer marketing comes in *drumroll*

Influencer marketing harnesses the reach, authenticity and personality of individuals who have built up their own following in a specific niche with a particular target audience. Twitter revealed that 49% of consumers look to social media for advice on purchases. Getting influencers on board with your brand is well-worth checking out…

Here are 7 reasons why:

1. Influencers have their own ready-made following

Successful influencers have built up their own loyal fan base that they’ve built and nurtured over time. They usually chat to their followers a lot and they’ve shaped their content with their audience in mind, so they know what does and doesn’t work.

Remember, it’s quality not quantity. You don’t have to get a big-gun in like Zoella – work with a micro-influencer who has a strong, core audience with a proven track-record of high influence.

An Instagram Influencer with a Chickidee cushion
An instagram influencer we’ve used in the past

Asking an influencer to collaborate with your brand and raise awareness means that their following will (fingers crossed) come along too and be more interested in your product, by association.

You can piggyback off an influencer’s follower base.

2. They’re a walking, talking endorsement

Brands struggle sometimes because they’re just that, a brand. An influencer puts a face to a product and more importantly, a personality too. Adding the weight of an influencer’s opinion into a marketable testimonial/review gives your products some much-needed kudos.

Instagram Influencer showing a mug
Add a personality to the brand

3. Influencers have their own tried and tested ideas

Influencers have worked hard to build their following and credibility, so they’ll have their own marketing ideas and creative prowess. Getting advice from influencers about how to market to millennials or other emerging groups can help to shape your content and find out which social media platforms deserve more of your budget with certain demographics.

Asking influencers to do take-overs of your social media accounts is a great way to harness their creativity too e.g letting them run wild on your Instagram account.

Influencer Image
An influencer creating their own images

4. The new word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth is a powerful force in consumer decision-making and it’s estimated that 20 – 50% of all decisions are influenced by it. Influencers are increasingly seen as equally trust-worthy as a friend or acquaintance who might recommend a product/service. This is because of the quality relationships they’ve built up with their followers.

5. Reaching different groups

When brands try to target specific demographics they can sometimes get it really wrong, or cheesy and treat groups like one big homogenous blob that all think the same and enjoy the same things, like ‘mums’ for example.

Influencers who are part of certain demographics or have a strong follower base in that area will have a lot of insight into the different viewpoints and issues that affect specific niches – mainly because they talk and engage with them and have an ear to the ground.

So, influencers can help you to run campaigns that are inclusive, interesting and crucially – not patronising. They can help you access and engage with niches that are tricky to access.

6. Choosing your Platforms

It’s worth thinking hard about the platforms you want to use with your influencer. Successful influencers usually use a range of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram, but they probably have a favoured platform that they’re best at using too.

If you want to create a lot of story-based campaigns then getting an influencer who’s great at doing Instagram/Snapchat stories is a good idea. Or if you’re looking to access the tech community then an influencer who’s confident with that niche and making informative/instructional Youtube videos.

Snapchat Stories
Snapchat stories

The costs involved with influencers can vary because of the range of platforms you want them to work with and the amount of products. Make sure you do your research and find out where they get most traction and what they do best.

7. SEO knowledge

Influencers can tell you about types of issues and keywords that are frequently used in questions and interactions with their followers. And let you know about their most successful content and what it featured too. This can inform your own SEO strategy and content.

You can link build by asking your influencers to link to your content and products on their own platforms and use UTM codes to find out things like where most of your traffic is coming from and adjust your budget accordingly.

Add a UTM code to the links used by your influencers on their platforms and use them in conjunction with an assessment tool like Google Analytics to track your marketing campaigns involving your influencers.

As always – constantly track, measure and analyse your campaigns.

Final thing

Remember to do your research with influencer marketing to make the most of your budget. Choose an influencer that’s relevant to your brand, has a strong following, lots of reach and who will create valuable, relatable content.

Influencer marketing harnesses the reach, authenticity and personality of individuals who have built up their own following in a specific niche with a particular target audience. Twitter revealed that 49% of consumers look to social media for advice on purchases.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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