Business Marketing

Why influencer marketing works, and the new direction its taking

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In our advertising-saturated age, influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important. Customers are more likely to buy if a trusted friend, especially one with experience with and/or expertise about the product, recommends it.

Influencer marketing converts sales

In our advertising-saturated age, influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important. It’s getting hard and harder to get to customers through ad-blocking technologies, and even if a lot of people are seeing your ads, it doesn’t mean they are capturing attention and converting sales.

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Engaging with customers on a personal level

The fact is, engagement with the brand doesn’t necessarily lead to a sale. When it comes times to buy, many customers look to their friends, family, and their social network for recommendations and advice before purchasing. This is when influencer marketing really counts. Customers are more likely to buy if a trusted friend, especially one with experience with and/or expertise about the product, recommends it.

Authenticity is the most important element

Contrary to what you might expect, it’s not necessarily a good strategy to rely on the most popular or “famous” influencers. Having a lot of followers or a social media profile with a lot of engagement doesn’t necessarily make someone a good influencer.

What’s more important is the passion the person has for the product, their firsthand experience with it, and how much people trust the influencer’s opinion. Said Inga Johnson of Experticity, an agency that connects brand with influencers, “If you have someone who doesn’t have these elements and they attempt to promote on behalf of the brand, it doesn’t come off as an authentic recommendation.”

Two-way street

Instead of relying on influencers with a wide reach, Johnson recommends focusing on building long-term, transparent relationships with “micro-influencers” – that is, influencers who don’t necessarily have a huge reach, but who do have the advantage of being well-trusted by their network. She says that influencers want to engage ever more deeply with the brands; they want insider knowledge about upcoming products, they want to understand how the technologies work, and they even want the opportunity to influence product development and give feedback.

Ditching the fame model

This may seem like a lot of extra work for the brand, but the result is an influencer who will never hurt the credibility of the brand, and whose opinion and expertise will be trusted by potential customers.

Johnson encourages brands to ditch the “fame model” and invest in solid, long-lasting influencers.

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