Should your small business be considering influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a fairly new marketing technique that aims to use the reach of a top influencer to increase brand awareness and interest. As a business owner, getting an influencer to talk about or review your product can increase your sales and profits if the influencer has a wide following and is highly respected.
What exactly is influencer marketing
This is a form of marketing that requires a brand to use an influential individual to talk more about the brand’s products or services rather than advertising the products directly to the buyers. Also referred to as influence marketing, influencer marketing can be in the form of a review article or post, shout out on social media with the influencer’s recommendation, testimonial advertising, and others.
For influencer marketing to deliver the best results, it’s advisable that you use an influencer who has a large following from your target demographic.
Who is an influencer?
Influencers come in different forms, with the majority being celebrities. However, an influencer can also be a vlogger, blogger, social media poster who has a large number of followers or a thought leader in a specific industry or sport. Almost every industry or niche that exists has influencers.
Influencer marketing vs. celebrity endorsement
Despite being quite similar in how they work, celebrity endorsement and influencer marketing are not the same. Celebrity endorsement is considerably reliant on the celeb’s fame to increase the awareness of the product, whereas influencer marketing is based on a semi-organic word of mouth form of advertising from trusted sources.
In reality, every celebrity qualifies to be an influencer, but not every influencer is a celebrity. To be an influencer, one should have a large following from fans and supporters, be a credible source of advice, hold authority as an expert, or simply be an individual who people admire and look up to.
Value of influencer marketing
The value of influencer marketing is mainly based on the influencer’s plausibility or authority when talking about a specific product, as well as how effectively they can reach a wide audience of followers. When looking for an influencer to work with, you should target an individual who has built a credible reputation for a long time, to make it more likely for buyers to purchase your products.
Influencer marketing, when used in the right manner, can reduce costs when compared to traditional marketing methods, while still delivering up to three times the ROI of traditional marketing.
Does influencer marketing work for every business?
Sadly, influencer marketing will not work for everyone. For this type of marketing to work for your business, you have to identify the successful influencers within your niche. In addition, you will want to ensure that the influencer says something positive about your products or services.
That way, it will be easier to bring out your Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) to your audience, such that they will be convinced to find out more or to make a purchase. As long as you find the right influencer within your niche, then influencer marketing should work for your business.
Are there any risks associated with influencer marketing?
It goes without saying that you should choose the right influencer to work with because they will be inextricably associated with your product or service soon after they mention it. In that light, if you choose an influencer and they create a bad reputation for themselves after being tied to your brand, they might drag your brand’s reputation down with them.
There is also the risk associated with influencers not being obliged to say something positive about your product or service. If an influencer is majorly concerned with their reputation, they will not want to mislead their followers just to mention your product in a positive light.
The only way you can get an influencer to highlight the positive aspects of your brand is when you pay them accordingly to do so, or if your product or service is honestly outstanding. There is no way an influencer can convince followers to use a product or service that they themselves are most likely not using.
If you choose to pay an influencer to advertise your products or services and you pay them accordingly, they will have to mark your content clearly as ad content so as to comply with the set regulations. Having to mark your marketing content as an advert may not have a positive effect and can weaken the impact and effectiveness of influencer marketing.
So, should you use influencer marketing for your business?
Working with an influencer can be meritorious in terms of boosting the awareness and perception of your brand. You can use an influencer to promote your products and/or services, and eventually increase your sales.
Keep in mind, however, that failing to pick the right influencer can be detrimental to the whole influencer marketing plan, ruining your chances of getting your sales to soar. You also have less control over what the influencer will say about your product, so be sure to pick someone who understands your product well and approves your USPs.
As long as you choose an influencer who is edgy, controversial, is capable of strongly polarizing opinions, your brand will be on the path to a positive response from your audience and potential buyers.