Why Influencers Are Key to Your Marketing Strategy
If you're not already leveraging influencer marketing to drive demand generation, there's never been a better time to give this tactic a second look.
Maybe you're in the B2B space and think this isn't relevant to you, or maybe you’ve tried this in the past and it didn’t work.
But with better tools, like an influencer marketing platform, and a better understanding of what drives influence online—and in turn, what makes for a great influencer campaign—influencer marketing has matured into a meaningful and important tactic to drive real business results.
Reach, Relevance, and Resonance
So, what is "influence" anyway?
You might think this is simply a matter of someone on Instagram with thousands of followers. But true influence, the sort that can inspire others to act, is much more than just a numbers game: it's a combination of reach, relevance and resonance.
- Reach - Yes, followers are important. An influencer will typically have a wide audience across multiple social networks. If you're considering tools to help source influencers, you'll need one that looks across the entire social web to measure the total, unique reach of an individual on multiple networks.
- Resonance - This is where true influence lives. At the heart of influencer marketing is the idea that we don't make decisions the same way we used to. Most of our research happens online where we're far more likely to make purchase decisions if they come along with a recommendation from someone we trust. By looking beyond reach to understand how much engagement someone creates when they post—likes, comments, retweets, reposts, etc.—we get a much broader understanding of how truly influential an individual is.
- Relevance - Finally, relevance is where reach and resonance come together to create true influence. How relevant someone is, related to a given topic, underpins influencer marketing. Just ask Pepsi about how important relevance is. Their ill-fated Kendall Jenner advert proves you can have an influencer with a huge reach and tons of resonance, but if they're not relevant to the topic in an authentic way, the campaign will be over before it even begins.
When these three elements combine, that’s when the real magic of influencer marketing takes effect.
Making Authentic, Real-Time Connections
Assuming then that you've identified an influencer for an upcoming campaign, you might still be wondering why this is relevant for your business.
Here’s the answer.
The way brands and companies should effectively market themselves has fundamentally shifted. We've gone from largely one-way communications—advertisements shouting from your TV and radio or jumping out of magazines—to a true two-way conversation thanks to social media.
Add in the fact that consumers are increasingly skeptical of advertisements, instead trusting the word-of-mouth recommendation from those they trust to make purchase decisions, and you can see why using third-party influencers to tell your story is increasingly important.
There's no one better way to jumpstart a conversation about your brand than an influential individual who can not only carry your key message to their audience but can also add their own authentic voice to your marketing efforts.
While the net result may be the same as any other marketing tactic—clicks on your website or downloads of your white paper—the path to get there via influencers is more genuine and more engaging than any other tactic out there. You'll get the leads, but along with it you'll get real-time connections that lay the groundwork for deeper, long-term relationships with your brand.
Whether you're new to influencer marketing or looking to build on previous success, you'll find a wealth of best practices and information at the recent Word-of-Mouth Summit from our colleagues at Ambassador, now available on demand.
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