Let’s cut to the chase: does influencer marketing live up to the hype?
The short answer? It depends on who you ask.
On one hand, influencer marketing has entered the mainstream. Big-box brands are regularly running influencer campaigns with everyone from top-tier YouTubers to micro-influencers on Instagram.
And given that two-thirds of marketers stepped up their influencer marketing budgets in 2019, that momentum doesn’t look to slow down any time soon.
However, there’s also a growing sentiment that influencer marketing is “dying” as consumers become more privy to the concept.
The reality? Recent research and trends point to influencer marketing’s longevity for brands and businesses in the future.
Even so, businesses looking to get on board need to understand why influencer campaigns can be so effective. Below we’ve broken down nine reasons why influencer campaigns are becoming more viable for brands today.
1. There’s an Influencer for Every Industry
For starters, the boom of influencer campaigns has led to a more diverse range of influencers for companies to choose from.
In other words, even brands working in “niche” markets can find relevant influences for their target audience.
Sure, the usual suspects such as fashion and fitness still dominate the influencer industry.
But what about food porn? DJing? Ridiculous stunts?
Yep. There are influencers out there for you, too.
The takeaway here is that influencer marketing is no longer reserved for specific industries. Businesses are spoiled for choice in terms of who they can partner up with for campaigns these days.
2. Consumers Prefer Social Posts to Traditional Ads
The rise of influencer marketing goes hand in hand with evolving consumer behavior.
Specifically, an aversion to traditional ad campaigns.
Food for thought: Gen Z and millennials are totally turned off by traditional commercials.
Meanwhile, both demographics regard social media as the most relevant advertising channel for discovering new products.
Slotting your products into influencer posts allows you to get more eyes on your brand without being too salesy or in-your-face about it.
According to a recent Ratuken Marketing report, two-thirds of people discover products from influencers on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, 88% of those same consumers note that they’ve been inspired to make a purchase based on what they’ve seen from an influencer.
And so even if your influencer campaign is explicit about sales, most consumers are totally cool with it.
3. Your Customers Want to See Your Human Side
Customers today crave authenticity.
That might explain why most consumers trust influencers more than traditional advertisers.
This also explains why user-generated content and photos containing people perform so well in terms of engagement on social media.
Listen: your target audience doesn’t want to see lifeless product photos and sales pitches.
They want to see some personality. They want more than just ads. Influencers bring a much-needed human touch to your marketing that also allows you to show off your products “in the wild.”
4. Influencers Actually Have A Stake in Your Campaign Performance
With most paid ad campaigns, the responsibility to score a positive ROI is almost entirely on your shoulders.
Yeah, Facebook and Google obviously don’t want your ads to fail.
That said, it’s no skin off their nose if you end up running a campaign that’s a total dud and lose out on your hard-earned cash.
On the flip side, it’s in the best interest of influencers for their campaigns to perform well. Highly-engaged campaigns speak to their reputation and ability to attract future brands to work with.
If nothing else, influencers don’t want to serve low-quality content or spam to their audience.
Based on the previously noted Rakuten report, the majority of influencers care about campaign performance and ROI. They’re inherently motivated to collaborate and ensure that their campaigns result in a win-win situation for both parties.
5. Influencer Campaigns Can Crush a Variety of Brand Goals (at Once)
No matter what your social media goals might be, influencer campaigns can address ‘em.
Want to drive traffic to your website? Grow your social following? Capture more leads?
All of the above are totally fair game and then some.
The key to making influencer campaigns work is to understand what your expectations and goals are.
And hey, that leads us to our next point...
6. Influencer Campaigns Have a Measurable ROI
When vetting influencers, you can observe for yourself what their audience engagement looks like at a glance.
You can likewise determine what sorts of KPIs you want to center your campaign around.
Maybe you want to tie your campaign to a specific promo code or drive traffic to a landing page.
Or perhaps you’re looking to boost your brand’s follow count and engagement rate.
Either way, no problem.
As part of briefing an influencer, you can determine what your campaign should look like and how you’ll work together to track performance.
For reference, here’s a Linqia report highlighting the metrics that marketers prioritize when measuring the performance of their influencer campaigns.
7. Influencer Marketing is Cost-Effective Versus Other Types of Campaigns
The big question for brands skeptical about influencer marketing is simple:
How do influencer campaigns stack up against other types of ads?
And hey, it’s a great question.
According to 2019 data from Mediakix, 89% of marketers note that influencer campaigns produce a better or comparable ROI to competing campaigns. The same study notes similar numbers for the effectiveness of such campaigns and their quality of leads.
The beauty of influencer marketing is that brands can start small and scale up rather than invest a ton of cash upfront. For example, you could test the waters by working with a micro-influencer to understand how influencer relationships work before bringing on bigger names.
8. Influencers Represent Long-Term Relationships
Traditional ad campaigns can be frustrating to say the least.
While one Facebook ad campaign might exceed all of your expectations, your next one could totally flop.
That’s just the nature of the beast.
With influencer campaigns, you have the ability to form long-term relationships with someone who understands their audience, your audience, and what drives engagement for both.
According to a recent benchmark report, 65% of influencer relationships are campaign-based while 35% are ongoing.
Working with influencers for the long-term means that you can roll out consistent campaigns with consistent levels of engagement. All you while the influencer your working with gains a deeper understanding of your brand and its goals.
9. Finding Influencers to Work With is Easier Than Ever
To wrap up our guide, we’ll bring things full circle by reinforcing our original point:
Finding a relevant influencer for your business doesn’t have to be a painstaking search.
There are full-blown platforms out there to help you hone in on influencers based on budget, niche, reach and so on. That’s exactly what TapInfluence does, for example.
Oh, and don’t forget that here at Hello Social we know a thing or two about connecting brands and influencers.
Rather than do the legwork of finding influencers yourself, we can help you connect to folks who’d be the right fit for your target audience.
And with that, we wrap up our guide! Are You on Board with Influencer Marketing? The points above signal the fact that influencer marketing isn’t just a passing phase.
And in fact, it’s here to stay.
Brands of all shapes and sizes have found success through working with influencers.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to give some serious thought about what authentic, people-driven marketing can do for you. To learn more about how you can get started ASAP, feel free to contact Hello Social today.
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