What is all the buzz around influencer marketing? The idea has been around for years through the use of mainstream PR and celebrity endorsements but now, with the use of social media, your girl next door can be the next online celebrity with a massive following within a year using social media. These influencers can actually deliver better results than your mainstream celebrities because of the direct relationship and conversations they continuously have with their followers or consumers. Therefore, some of these influencers have more impact with their followers than a high-end celebrity endorsing a product on TV.
According to Google Trends, influencer marketing has definitely taken off in the United States with a continued upward trend. However, in Australia, it is still an untapped marketing opportunity for many small- to medium-sized businesses.
I have seen first-hand the benefits of working with marketing influencers with some of my clients and the benefits are enormous, too big to ignore for both start-ups and growing businesses.
Here are five great reasons why influencer marketing should be considered a part of your overall marketing strategy:
- More affordable than SEO or paid advertising – If cash flow is tight and you are not sure if you want to start paying for SEO or paid advertising on a regular basis then you may want to consider setting up a contra deal with a marketing influencer who can endorse your product or service, as long as there is genuine interest or need for your product or service and it is relevant to their fans. If you are not ready to financially commit to a regular paid advertising campaign or SEO, using a marketing influencer can cost you little to nothing out of pocket but provide some excellent gains in SEO rankings and provide you with immediate leads following the release of their endorsements. The only cost to you will be the time of course you commit to this.
- Great and long lasting content – An influencer who has agreed to experience and endorse your product or service by way of creating and posting a blog article, a video or a case study is gold (provided that the endorsement is genuine and sits well with your target market audience). This content lasts forever and becomes one of your most valuable content pieces that you can recycle or use for advertising to attract new clients over and over again, so be sure to have a good agreement that stipulates the content and advertising rights with your Influencer and your campaign is scalable if possible.
- Increase in brand awareness, following and leads/clients/sales – If you are a young business and never ran an Influencer Marketing campaign before then you might be concerned that you won’t be able to attract a marketing Influencer with a big following. When you are starting off with this marketing approach and have a relatively new business, this is ok because engagement is more important than reach to start with. Your business can still positively gain from the popularity signals and engagement with a good Influencer strategy which will lead to an increase in brand awareness, following and leads or sales. And each time you run a Marketing Influencer campaign, it will usually become easier to attract a new marketing influencer with a larger reach.
For one of my clients, Dr. James Malouf we engaged a social media influencer who had a genuine requirement to improve her smile. We decided to collaborate and record her journey into a video. This video is now documented on YouTube and now also used as part of our advertising to generate more like minded patients and leads. You can watch it here.
- Return on investment – This is by far the fastest return on investment (ROI) in marketing with little cost required to get started I have witnessed in comparison to Social Media Paid Advertising, Google AdWords or SEO. The above marketing channels require a far greater budget and can take months to start seeing an ROI. In my experience working with clients and influencer marketers, I see website clicks increase 10X, web enquiries triple and the phones ringing within minutes of an Influencer post published online. If you sell a visual product such as clothing or provide a visual service for example makeup artistry then I would highly recommend considering an Influencer Marketer as part of your marketing strategy and be sure to have some strategic resources on standby to assist with the post, calls and web enquiries when your campaign goes live.
- It is AMAZING for your SEO or organic ranking – If you notice that your Marketing Influencer has good engagement on their posts and their website have a high domain authority, then your website can also benefit from an increase in Google ranking for the relevant keywords and topics. Make sure they are willing to link back to your website and you have an organic search strategy (BEFORE the post goes live) to assist with improving your Google rankings. I’ve see rankings shift on the 1st page of Google over night when after an influencer posts go live whereby the influencer has a high domain authority, following and engagement with their posts. However, keep in mind this is not a long term sustainable ranking result as you will still need to continue to optimise your website for organic search and or complete any other marketing campaigns to sustain or improve your google rankings. However, for the short term it is a very good boost that can double your chances of obtaining some good quality leads for a few days or weeks.
Most of my digital marketing campaigns for my clients incorporate a strategy for social influencer marketing. However, it can also be an effective short-term digital marketing strategy to get some quick wins on the board, have a bit of fun and build new relationships.