For all those of you who might want to try influencer marketing but aren’t quite convinced yet, I see you.
I do the same when making decisions that involve some type of investment, whether in money or time. I’ll read Amazon reviews before buying a product or check out what Rotten Tomatoes says before I go to the movie theater to see that latest film.
In a world where we have too many options and even more information, it can be hard to know sometimes if that thing we’re thinking about buying or doing is really the best option for us.
That’s why I’ve rounded up 10 influencer marketing benefits so you can learn what the strategy can bring to your business.
10 influencer marketing benefits
- Build trust quickly
- Connect with your target audience
- Boost brand awareness
- Enrich your content marketing strategy
- Fosters long-term collaboration
- Adds social proof to the customer experience
- Incentivizes sales
- Helps your SEO
- Offers great ROI
- Works for any business
1. Build trust quickly
One of the top influencer marketing benefits is the trust that it can bring to your brand. When you partner with an influencer, they already have an audience that they’ve grown over time.
Influencers have attracted and retained their followers, who see them as experts in their chosen niche. Because of this, followers trust their favorite influencers’ opinions and see them more like family and friends than advertisers.
In fact, studies show that 61% of consumers trust recommendations from family, friends, and influencers. Only 38% trust recommendations that come directly from brands. When you pick apart the average and look at age demographics, the percentages who trust influencers are particularly high among young people.
This means that when your brand partners with an influencer, you’re tapping into that relationship of trust. An influencer’s endorsement of your brand will appear less like an ad and more like a friendly recommendation.
2. Connect with your target audience
In addition to helping you tap into credibility and trust, influencers can help you connect with your target audience relatively easily. It goes without saying that this is extremely important for any marketing campaign.
You, of course, have to know who your target audience is. Make sure to do your market research. You can also use social media to do this, like figuring out your buyer persona through your Instagram audience.
Anyway, once you know who you’re targeting, the key is finding an influencer who has a similar audience. When doing this you want to keep in mind the various demographics that relate to your buyer personas, like their ages and genders, where they live, what language they speak, and what topics they’re interested in.
How can you find influencers with the same target audience as you? If you have a tool like Heepsy, you can use audience filters. And if you’re not subscribed to an influencer discovery tool, you’ll have to ask influencers for their media kits so you can analyze their audience demographics.
You can also use influencer marketing to test out new target audiences. Maybe you want to see if your American business could succeed in Canada. Or you might want to see if your urban sneaker line could catch on with suburban moms. Influencers can connect you with engaged audiences in those niches so you can run trials and gauge interest.
3. Boost brand awareness
The third of our influencer marketing benefits is that the strategy helps you promote awareness of your brand. Awareness is the first step in the marketing funnel, and therefore necessary if you want to accomplish other goals like engagement or sales.
According to research, there are 4.48 billion active users on social media as of July 2021 (that is 57% of the world population). The bottom line? There are A LOT of people that use Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and the other social networks every day.
From that statistic alone, it’s clear that social media is a good arena for promoting your brand to new people. And people are paying attention. In the US, for example, 63% of people said they have followed a brand featured in influencer content.
Why? Well, it ties into our first two points. We’re bombarded by so many ads per day that we’re almost conditioned to tune them out. But influencer content doesn’t feel like ads. Moreover, if you find the right influencer, you know that they share your target audience, which means people are even more likely to take notice of your brand.
Marketing via influencers is engaging and non-intrusive. You are not disrupting anyone with a paid ad they didn’t ask for. You’re simply appearing in the content they’d be looking at anyway. This makes your brand visible and makes a good impression.
4. Enrich your content marketing strategy
While audience relationship is still the primary factor driving marketers to use influencer marketing, content creation is catching up: last year 27% reported it as a goal and this year the number rose to 34%.
Sometimes it’s tough creating content. It requires brainstorming, calendaring, production, distribution and tracking. So it’s nice if someone can take one or two of those tasks off your hands. Influencers can do just that.
Partnering with content creators leads to, well, content creation. You can then use this content to fill in the gaps between the content you produce in-house.
What’s more, influencers provide fresh ideas from new perspectives from outside of your brand. This means they can show your brand in a new light, or potentially see something that your own team didn’t pick up on.
And going a step further, influencers are the perfect consultants to help your brand create content related to sensitive topics. 51% of people said they’ve called out a company on social media, so if you want to avoid this, it’s important to avoid purely performative displays, like rainbow capitalism during Pride Month.
Above, Skittles partnered with LGBTQ+ activist influencer Blair Imani for their 2021 Pride campaign.[/caption]Influencers who have lived the issue you want to touch on can make sure that your message isn’t uninformed or tone-deaf. This leads to more authentic content that people can actually relate to instead of more empty promises from corporations.
5. Fosters long-term collaborations
Who are you more likely to turn to in a time of need: a friend you’ve known for years, or someone you connected with once at a party? Okay, maybe the metaphor is a bit dramatic, but we can think of influencer collaborations similarly.
Finding your long-term partners is yet another influencer marketing benefit. When you run campaigns with influencers, you can identify the people who best collaborate with your brand. Then, nurture your relationship with them to grow a healthy, profitable long-term partnership.
For brands, it’s generally much more beneficial to have long-term partnerships. Why? For various reasons:
- Both parties have clear and defined expectations.
- The influencer understands your brand, its mission, and its values.
- You already have a proven track record of success when working together.
- Prolonged and repeated exposure, which leads to credibility.
- High quality content, as the influencer will also want to foster the relationship by impressing you.
- The confidence in the relationship to take risks and try new things.
- Increased loyalty and trust between you, your brand ambassador and their audience.
Long-term influencer collaborations are a great way to find reliable partners for your social media marketing strategy.
6. Adds social proof to the customer experience
Social proof is when people look at what others do in order to decide what to do themselves. It’s the old idea that if a restaurant is full, it must be good. Or, it’s when you read books solely because they’re on the bestseller list. If everyone else is buying it, it must be worth reading, right?
In marketing, we can use social proof to help push potential customers along in their purchasing journey. When people are unsure of buying your products or services, seeing influencers who have already done so reassures them.
And I’m not just talking about social media. You can also republish influencer content to your website in order to inject your product pages with social proof. A brand that does this well is Swedish retailer Monki.
Let’s say I’m interested in these corduroy trousers. I love the color, the price is in my budget, and they have my size. I like how they look on the model, but I’m not sure how they’d look on me, in real life. Models have a professional team there to make them look good, so I don’t really trust the content featuring them.
But then I keep scrolling down and see that there’s influencer content on the page. I feel like I can trust this photo more, as the influencer has shot their content presumably without an entire team of styling and beauty gurus making sure every detail is perfect. The trousers still look good, so I finally decided to take the chance and purchase them.
Monki also links directly to the influencer’s Instagram profile, so you can check out the rest of their content and possibly discover even more products that they’ve recommended.
7. Incentivizes sales
Another influencer marketing benefit is the ability to easily incentivize sales. Influencer discount codes are those coupon codes you see scattered throughout social media. They give followers a certain percentage or amount off at the online shops of the brands that partner with influencers.
Why do these incentivize sales? First off, going back to the beginning of this post, we already know that consumers trust influencer recommendations more than brands’. Plus, people love discounts. In the United States, 88% of consumers said they used coupons in 2020.
If we dig into that a bit more, we find that 89% of millennial consumers would try a new brand if the brand offered a coupon or discount. Combine this with the trust people place in influencers and you have a winning mix for urging people to buy your products.
Moreover, when coupons don’t end up leading to sales, they can still help raise brand awareness. If people see an influencer recommendation and a coupon code, they might be tempted to just check out your brand to see what it’s all about or how those discounts would stack up.
8. Helps your SEO
Influencer marketing can benefit your SEO strategy in 3 key ways. First, it builds inbound links. While social media backlinks are usually no-follow, this doesn’t mean that they’re worthless. Experts say that social media engagement indicates quality content, which means higher rankings.
And if you want a good old-fashioned true backlink, seek out influencers who are also bloggers. You can then ask them to produce blog content as part of the collaboration, so that you get pure backlinks.
Additionally, web traffic is an important factor when trying to rank on SERPs. Moz surveyed experts and found that it’s actually the 5th most important factor.
So when influencers promote your brand, and their followers head over to your website to check it out, you’re positively impacting your SEO.
Finally, I already told you about how influencer marketing can enrich your content strategy. And that ties into SEO, too. Influencer content is fresh content, which you can use to update your website. This keeps users coming back, helps you attack organic keywords, and also provides even more link-building opportunities.
9. Offers great ROI
Now, all these other points considered, let’s get to one of the most important influencer marketing benefits: great return on investment. Mediakix research shows that 89% of marketers believe the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other channels.
This is due to influencer marketing offering so many returns, whether they’re quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative benefits of your campaign might be sales, revenues, or other conversions you’ve defined and set a value for.
But qualitative benefits could include:
- Impressions and engagements
- Press generated by the campaign
- Content assets created
- New social media followers or email subscribers
None of these have a concrete value attached to them, but they’re definitely beneficial to your business. They help with branding, get you new leads, and back up your content and SEO strategies.
So when calculating your ROI, you have to keep all of these in mind. And when measuring the success of your influencer marketing campaigns, only compete against your investment and initial expectations.
10. Works for any business
Finally, influencer marketing benefits any type of business, whether small or large, mainstream or niche. We typically imagine fashionistas and digital nomads when we think of the stereotypical influencer.
But there are influencers who post about vegan food, DIYs, tech reviews, healthcare, and more. The key is finding the right influencer for your brand.
Imagine that your company produces flour alternatives for people with celiac disease. You might want to find influencers who post about gluten-free desserts to send them your product for review. And there are influencers like that out there.
When it comes to finding the right influencer for your brand, consider your budget, too.
If you’re a large company, you can work with celebrity influencers without issue. But if you’re a small business, it’s not realistic to want to partner with famous faces.
Thankfully, there are influencers for small businesses, too. Nano influencers have 1-5K followers, and micro influencers have between 5-50K. They have very high average engagement rates, and also have the fewest fake followers.
To sum up, influencers help you raise awareness and build trust, offer great ROI, and back up various digital marketing strategies you already have in place, like content and SEO.
And these are just 10 of the top influencer marketing benefits, although I’m sure if you run a campaign you’ll find even more.
So has this article convinced you to give influencer marketing a go? I hope so! Just remember, the key to success is this: find influencers who have healthy performance metrics, who connect you to your target audience, and who align with your brand’s mission, values, and goals.