49% of people reported that they relied on influencer recommendations last year. Adding influencer marketing to your overall marketing strategy can help to increase your brand awareness, grow your follower base, and drive major sales. But does it make sense for your brand? In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of initiating an influencer marketing campaign for your company.
What is Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a collaboration between brands and social influencers. What makes someone a social influencer is their large following on the web and social media. These influencers can be Instagrammers, bloggers or even LinkedIn leaders. This type of marketing is simply taking the idea of celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern-day, content-driven marketing campaign.
Success in Influencer Marketing
Quest Nutrition, a company that sells low-carb nutrition bars advertised as the perfect post-workout snack, found great success in using influencer marketing. As one of millions of nutritional fitness bars out there, Quest needed to make their brand stand out. This lead to the company deciding to give free Quest bars to the fittest people with the biggest followings on Instagram. Quest Nutrition was launched in 2010 and grew by 57,00% in a span of only three years by using these social influencers. This was a success because it showed a direct connection between these nutrition bars and the fit people who consumers already followed and trusted.
Failure in Influencer Marketing
One of the worst mistakes a brand can make is to create a campaign with an influencer who doesn’t align with their brand. Volvo, one of the biggest car brands in the world, hired Chriselle Lim, a well-known fashion and beauty blogger, to post pictures of her using one of their cars on Instagram. The image and the caption did not align with Chriselle’s usual posts or her story, so her audience did not trust the product she was marketing.
If you find that influencer marketing isn’t giving you the results you want, it is vital that you assess your approach before you give up on it completely. One of the biggest reasons it might not be working is because you’ve chosen the wrong influencer, such as Volvo had done with Chriselle. You need to do your research in order to find someone who aligns with your target audience and your brand values.
A few industries naturally gravitate toward influencer marketing. Industries such as fitness, fashion and travel have a large pool of popular online personalities to work with. It makes sense – these verticals are innately esthetically pleasing, making them easy wins for image-based media platforms.
Almost 60% of fashion brands utilize an influencer marketing strategy, while the popularity of Instagram influencers is changing the way people travel and plan trips. One of the reasons these industries have such synergy with influencers is because it is beneficial for both parties. For example, if a luxury hotel chain partners with a popular travel blogger, the hotel gets to reach all of the bloggers travel loving followers, while the blogger gets a discount on staying at the luxury hotel.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, the efficacy of influencer marketing will always rely on your ability to pinpoint the perfect figure and platform to promote your brand messaging. Although influencer marketing may be more popular in some industries than others, there are respected thought leaders in every vertical who can help bring your brand to the forefront. Sales are built upon trust between a brand and its consumers. With a majority of consumers trusting influencers more than brands, there’s no better time to explore the possibility of influencer marketing for your brand.