What Is Influencer Marketing

What Is Influencer Marketing? How to Use Influencer Marketing to Successfully Promote Your Brand

Influencer marketing is a way to quickly build brand awareness for your company. In the past, brands used celebrities to promote their products. Now, social media influencers are taking over and sharing brand messaging with their online followers.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Traditionally, brands have used television ads to reach as many consumers as possible. With broadcast advertising, it’s difficult to target specific demographics. Influencer content marketing solves this problem with a new strategy of targeting the right audience.

Today’s best digital marketing campaigns use influencer marketing techniques and strategies by leveraging social influencers to promote products, brand messages and marketing campaigns for companies—by way of their digital follower base. Marketers locate these influential people—they can be current customers, brand ambassadors, or paid experts like athletes.

Many consumers today are more influenced by peers or known figures who create authentic and genuine content rather than traditional marketing advertisements. As a result, social influencer marketing has become an increasingly valuable tool growing amongst word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) experts. All brands should consider the benefits of using an influencer marketing campaign, regardless of the size of the company or how long it has been in business. 

Unlike celebrities, who can seem unapproachable to their audience, social media influencers can easily give their followers the impression that they’re watching or listening to a friend. Don’t be fooled by the casual demeanor of influencers. Many invest in quality filming equipment, hire professional photographers and dedicate their time to cultivating the perfect social media feeds to reach their followers. 

Influencer marketing is a valuable opportunity to connect with customers on an authentic level that is typically absent from traditional advertising. Today’s marketing landscape revolves around client satisfaction, trust and engagement, so having a brand ambassador or social influencer on your side is a great way to build a brand voice and personality.

7 Benefits of Influencer Marketing

It’s no surprise that people spend a lot of time on social media. In fact, a study from Digital Information World shows that on average, internet users spend over two hours each day on social media, among both user-generated content and media from brands across the globe. Brands can use that time to put their message in front of potential customers.

There’s no doubt that having someone with a large audience promote your product is an effective marketing tool. But how exactly can social media influencers help your brand grow and increase revenue? These are just some of the benefits of implementing an influencer marketing strategy into your company’s marketing plan. 

1. Send an Authentic Message

Most people know when they’re hearing a sales pitch. In a world where we’re bombarded with advertisements, it’s easy for consumers to ignore those pitches and even to be turned off by brands that are too invasive. Instead, influencer marketing can create a more natural path for the consumer journey

It’s becoming much more common for consumers to go in search of information on their own and search out the opinions of other customers and people whose opinions they trust to give an honest review through a blog post, video, or social media story. When an influencer has already established trust with their audience by sharing their lives through photos, videos and stories, each post they publish will feel genuine. 

2. Reach a Focused Audience with Influencer Marketing

There are influencers in nearly every industry and niche. The key to a successful influencer marketing campaign is to find the experts in your particular industry who have built an audience of engaged followers. This is especially true if you go with a highly-targeted micro-influencer marketing strategy. These influencers discuss their favorite expert brands in a natural and meaningful way that resonates with their consumer audiences. 

For example, if you’re building an outdoor brand, there’s a specific audience that you want to reach. You can match your brand to influencers who share travel tips, post photos from adventures around the world and recommend everything from gear to travel apps to their followers. This influencer marketing strategy will help integrate your brand’s message and products into the social media feed of these experts in a way that makes sense and feels natural to followers. 

3. Use Influencer Expertise

Influencers have a unique skill set that can benefit your brand. By partnering with them for an influencer campaign or an influencer program, you can give them the information they need and trust them to do what they do best. Influencers know the best times to post on Instagram, the ways to edit video thumbnails to catch a viewer’s attention and the ways to deliver a message that will resonate with their audience and drive engagement. 

If social media isn’t your own area of expertise, you can trust in the leading influencers of this marketing platform share your brand’s message effectively. Engaging in a social media influencer campaign with an expert can give your company valuable insights and experience for continuing to grow your own social media presence, increase your reach, expand your engagement and improve your content marketing. With the right influencer strategy, social media posts are published in a timely and effective manner. Influencers know how to communicate with their followers on each social media platform. These experts can help build your brand online and spread your message across a large network. 

4. Influencer Marketing Amplifies Brand Awareness

With authentic messages and a focused audience ready to receive those messages, a brand can broaden awareness very quickly. After an influencer shares your brand’s message, shows your product and exposes their audience to your name and logo, social media users will begin to recognize the brand. The audience will be more likely to search for more information, find and follow your brand on social media and share your message with their own social networks. 

This can be a huge benefit to any company, no matter whether the brand is new or already established. It’s an opportunity to reach a new audience and make a large push to drive more traffic to your company’s own social media accounts or directly to a website to make a sale.

5. Build Valuable Partnerships Through Partnering with Influencers

With programs like Pro Deals, brands can pair up with influencers who are everyday experts in specific areas. Brands benefit from these programs by being connected to an existing audience that wants to hear about the product or service you’re selling. Success comes when customers here this message from someone they feel like they know and trust. 

For the influencer, these deals are a way for them to build a relationship with a brand that fits their personal interests. For example, REI Pro Deals can help an influencer try new outdoor products and share their genuine feelings about those products with their followers. If you can offer the influencer a great experience that’s mutually beneficial, you can create an ongoing partnership that offers something for both the brand and the influencer.

6. Avoid Pushy Sales Pitches

Why does influencer marketing work? It’s because hearing about a product from real people sharing their real experience with the brand—and it doesn’t seem pushy. When an influencer has a following, their audience is actively seeking their social media pages because they’re already interested in what that influencer has to say. 

Unlike pop up ads interrupting other tasks on the computer or video ads that can be easily skipped before a YouTube video, advertising through influencer content feels more natural and less obtrusive. Consumers are much more likely to respond well to an advertisement that feels more like a conversation with someone they admire and trust.

7. Build Customer Trust by Identifying Industry Influencers

There is a good reason why major influencers have massive followings. Their large number of followers look to them for inspiration, guidance and, in some cases, recommendations. Influencers build trust with their followers by providing honest in-depth reviews, Instagram stories highlighting favorite products and videos showing products in action.

Over time, trust is built, and followers know they can depend on the influencer to steer them in the right direction and endorse brands that provide quality gear and equipment. This relationship between an influencer and their followers creates the perfect opportunity for marketing a brand’s products and services. When followers trust the influencer and the influencer trusts a brand, followers will know that brand is one that they can count on for quality products, services and customer care.

Influencer Marketing Strategy

The social media influencer you partner with will do the work of creating content and sharing it with their followers. Then, there are a few things that you, as a brand, should do to ensure that the campaign is successful. 

  • Create a Clear Brand Message
  • Set Your Own Goals for the Campaign
  • Engage with Followers
  • Follow Up on Your Own Social Media

An influencer needs your help to create amazing social content. Take full advantage of the opportunity to work with someone who has amassed a large following by giving them plenty of marketing ammunition. Be ready to give them a clear message about who you are, what your brand does and what you can offer customers. 

Before diving into a partnership, outline your own goals for the social media campaign. Do you want to use the opportunity to grow your own follower count? Are you hoping to build a lasting relationship with the influencer? Do you have specific financial goals you’d like to reach in the weeks following the influencer's posts? All of the above?

After a post is published, engage with the influencer’s followers. Keep an eye on the comment section, whether the post is made through an Instagram photo or a YouTube video. Answer questions that come up and offer more information about your brand and your product. This is a great way to start building relationships, showcasing your customer service and turning the audience into customers. 

While the influencer will share your message and promote your brand, it’s up to you to follow through. Be sure to update your own social media, communicate with customers who find you through those sponsored posts and keep people interested in what your company is doing.  

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How to Use Influencer Marketing to Promote Your Brand

There is a perfect partnership opportunity for every brand and every influencer. Whether you’re a major brand interested in working with key influencers with millions of followers or a startup looking at working with micro-influencers with a niche audience, there is an opportunity waiting on social media. 

Working with ExpertVoice makes it easy to find the right influencers. ExpertVoice has a massive influencer marketing platform with influencers ready to share your brand’s messaging on their social media channels. ExpertVoice can help you find the influencer and platform that fits best with your brand. 

When you’re matched with the right partner, your message will reach your target audience through word-of-mouth advertising in a way that makes sense and feels natural to everyone involved—the brand, the influencer and the audience. The result will be a successful marketing campaign that will drive traffic, boost sales and grow your brand’s following. 

An influencer program helps brands, large and small, find success with this new marketing strategies. Join ExpertVoice and partner with expert influencers to promote your brand on social media.

Influencer Marketing Resources

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The Complete Guide to Social Content Marketing

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5 Quick Wins to Kickstart Your Influencer Marketing

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The Power of Influencers. Quantified.

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How to Stop Chasing Technology and Start Measuring Influence

Frequently Asked Questions