Influencer marketing has seen a significant boost in focus by PRs and marketers over the past few years, with many claiming it to be the ‘hottest tool in the marketer’s toolbox’.
Recognising the unique level of trust that exists between a consumer and their favourite blogger, Instagram personality or YouTuber, the power and reach of influencer marketing is on the rise and is showing no signs of slowing down, especially since 63% of marketers increased influencer marketing budgets in 2017 alone.
Impact of influencer marketing
By engaging bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers, brands can reap huge benefits. Not only can it help increase brand awareness and loyalty, it can also improve SEO rankings, encourage higher conversion rates and increase inbound traffic to their website. So, from that perspective it seems like an investment worth making.
At the same time however, brands need to be careful with who they approach. Just because they have “fashion influencer” or “sports influencer” written in their Instagram or Twitter bios, doesn’t necessarily mean that they have an engaged following. I’ve come across a few fashion and lifestyle profiles in the past with individuals claiming to be influencers, but a quick browse at their follower list and engagement rates would suggest otherwise.
Brands need to be aware of this and should be doing some research to help distinguish the ‘real’ from the ‘fake’.
Micro vs. macro-influencer
When launching an influencer marketing campaign, it’s natural to want to go for the big guns as they have a bigger audience and the most influence. But engaging micro-influencers (those in the 10,000 to 100,000 follower range) could be just as (if not more) effective.
Firstly, they’re a lot more accessible than the bigger names and they’re not as expensive.
Most importantly though, they tend to have a much better engagement rate. Sure, their following is a lot smaller but their followers are people who have genuine interest in their content and are therefore more likely to engage with the content being posted.
Finding the sweet spot between them both makes the most business sense though and will prove more beneficial to the brand, in terms of ROI.
We’re living in an era dictated by social media so brands need to ensure they’re staying ahead of the digital curve and are engaging with the right influencers, at the right time. Influencer marketing is clearly a growing trend and will continue to rise in popularity in 2018 and beyond.