WHAT ARE SOCIAL INFLUENCERS?
Here are my thoughts on using social influencers.
Hands up if you have ever purchased something because a well-known person you admire used the product or service and endorsed it via social media? If you have, then you have been influenced by a social influencer. I am 100% guilty of that. In fact, I did it the other day after I saw Meghan Markle wearing a pair of Rothy’s pumps. Oh and actually, I did it today. I ordered my knew gym outfit from Asquith after a blogger that I follow (Ethical Unicorn) had written about her partnership with them.
Now the first thing is.. was I in the market for a new pair of shoes? No. Did Meghan Markle wearing those shoes encourage me to buy them? Yes. I’d never heard of Rothy’s but I am updating my wardrobe to an eco-friendly and sustainable wardrobe and so it was ideal timing.
Was I in the market for new gym gear? Yep, 100%. I just hadn’t got around to buying it and when I saw one of my favourite bloggers endorsing something that I needed.. I got straight on it.
How does it work?
Hubspot sum this up really well:
Influencer marketing employs leading, niche content creators to improve brand awareness, increase traffic, and drive your brand’s message to your target audience. These content creators already market to your ideal audience across different channels which allows you to expand your reach across your buyer personas.
Examples of these channels include social media, blogs, columns, digital and print ads, and television. Influencer marketing is increasingly more popular among businesses these days because traditional advertising has become less effective in attracting leads and customers.
For me, I am a big fan of influencer marketing because it does employ the concept of traditional word of mouth advertising which I think is critical for any effective marketing strategy in today’s day and age. Consumers are hyper aware now and use reviews and personal experience as the litmus test as to whether they follow through to purchase.
You’ve to invest some serious time into influencer marketing, quite simply to get the best return from it. It’s hard graft, finding the right influencers that are relevant for your target market. You’ve got to create and test campaigns to see what works and develop the right content with your chosen influencers. It’s a long game but to put your mind at ease, here are some stats that highlight the value and impact of influencer marketing:
- 80% of marketers say influencer marketing is effective, and 89% say it works just as well (if not better) than other marketing channels.
- 71% of marketers say the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources.
- 49% of consumers today depend on influencer recommendations for their purchase decisions. 60% say they’ve been influenced by a recommendation when shopping in-store.
- Google searches for “influencer marketing” grew 1500% in the last three years.
- Influencer marketing strategies focused on branding or engagements generate 8x ROI.
Personal experience using social influencers
Now speaking from experience, I’ve had some great examples of working with influencers on campaigns over the last five years.
My first foray with influencer marketing was with Upbeat Drinks back in 2015 to coincide with the launch of their rebrand of their ‘liquid whey protein shake’ to align with the mass market under the banner of ‘willpower in a bottle’ (Upbeat has since evolved and developed a completely new range of products, focusing on protein Vitamin water rather than whey protein shakes). Back in 2015, we worked with, niche micro-influencers (early-adopters of fitness trends) on Twitter and Instagram to access a wider pool of people who were interested in products that would help them achieve their fitness goals especially when they had busy lives.
Micro-influencers do have a relatively modest following but working with a number of them means that you access a large audience base and it’s relatively cost effective making it a viable option. The content that these influencers created was relevant for their audience, with many taking part in a willpower challenge during the month of January highlighting how protein fuelled meals could keep them fuller for longer and help them stave off the sweets and chocolates.
I’ve included a couple of examples below:
Each micro-influencer has carefully grown their base and nurtured their following so they are going to be more inclined to listen to what is said and thus have higher engagement rates. Additionally, the thing that micro-influencers have on their side is their smaller audiences enable them to develop a bond with their followers making them more appealing to work with because of the connection that they have built with their followers.
The social influencer campaign for Upbeat Drinks was used tactically through bursts of above the line advertising – it was used as a method of flattening the line and maintaining brand awareness for the protein drink.
Let’s fast forward to 2018 where Bauer Media’s subscription service GreatMagazines.co.uk worked on two great social media focused influencer campaigns aligned to two of their flagship brands EMPIRE and Country Walking. We worked again with micro-influencers with the aim of driving awareness and sales. Offering a unique discount code for each of these brands which influencers could share with their followers as they talked through the benefits of being part of the subscriber community. This campaign only ran on social channels for one month.
And finally, let’s look at GiftsOnline4u.com who used influencer marketing to talk specifically about personalisation and the ‘special something’ that a personalised gift has. Every gives a gift and most people love to give a gift, especially when they get to see the recipient open it, they want to see their reaction, they want to see them smile.
GiftsOnline4U use bloggers to do just that, to talk about the experience of receiving something personalised, to talk about the experience of receiving something unexpected to show it made them feel, with the aim to helping their readers to empathise with that feeling too.
All of these brands have one thing in common, they used influencer marketing as a way to drive awareness. Yes, they offered discount codes as an incentive to purchase but they showcased how each brand belonged as part of a lifestyle. While some so-called influencers that will just peddle anything to make a quick buck, the right ones – the ones that understand your audience, will help you to develop a stronger connection over time and of course, you’ll definitely get those ‘must have it now’ shoppers like me, who’ll stop what their doing to make sure their on trend, just like their favourite influencer!