While influencer marketing is not a new concept, it has become extremely popular in recent years. Due to digitization, more and more people are spending time on social media. As a result, influencer marketing has started to play an increasingly important role in convincing people to purchase products or
services. The opinions of influencers have a powerful impact on people. In this article we will discuss what influencer marketing is, how it contributes to your brand, what it means for your entire marketing strategy and what the future of influencer marketing looks like.
What is influencer marketing?
Not long before digitization, television was the only mass media that consumers had access to. At the time, it was one of the main platforms marketers used to advertise to a large audience, but it was a lot more difficult to reach a specific audience. With the rise of the internet and the popularity of social media platforms, influencer marketing is succeeding in reaching the right, specific target group.
Influencer marketing is about influencers endorsing products from brands on social media platforms where they have built up a social network, such as Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat, with the ultimate goal of influencing people to buy a product, to purchase a service. or boost brand awareness. We can see influencer marketing as a modern phenomenon that has seen a huge increase in collaboration with marketing agencies in recent years.
How can influencer marketing contribute to the awareness of your brand?
Influencers have the opportunity to increase brand awareness thanks to their huge reach.
First of all, trust is the power of influencers over traditional media. They have been able to build loyal fans/followers on their channel and gain their trust. Influencer marketing enables brands to convey this trust in a way that is relevant and recognizable to their target audience. When an influencer shares his or her ‘honest’ feedback on a particular product or service, it is perceived as genuine, enhancing the brand’s reputation and credibility.
Nowadays it is legally required to place a disclaimer (sponsorship disclosure) with sponsored posts for which the influencer is paid. This disclaimer can be placed, for example, in the form of a hashtag such as #AD or a text such as ‘this is a sponsored post’. This allows consumers to see if the content is sponsored. In addition, this ad disclosure helps brands gain the trust of their audience and encourage them to try their services and/or products.
In addition to trust, influencer marketing also helps brands reach their target
audience. As the target audience of brands continues to spread across different media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach. Influencer marketing enables brands to communicate with their target audience through the influencer and can therefore be a solution for companies that have difficulty reaching their target audience. When the influencer and the brand are a good match, you can quickly and easily get close to the target group.
Finally, the use of influencers often encourages consumers to promote the products themselves. This is possible, for example, because these consumers share the messages of the influencers or make photos/videos of their own products. The consumer therefore provides additional promotional material without the brand having to do anything for it: a win-win situation.
The main strategy
Influencer marketing can add extra value during every moment of the customer journey that the consumer makes. Therefore, it can be of great importance in a brand’s marketing strategy.
But where exactly does influencer marketing fit best in the marketing strategy? The answer is, everywhere in the marketing funnel. This marketing funnel consists of four phases: see , think , do & care . These four stages classify consumers based on intent, ranging from consumers with little intention to become a customer to customers who have converted more often. The ‘see‘ phase represents consumers who have moderate interest in your product, service or brand. The ‘think’ Phase represents consumers seeking information about your product, service, or brand. The ‘do‘ phase
consists of consumers who actively purchase your product or service. The ‘care‘ phase consists of customers who have converted more often.
But how exactly does influencer marketing fit into these phases? First of all, the influencer’s content can be used to increase the reach for the product or service that your company offers. Because the influencer tells about the product or service, or even shows it in use, the consumer will get a good picture of the brand and possibly spark interest in the consumer.
Then, when the first step in the customer journey has been taken, influencer marketing can be used to generate more traffic to the website.
We see a trend within influencer marketing that more and more use is made of nano- influencers and micro-influencers instead of macro-influencers. By nano-influencers we mean influencers with a reach of up to 5,000 followers, while micro-influencers have a reach between 5,000 and 50,000 followers and macro-influencers complete the list with a reach above 100,000 followers. Precisely because the reach of nano and micro influencers is smaller, they can better interact with their followers and the trust of the follower in the influencer increases.
On video platforms such as TikTok, IGTV and Instagram Reels we see a large increase in influencer marketing. Instagram’s algorithm is programmed in such a way that the video content also boosts more on the exploration page, so that the visibility of this video content is higher than ‘normal’ content. This is certainly a good strategy if you want to increase awareness for your brand, service or product. TikTok is definitely at the top of the list of growing (video) platforms. That is why it is a good idea to see if influencer marketing on TikTok can be relevant for your company.
Benefits of influencer marketing
- Human contact: Working with influencers reduces the distance between the brand and the consumer. Influencers give your brand a human voice by distributing personalized content.
- Increase visibility: Influencers give brands the opportunity to bypass ad-blockers and gain attention from niche communities.
- Positive associations: Brands benefit from the positive reputation of the influencers and vice-versa.
- Authentic content: Influencers are good content creators. They are very adept at creating relevant and original content that has a big impact on their audience and drives more engagement.
- A highly targeted audience: Through influencers you can reach a highly targeted audience. This is because the brand communicates with the consumer via influencers, who are already interested in your product and therefore connect faster.
It’s good to remember that online trends can change at an incredibly fast pace. There is therefore a good chance that in 2023 the trends will look very different from what we are thinking about now. The latest online surveys show that 88 percent consumers trust influencers’ opinions as much as the opinions of their closest friends. That’s why influencers are seen as more credible than advertising or email marketing.