Influencer marketing is proving to provide a hefty ROI. RythmOne reports that Earned Media Value (EMV) averaged $11.69 for every $1.00 (averaged across industries) spent on influencer marketing. The theory is to have industry centers of influence promote your brand on their sites while drawing organic or referred click traffic to yours through earned media outlets.
Influencer marketing works and this new data just reinforces it. This method allows for a brand to connect with its audience in an organic way (aka almost free).
Influencer marketing isn’t a new tactic. It’s a standard tactic for marketers. It is evolved as a tactic used in social media to drive word of mouth. Influencer marketing can greatly improve audience engagement, generate content and promote offerings. Influencer marketing can range from employee engagement to blogger outreach. However, those tools may not be the most effective.
First a couple of definitions for clarity sake. “Earned media (or free media) refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media advertising, which refers to publicity gained through advertising, or owned media, which refers to branding. Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.” ~ Wiki
It is important that you understand Earned Media. Here is a link to an article on our blog.
Influencer Marketing needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. Here’s a few reasons why:
- Traditional online ads are being ignored by consumers, especially in the younger generations. Banner ads and sidebar ads are viewed as annoying to many. Earned Media is a critical addition to the mix and is viewed favorable over paid media.
- Influencer marketing budgets are rising rapidly. Social Media Today reported that fifty-nine percent of marketers were drastically increasing their commitment.
- Consumers trust other individuals. Even if you do not know someone, you tend to trust them more than the brand or organization being discussed. That is human nature. “Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising” – Nielsen
- ROI eleven times greater that traditional digital campaigns. Simply put, here is the data to prove it!
- Influencers get to promote themselves and advertise all without looking like advertising. “As you scroll through your Instagram feed, you are still seeing advertisements. You just can’t tell right away. Your favorite influencers, who you already follow, are repping products and promoting brands, all the while still staying true to their unique voice and story.” ~ AJ Agrawal at Forbes
- Perfect fit for social media. “People expect brands to talk with them rather than at them. They no longer expect brands to sell to them, but to entertain and inform them. In this new paradigm, influencers are a force to be reckoned with. Brands can strategically partner with the right personalities to spark organic conversations and seduce their followers.” ~ AdWeek
There are programs, vendors and other tools that can help you find certain influencers and reach out to them. However, influencer marketing can be a manual labor intensive and high resource utilization undertaking. Here’s a link to an article early in 2016 where we discuss the tactic: “Influencer Marketing | 3 resources for your influencer marketing process“.
Influencer marketing focuses on individuals who are normal people giving honest opinions. Consumers are tending to look at other sources of information on a product rather than trust a celebrity in a fashionable TV commercial. The rise of technology coupled with social media has made this possible. If you make a great reliable product, this can be a cheap or even free advertisement campaign!
Small business owners realize that they can use the power of online media to market to their customers indirectly. By encouraging consumers to talk about and recommend their products online, these advertisers gain a unique advantage over their competition. Whether an influencer’s audience is small or large, an influencer can reach consumers that your brand may not be able to.
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