Influencers have an incredible ability to drive conversation and engagement on behalf of your brand. The right influencers will create quality content that ultimately inspires purchase of your product or services. Thus, it is no surprise that influencers have become an important part of the marketing mix today.
There are so many reasons to include influencers in your marketing strategy, from creating buzz around new products to generating new usage occasions for staple products. Many marketers believe the relationship that begins through the trust of an influencer leads to better customers. In fact, according to eMarketer, 81% of marketers who have used influencers have judged this marketing practice as being effective.
Influencers bring new, engaged audiences to brands, and they produce inspiring and highly shareable content when they’re allowed to insert their creativity. Fifty percent of consumers have found user-generated content (UGC) to be more memorable than brand-produced content. According to TrackMaven, despite 78% of brands increasing their content production in the last two years, the average engagement still dropped by 60%. For this very reason, brands need influencers not just for their content, but for their engagement and conversation as well.
The days of running ads that state the benefits of a product are over. Those types of ads may be fine for your website, but consumers are looking to discover a brand/product in a real life context. To prove this point, PSFK just published “The Future of Advertising” report, which cited context as being critical to messaging. Rather than sending out top-down messages to broad demographics, brands need to see advertising as their way to start a conversation that connects with consumers.
If you take the handcuffs off influencers, they will use their creativity to come up with new usage occasions that can have a very positive impact on your bottom line. For instance, let’s say your brand is a popular children’s snack that parents typically use as a lunch add-on or an afternoon snack. An influencer might take that snack and crumble it to make a breading for chicken, or break it up to create a coating for your favorite French toast. Suddenly there is an opportunity to sell more of this snack at different times of the day: breakfast and dinner. Thus, new usage occasions can be a boon to sales.
How often have you heard the phrase “back by popular demand”? If your product is about to be de-listed, influencers can breathe new life in an older product that just needs to be brought back to the limelight. Context, conversation, engaging content and new audiences are all things an influencer can bring to the table to save a product from extinction.
Launching a new product? The first 30 days can make or break a new addition to the market. Influencers can help your chances of success by creating buzz at scale. They can help explain complicated new products with great storytelling. They can build early trust in the market for a new brand. Did you know 97% of the conversations around beauty products and brands on YouTube are controlled by beauty vloggers, according to Pixability? This statistic highlights the general weight influencers can pull when it comes to launching new products.
Through selecting different types of influencers, a brand can harness different audiences. Influencers often have more followers and engagement than brands do, which makes them an important growth engine for brands. They often syndicate their content across multiple social channels, which allows brands to benefit from audience growth and reach. In fact, 67% of marketing professionals identify content promotion as the main benefit obtained from working with influencers, per Augure. They understand the time and money they save due to the influencer’s existing presence on various platforms.
There are many more reasons influencers should be a part of any CPGs marketing mix, but I’ll leave you with one more thought from McKinsey: “Marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.”