Marketing and public relations professionals alike are seeing an increasing number of requests to strategize on the most effective use of influencer marketing. Influencers, whether on social media or in “real life”, have rapidly become the backbone of the marketing industry, and for good reason.
As traditional advertising gives way to something more modern, an increasing amount of brands are turning to emotions to reach their potential audience. Evoking emotion has proven to be a strong performer for marketing campaigns or brand messaging.
Tapping into consumer emotion works well, when done correctly and with tact. Influencers can help amplify a brand or campaign’s message simply by adding their support.
In the interest of transparency, it’s important that a brand and any influencer they work with disclose the partnership. After all, the whole idea of an influencer campaign is to showcase a product or service authentically, rather than using traditional advertising formats.
Failure to disclose a partnership runs the risk of rendering the campaign ineffective because of the loss of authenticity. With consumer trust levels lower than years past, maintaining authenticity has a direct correlation to a campaign’s success or failure.
Influencer marketing is so effective because consumers feel less “sold to” and more related to when they see an influencer using or doing something. A local entrepreneur who is a regular face at social events, who is always promoting growth within his community, will be a better spokesperson for a brand than an actor. That’s because this individual, this influencer, is relatable and encourages consumers to let their guard down as a result.
Consumers who see a person who they follow using a product and benefiting from it are more likely to at least do some research to see if that product is a good fit for them. Essentially, influencers are walking advertisements that don’t always look like ads.
Influencer marketing is particularly effective among millennial consumers, 61% of which say they have been influenced by such a campaign before. This number indicates a big success, more than a more traditional ad format such as a spread in a magazine.
In a world where authenticity rules — body positivity, gender inclusivity, and so much more — consumers, more than anything, want to feel something real. This means that they want to see real people using real products and seeing real benefits. Brands that tactfully approach their influencer marketing will have the most success because of this.
Is influencer marketing here to stay? Most likely. Social media, love it or hate it, has had a profound effect on our worldview, and professional communicators are tasked with how to best leverage this concept.
Connection. It’s something we all as humans crave. By forging a genuine, authentic connection with the target audience, businesses are likely to increase their public perception and level of consumer trust. Brands that take the time to build a proper strategy for influencer marketing will come out ahead because of the relatability that using the right influencers brings.