I had the wonderful opportunity of being interview by a journalist yesterday for a chance to be featured in The Costco Connection. My interview was all about Social Media influencers (those with a large Social Media following who are paid by brands/businesses to promote their products & services) & the impact this is having on all things Marketing.
Here are some of my thoughts which I shared…
Businesses across the UK are waking up to the fact that using influencers to promote their products across social media is a very powerful marketing tool. Using influencers is quickly becoming the new word of mouth in the digital world! Online Businesses – such as those in the retail/fashion/shopping sector are beginning to use this very effectively as their ONLY marketing avenue.
Using influencers is a fantastic way to;
***Build trust in your brand; by showcasing other people using/wearing/eating your products is a fantastic way to build trust in your brand. Businesses have always known the power of recommendations & reviews by a 3rd party audience – so using influencers is exactly this, in the digital world!
***Build your audience; Influencers will bring with them their audience + their audiences network. Finding the ‘correct’ influencer for your brand could have a huge impact on your business.
We’ve noticed many influencers specialise in niches so it’s very important & very powerful for you if you find the right influencer in your niche, i.e Male health & fitness blogger, Fashion expert under 30 etc. For some businesses with many different products you may have a different criteria for finding influencers for many different products.
Businesses can use also use influencers to get in to a new target audience or sector, if you’re moving into a different sector or are having a change of tact/focus – influencers can be a quick & great way to promote this.
***We would recommend to all businesses that using influencers that they should be using a specific code so their individual success can be tracked. The ad you pay the influencer to post should also always include a call-to-action to get it done & get it done straight away! Monitor these stats carefully.
***To increase website traffic! For businesses it’s a fantastic way to increase website traffic – google looks positively on these high quality links as way to boost search ranking & profile. These clickbacks are always viewed positively by Google.
The only negative I would comment on is that as this is becoming more & more common I wonder if there ever could be a backlash against this style of advertising. Social Media users are very savvy. Even if the business & influencer are showcasing a product to their ‘perfect’ target audience – ads on Social Media still often really stand out as just that – an ‘ad’. If businesses & the influencer aren’t careful, followers & some brand trust could be lost as they feel they are constantly being sold too. Influencers however, are starting to tackle this by using #ad in their social media posts which are promoted (paid for by a business) so their followers can choose to ignore or scroll past this particular post.
I wonder if the success of using influencers as the new digital word-of-mouth can continue for forever? It will be very interesting to see. Soft selling on Social Media we know is always the best way!