Social media influencers are social media users with authority. They have a large number of followers and can increase brand awareness and sales.
Remember Daniel Wellington? The humble journey of the watches from Daniel Wellington started as a product from a tiny startup in 2011. But by 2014, their founder, Filip Tysander, had sold more than one million watches, and their business keeps growing. Tysander relied on the power of social media influencers to spread the word. He leveraged influencer marketing successfully, and by 2015, the brand’s revenue was $170 million.
In fact, 67% of marketers believe in the power of social media influencers. And an increasing number of brands are now budgeting for influencer marketing as an important part of their digital marketing strategies. A report by Forbes found that 84% of marketers are planning influencer marketing outreach campaigns.
Let’s find out some of the biggest ways social media influencers are changing the rules of the game and are proving to be more refreshing than new socks.
1. Untouched by Ad Blockers
Nobody likes to view ads. People are arming themselves with good ad blocking tools on 615 million devices, according to Adobe and PageFair. Therefore, marketers need new ways to reach their target customers. Social media influencers are helping the brands surpass ad blockers by directly conveying their messages to their target customers.
2. Acquire Customers at the Fastest Rate
Marketers love results, and social media influencers are delivering impressive results. Brands love this new energy, and new way of acquiring customers. Tomoson found that businesses are making $6.5 for every $1 they spend on their influencer marketing efforts. Other marketing strategies do not see this kind of return. Influencer marketing is thus the fastest growing online customer acquisition channel.
3. Immense Reach & Support
On social media, influencers build their support and gather their followers organically by sharing their authentic opinions. They talk about products too. Their followers love them and trust their opinions. People do not follow brands with such passion. Brands therefore prefer connecting and collaborating with influencers who have already the reach and support of consumers.
Finding the right influencers who are a brand fit can be challenging. There are several tools and platforms that can help make it easier. Tools like Grin, for example, let you conduct a search for influencers in a relevant category. You can further filter down the results based on location, social platform, and other factors.
4. No Traditional Ways of Advertising
Traditionally, advertisers hired celebs to spout a few scripted lines on TV or radio. Today, people have developed brand blindness towards mainstream traditional media. Advertisements have stopped registering in the brains of consumers. People only see and hear what they want to see and hear. Thankfully, social media influencers are constantly making inroads into people’s psyches.
Traditional advertising relied on the spray and pray method – spray the message everywhere and pray that it gets heard by the right audience. Social media influencers already have a select audience that is ready to receive the messages they want to send. And they know how to use social media efficiently.
5. Promote Events, Products & Services
Influencers have a way with their followers. They can use this influence to help promote events, products, and services. And they can shape the opinions and purchase decisions of their followers.
Sperry, the shoe brand known for its range of boat shoes launched an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram with the hashtag “#odysseysawait.”
Instagrammers responded with enthusiasm and posted their own pictures with Sperry shoes taken at different locations. The campaign created quite a buzz on social media, and Sperry’s boat shoes increased in popularity.
6. Influencers Love to Support a Cause
Social media influencers are generally millennials. Most of them are philanthropic and go out of their way to promote a cause. This is a fresh change. It is quite refreshing to see them pick causes close to their hearts and support them.
There was a hashtag campaign for “#WhyWeMo” a couple of years ago by the Movember foundation. Men posted photos of themselves with moustaches to spread awareness about men’s health.
— Movember USA (@Movember) November 19, 2016
All across social media, you could see pictures of men with moustaches creating awareness about testicular cancer and other causes of death for young men. It was a very successful awareness campaign and succeeded in raising $16 million during 2016 alone.
7. Consuming Media
Social media influencers are different because of the way they consume media. They do not just listen to a broadcast, but choose to engage with it. Influencers are not passive listeners but interact and engage by commenting or sharing the post.
The era before social media became such a force was different. People consumed and interacted with media differently. We were more passive observers rather than active participants.
8. Creating Great Content
Social media influencers who have a large number of followers are talented content creators. They have their own styles of creating the content they post. Their objectives are transparent and their voices are authentic, and they do not shy away from stating their opinions.
They are versatile. Social media Influencers know how to use different social media platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more. They know that they need to create different kinds of content on each of these platforms to best engage their followers, and they do just that.
Influencers know how to engage with consumers, and their savviness helps brands. Brands don’t have to exert themselves and use their resources to create content for the influencers to share. Social media influencers can create high quality, engaging content on their own.
Chanel launched a new perfume called Chanel No. 5 L’Eau. To promote the scent on Instagram, they invited top Instagrammers like Jessica Mercedes Kirschner to their perfume making facilities. They asked the influencers to post pictures with branded hashtags like #newchanel5 and #chanelgrasse. The pictures posted by the Instagrammers helped spread awareness about the new product, and helped the brand reach new audiences.
Social media influencers have veered away from the way traditionally brands were promoted by advertisers and marketers. They speak a new language, and they engage differently. It is a very refreshing change.
Consumers opt to listen to influencers on social media, because they trust their authentic opinions. The dynamics have changed, and brands are smart enough to know that if they want to get their messages across to their target customers, they need to collaborate with this new vibrant tribe of social media influencers.
How do you feel about social media influencers? Let us know in the comments below. We’re all ears.
Author: Gaurav Sharma is the Co-founder of Attrock, a result driven Digital Marketing Agency. He’s a certified Google Analytics and Adwords specialist who regularly contributes to reputed publications like the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and many more. He leverages his experience and knowledge as a digital marketer to help influencers monetize their efforts.