Some companies think that influencer marketing is a trip to the wilderness. You don’t know what’s in there. Or so that’s what cynics say. The common complaint is that you can’t really assess whether it works because there is no standard gauge that allows us to evaluate its effectiveness. That, however, is no longer true.
Influencer marketing is changing in unpredictable ways as many marketers are shifting towards other approaches in response to a shift in influencer regard towards brands. It seems influencers are smarter now and can easily figure out brands trying to exploit them. But the importance of building relationships remains.
In 2015, influencer marketing statistics indicated that approximately 85% of marketing professionals around the world looked to launch at least one campaign that incorporated an influencer. In addition, 4 in every 5 marketers found social influencers to be effective in bringing more engagement and stimulating brand awareness.
Two years later, marketers are no longer interested in mere engagement and awareness. The challenge became determining the effectiveness of influencer marketing in increasing conversion and sales. Despite the wealth of evidence that says working with influencers works, many businesses are still reluctant to invest in it. If you’re one of them, you probably have good reasons, but maybe you’re wondering too.
- Your audience is still tiny.
In business, lack of audience growth is a no-no. The ideal trend for any business is steady, if not exponential, audience growth, which is an indication of a working marketing strategy. There are different ways to grow your audience. SEO makes your website more visible on search engines. Content marketing takes your expertise to audiences. Social media marketing brings your campaigns to consumers on social media. All these things are effective in their own ways. However, they have become increasingly inadequate.
Most marketing experts now agree that it is hard to grow your audience without the help of influencers. Social media sites now have become a conglomeration of networks. If you want to tap them, you have to be in their networks. Question is, how? That’s where influencers step in to introduce you to their social media community.
- Sales are plunging.
This is your dreaded red alert, signaling emergency meetings and drastic measures. Stores can remove your products from their shelves if they’re not selling. It happens, and at times it’s not the product’s fault.
Influencer marketing companies in Japan know what to do. They link suffering brands to influencers. Usually, it comes as a surprise, because many languishing brands are actually of good quality.
Influencers can stimulate curiosity. When an influencer mentions your brand in passing, their audience will take notice. Many of them will look you up and may even become followers of your social media pages. Some of them may even try your products or services. We’re talking about hundreds or thousands of referrals, depending on the degree of influence of your social media advocate.
- You have no social media marketing strategy.
If you have, it’s not solid. It’s probably not your fault. Maybe you’re just not internet savvy. Maybe you hired the wrong digital marketing team. Whatever the case, months of bad digital marketing takes a toll on your brand’s visibility. In other words, you’re wasting valuable resources that might have been otherwise funneled into meaningful measures.
There is no debate that every brand needs mobile and social media presence. In the absence of well-placed digital strategies, the best thing that should be done is to seek the help of influencers. This form of marketing brings together your different campaigns. Influencers amplify campaigns by introducing them to a wider audience and a bigger network and veiling the campaigns in their clout.
Influencer campaigns work fast because of the existing large audience who trust the influencer. Because of this, brands see outcomes right away. Most marketers see this as a convenient way of getting more reach and engagement, which increase likelihood of conversion.
Influencer marketing platforms are also social media marketing platforms. That essentially means one can substitute for the other. While influencer marketing shouldn’t be your sole ticket, it’s one of your best tickets.
- Peak seasons and holidays don’t bring in sales.
Something is wrong with your business if you’re not selling even during periods when every other business is seeing huge revenue. Many businesses have peak seasons. If you don’t know when your peak season is, you’re not monitoring your sales trend. But if you’re not selling during times of the year when you’re supposed to be selling, you have a marketing problem.
Influencers have a crucial role during holiday seasons. What they recommend their audience becomes a hit. Even the brand of stuff they wear becomes sought-after items. This is why connecting with them before your peak selling periods is crucial to your brand.
This isn’t just about the influence. More than half of people find social media content an important part of their buying process. Nearly one-third often look to social sites as sources of recommendations and referrals. What people see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social sites influences their buying decision. The biggest drivers of customers from social media are, you guess, influencers.
- Your paid content isn’t budging up your sales.
The truth is, paid content isn’t going to cut it. Brands know it. That’s why they put a lot of money on strategies that bring in organic engagement. There’s no question that influencers are the major drivers of organic engagement now. Influencer marketing statistics from Japan or US or any country will prove that influencer marketing rivals other forms of digital marketing in terms of increasing engagement.
- People ignore even your special offers.
If no one knows you, customers will hardly care about your discount coupons, special promos, great deals, and freebies. Your large prints may scream 50% on all products. You’re literally giving away stuff just to bring in buyers. But your stores see meager foot traffic. It’s sad. You can overturn this bad luck by paying a famous endorser. Or you can funnel your marketing funds into influencer marketing. Have micro-influencers or bloggers talk about your offers even in passing, and you’ll see results!
- No one knows your brand.
When your social media marketing tactics fail, brand awareness suffers. Brand awareness is a product of online visibility and engagement. It’s the first sign that your SEO and social media marketing strategies are working. In the absence of these strategies, you need to do other things, and the next best thing is working with people with big social networks. Remember, while brand awareness is not sales, it precedes the latter.