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What the Rise of the Social Media Influencer Means for Your Brand

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Gone are the days when you can rely on bad content marketing for your brand. Article directories are dead. Link building isn’t what it used to be. Google constantly updates its algorithms, and these shifts that change the way companies do their SEO strategies. Much of what has been happening in the past few years has something to do with social media. Marketing within social networks has become a norm, and competition within these vast networks can only get tougher.

Of course, social media networks are also improving their algorithms to better the way they present content. The goal is to show content that people want. How they do that? They track your social media behavior and adjust their algorithms to reflect what you want to see. People don’t want to see ads. That has been the case. People tend to be wary of places filled with flashy advertisements. They’re red flags.

What’s the use of ads when people are now doing away with them by installing free ad blockers? We’re not talking about a hundred thousand. We’re talking about two hundred million people. Yes, two hundred million people have installed ad blockers.

It also seems silly to spend much of your budget on advertising when there are new ways to get your message across. Surely, strategies to get your brand across have to change.

But the thing is, there is no new way really. The new way was the old way done on new platforms. We’re talking about word-of-mouth marketing, the oldest means of advertising. Many people can do word-of-mouth advertising — your friends, satisfied customers, brand advocates, or influencers.

McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, came up with a study that confirms word-of-mouth marketing generates twice as much sales as paid advertising.

When you think about it, it’s not just your content that matters. In fact, you and a micro-influencer on Facebook can both use similar content on your pages, and chances are, the Facebook influencer can sell your brand better than you. Why? It’s simple. People trust him more than they trust you because he doesn’t strike them as a revenue-seeking businessman they’re tired of listening to.

Social media influencers are people who have built good reputation online. People follow them because of their status and the value of the content they share. As they accrue followers, they accumulate likes and in turn increase their visibility across the network they’re in. They engage their followers, who in return feel a more intimate connection with them. That is what traditional advertiser-consumer relationship lacks.

Influencers drive much activity on social media. They’re who most of the people rely on for news, entertainment, and brand awareness. That’s why they’re who companies are targeting, be it through well-positioned content, flattery, or compensation.