Influencer marketing focuses on using prominent people to spread a brand’s message to a broader audience. Rather than directly marketing to a large group of consumers, businesses inspire, hire, or pay influencers to spread the word on their behalf.
This type of marketing is frequently used in conjunction with social media and content marketing. Most influencer campaigns include a social media component in which influencers are expected to spread the word via their own social media channels. Many influencer campaigns also have a content component, in which a company creates content for the influencers or the influencers themselves create the content. Though social media and content marketing are frequently used in influencer campaigns, they are not the same thing.
Although some people confuse word-of-mouth marketing and influencer marketing, there is a clear distinction between the two. While influencer marketing is the concept of enlisting key individuals to leverage their influence among friends and family, word-of-mouth marketing is the actual means of communication. By definition, almost all influencer marketing activities include aspects of word-of-mouth marketing. However, not all word-of-mouth marketing is fueled by influencer campaigns.
Why is influencer marketing important?
The influencer economy has forever altered the way we purchase goods. Approximately 67% of marketers say they use influencer marketing in one way or another. This number is likely to rise as social media influencers gain more exposure in the mainstream media. With increasing demand, the influencer economy is shifting toward more streamlined solutions, with brands embracing tools such as influencer networks and match-making platforms, and to connect with influencers more easily. Brands that ignore the potential of influencer marketing are losing control. After all, consumers now have more control over the buying process, and digital advertising makes it more challenging to reach them.
Traditional digital marketing is no longer as effective as it used to be. As a case in point, 66% of consumers report feeling overwhelmed by too many online marketing messages, and 20% of customers would boycott a brand because of excessive advertising. Marketers should be concerned about influencer content because it’s an easy way to get around “ad fatigue” and provides authenticity.
Innovative brands use influencer marketing to engage customers in a continuous dialogue. Influencer marketing goes beyond reach and clicks to generate constant engagement and conversations that drive commerce. In this way, partnering with influencers generates metrics that matter and align with your business goals. This is obvious when you start attracting new customers, generating repeat purchases, driving customer loyalty, and maximizing customer lifetime revenue.
Customers want genuine voices, not faceless salespeople who repeat the same tactics. Marketers can no longer ignore influencer marketing: content creators can drive business growth while also delivering authenticity that engages audiences.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Influencer Marketing
1) It impacts buying decisions
Numerous studies have shown that influencer marketing can influence consumer purchase decisions.
According to a study conducted by Twitter and Annalect, influencer Tweets increased purchase intent by 5.2X when combined with Tweets from regular consumers. In the same survey, it was discovered that 49% of people make purchasing decisions based on recommendations from influencers.
2) It instills trust in the minds of consumers
Influencers are people who have built up a large following of people who trust and value their advice. As a result, when an influencer endorses a brand or product, their followers are immediately aware of it. When a brand or product is new to the market, such endorsements go a long way toward establishing its credibility.
This is because a good influencer would never endorse a product solely to make money, and their followers are well aware of this. As a result, if they recommend something, it’s likely because they’ve used it and enjoyed it—this helps in developing consumer trust.
3) It helps you reach a massive audience
Hundreds of thousands of people follow most influencers. These people are drawn to them because of their passion, insights, ideas, and visually appealing content. They anticipate new posts from these influencers and are quick to like, comment, and share them when they do.
Collaboration with relevant influencers in your company’s niche can help get your brand and products in front of a large audience. When you share the content created by your influencers, your messages can reach a wider audience. This is something that you might not have been able to do otherwise.
4) It allows you to target the right audience
You can ensure that your messages reach the right audience by collaborating with the right influencers in your niche.
This is why most apparel companies prefer to work with fashion influencers. In contrast, beauty and skincare companies prefer to work with beauty influencers. This is because it allows them to reach a demographic that is likely to be interested in their products.
5) You do not necessarily need a huge budget
Many micro-influencers may agree to work with you in exchange for complimentary products, services, or experiences. Even if they ask for money, it’s usually a pittance compared to what most celebrity influencers charge. According to research, 84 percent of micro-influencers charge less than $250 for a single sponsored Instagram post. For this reason, if you want to use influencer marketing, you don’t need to spend much money.
1) Partnering with the wrong influencers can be detrimental
As many companies have learned the hard way, hiring influencers whose lifestyle doesn’t align with your brand values can damage your reputation as a company. In fact, you risk wasting time, effort, and resources by collaborating with the wrong influencers, with little to no return on your investment. What’s worse, both your company and the influencer may face severe backlash if the collaboration does not go over well with your audience. This can harm both your reputation as well as that of the influencer. In order to avoid such a scenario, you choose experts in your field who have large followings and are known for their genuine content.
2) Mistakes can damage your reputation badly
One of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to influencer marketing is failing to disclose the specifics of your relationship with an influencer. Since this may be construed as misleading consumers, the FTC has established several guidelines that brands and influencers must follow.
For example, Lord & Taylor learned the hard way when their failure to disclose influencer partnerships landed them in a lawsuit that cost them tons of money.
3) The groundwork takes time and effort
Finding relevant influencers for a brand is challenging. Identifying the right influencers, vetting their influence, reaching out to them, and finally negotiating an agreement takes a lot of time and effort. It’s wise to have a team in place to manage the entire process, as it can take several months before you finally launch your influencer marketing campaign.
In order to convince an influencer that your brand is worth their time, you need to produce content that appeals to them. If this is too much for you to handle on your own, then you can partner with PR professionals to turn your ideas into actual words.
PR agencies like Pressfarm help companies create newsworthy content to gain the attention of media professionals and influencers. They also go the extra mile by providing companies with access to their PR database of over 1 million journalists. Clients can filter through these journalists to find their perfect media match.
Pressfarm’s understanding of digital PR and marketing has also equipped them with what it takes to help brands capture media attention by helping them feature in relevant search results on multiple search engines. Partner with the experts at Pressfarm and start generating the publicity your brand deserves today.
4) Failure to track progress can be wasteful
You must begin tracking the progress of your campaign as soon as it launches. If you do not do this, then you will be at a disadvantage because you will have no way of knowing whether it is working for you or not. Keeping track of the campaign progress is critical. Manually accomplishing this is usually a little tricky. On the other hand, influencer marketing platforms can automate the process and make it easier for you to calculate your ROI.
5) Poor influencer-brand relationships can be costly
Finally, many brands make the mistake of viewing influencer-brand collaborations as one-time events. You must look beyond this and concentrate on forging strong bonds with your influencers. If you can do this, then you can get more out of your campaigns because your influencers will be more invested in you and put forth their best efforts.
Micro-influencers vs. Macro-influencers: Which Should You Choose?
Now that we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of influencer marketing. Let us look at the differences between micro-influencers and macro-influencers when choosing which type of influencer to work with for an influencer marketing campaign.
First of all, a micro-influencer has a social media presence and a following of 10 to 25 thousand people. Your next-door neighbor, coworker, or younger sister can all be micro-influencers. Their physical presence may be minimal, but their online voice is far more potent than most people realize. Their high rate of engagement more than makes up for a micro influencers’ low reach. On the other hand, a macro influencer has a social media following of more than 50k people. These influencers are frequently celebrities or people who have built a large online following and reputation over time.
The question that remains is why a company should work with one or the other. As opposed to macro-influences micro-influencers are ideal partners for businesses with a limited budget. When partnering for a campaign, these influencers are a more cost-effective option because they’re still building their social presence. Rather than receiving monetary compensation, micro-influencers frequently accept a product or service in exchange for content.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Micro-influencers also have a stronger sense of loyalty and higher engagement among their followers. Micro-influencers are perceived as more relatable and authentic by their smaller audience, making their recommendations more trustworthy. They also have an engagement rate of 4-8% on average, while macro-influencers have a rate of 1.7%.
When it comes to macro-influencers, a more extensive audience translates to an enormous reach. In other words, partnering with a macro influencer allows you to gain widespread exposure and reach the right target market. You can expect high-quality content when working with macro-influencers because they often have professional photography equipment or even their own photographer.
Most macro-influencers come with their own managers, which can help the communication process go much more smoothly. Working with a macro influencer also allows you to calculate your return on investment more easily. The reason it’s easier to measure the success of your campaign is that you have access to a larger audience. On the other hand, in comparison to micro-influencers, macro-influencers can be pretty expensive to work with because they can reach a larger audience. They do, however, provide a fantastic opportunity for businesses to get their brand in front of as many people as possible.
When you’re trying to figure out which option would work better for you, it’s crucial to start by outlining your campaign goals and deciding how you all measure success. Do you want to increase brand awareness or increase conversions?
If the goal of your campaign is to increase brand awareness and you have a large budget to work with, it’s probably best to team up with a macro influencer to get the most reach possible. Partnering with a micro-influencer would be a better option if your campaign is more sales-driven and perhaps targets a more niche audience. Finally, you must ensure that whomever you collaborate with, whether micro-influencer or macro influencer, is aligned with your brand and your overall goals. If an influencer’s values do not align with yours, the campaign is unlikely to be successful.
While macro-influencers are undoubtedly effective, micro-influencers can be more beneficial to small businesses and startups. The choice between macro and micro-influencers is primarily determined by a company’s marketing objectives, time constraints, and resources. No matter what you choose, influencer marketing plays a massive role in a company’s overall marketing strategy. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that influencer marketing could have massive potential for your brand.