influencer marketing

The marketing power of influencers

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It’s no secret that we all love to browse the social media feeds of influencers. Whether we’re drooling over the perfectly lit food photos, or tagging our friends in the fashionable girl’s latest post on Instagram, we’re hooked. Real people like to see other real people on social media, and this is why influencers are gaining popularity as a marketing tactic. For big brands, keeping up with this new trend is going to be crucial in remaining competitive.

A whopping 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement, according to MuseFind data on Forbes. That’s MASSIVE. Trust is everything when it comes to marketing to millennials, because millennials ain’t stupid. We want to like the brands we interact with, we want to do our research, and we want to feel good about our purchases. Influencers are the people guiding purchase decisions through social media.

Are you convinced yet?

Influencer marketing is an age old tactic adapting that’s adapting with the times

Word of mouth has always been one of the most powerful lead generators. People simply want to buy what people in their peer group recommend, because they trust that it will be good. Now, in a world where we’re all glued to our social media channels and being influenced by nice-looking content, influencers have become our peers.

Influencers are aptly named influencers because they do exactly that: they influence their users to make purchase decisions. Who doesn’t want the clothes and the shoes that their favorite Instagram star just posted? Who doesn’t want to go to the restaurant that their favorite Snapchat star was at last night? And, who doesn’t want the same makeup that their favourite YouTube beauty blogger just reviewed and loved? I work in marketing and even when I know what’s going on, I follow the lead of some of my favorite influencers. We all want to feel like we’re keeping up with the trends.

However, influencer marketing still needs to be authentic to actually work

Remember how earlier I mentioned that we’re not stupid? Audiences can smell when a sponsored post is just a bit too sponsored, which is why influencer marketing has to be done right to be powerful. Good influencer marketing blends in with the influencer’s feed, becoming part of their daily life with enough information to lead to a purchase for the viewer. It needs to feel organic, not forced.

Consumers are tired of paid advertisements and getting slammed with digital ads on their social media feeds all day long. As such, they don’t want more of the same popping up on the influencer feeds they follow as well.

Good influencers stick to their brand, and promote products and companies that make sense. As soon as something becomes out of whack or cheesy, the entire integrity of the influencer is at risk and their audience might start to feel distrustful.

Embrace influencers for all company sizes, and use them wisely

Big brands, like banks, car companies, and phone providers, are beginning to realize that influencer marketing is not just for fashion, beauty, food, and fitness. When an influencer strategy is done right, with the right talent, in an authentic way, influencer marketing can make massive changes to how big brands do digital marketing.

Of course, with influencers there’s always a risk – we will go into more detail on that another time. At the end of the day, you’re hiring a person. The very value proposition that makes influencers such a strong marketing tactic is the very thing that makes them quite risky to big companies. But, when considering the up-side, it’s well worth the risk.

Influencer marketing on social media and in content marketing like guest blogs and videos, is where we all need to shift our focus to. As millennials get harder to reach and the digital playing field gets more watered down with ads and ad blockers, we have to reach our audiences where they’re actually looking.

Who are some of your favorite Canadian influencers?

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