Relationships are THE most important thing when it comes to marketing.
And the influence of people who have a strong, vast reach can go a long way to generating leads and making sales.
It’s called Influencer Marketing—and it’s nothing new, but completely revolutionary when it comes to online business.
Influencer Marketing is when a marketer leverages other people’s credibility to build an audience or sell a product. And people have been leveraging the credibility of others since the dawn of time.
The Wedgewood China Company understood the concept of Influencer Marketing very well. Way back in the 1700’s, they used endorsements from the royal family of England to boost sales. Even today, England’s royal family has a lot of influence over what people buy.
As soon as Kate Middleton steps out in a new outfit, that item of clothing is sold out within hours.
Influencer Marketing doesn’t have to come from people who are famous or have celebrity status. Word of mouth is one of the oldest and most modest forms of Influencer Marketing. Just having customers tell others about their good experience is enough to bring in new customers.
And having widespread influence is a game-changer.
This is where the internet comes into the picture. The internet has changed the magnitude of Influencer Marketing and the ease with which it is done. There are people on the internet with massive followings.
These are people who would very likely be unknown if it wasn’t for the internet.
And many of these people are considered to be experts in their niche. A lot of people value the opinions of these experts. These are what we call influencers.
Teaming up with influential people to launch an internet marketing campaign IS the modern day “word of mouth.”
Why has this always worked? Because people are more likely to buy from people they trust!
Seriously, people have “ad blindness.” They don’t like being sold to by companies. But when someone they trust tells them a product or brand is good, they listen.
And not only that—Influencer Marketing is a way to get around the problem of ad blocking, a problem that has been growing in recent years. Digitalnewsreport.org reports that 47% of internet users use ad blockers. That’s nearly half!
Yet Influencer Marketing makes it possible to reach that 47%.
If the “ad” is coming in the form of a recommendation or an endorsement from a trustworthy source, it doesn’t look like an ad. It looks like a person is simply telling a friend about a great product they love.
And that’s the key to the success of Influencer Marketing.
What Influencer Marketing Looks Like
Let’s look at an example of Influencer Marketing.
Say there is a pre-workout drink that needs to be promoted. This needs an influencer from the fitness niche. Someone who has a strong following—even if they aren’t a big celebrity.
In this case, we have the Instagram user @biancakmiec. She is clearly into fitness, and posted about how much she loves @fitaffinity pre-workout to give her energy for her workouts.
Her post got over 23,000 likes! And most of these people have never even met her in-person.
Now, that’s influence at its finest. Someone who has a lot of followers, looks the part, and has become known and trusted in the fitness niche.
The Stats Speak For Themselves
Influencer Marketing is truly all about relationships and trust. And these are the statistics to prove its effectiveness:
- 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands. (Nielson)
- 93% of pros consider influencer marketing as an effective strategy to build brand awareness. (LaunchMetrics)
- 74% of consumers use social media to make purchase decisions. (Sprout Social)
- 81% of marketers who have used influencer marketing judged it to be effective. (emarketer.com)
- 47% of online customers use ad block technology. The way to reach them is to provide content they want from people they trust. (digitalnewsreport.org)
- 51% of marketers believe they get better customers from influencer marketing, simply because the relationship is based on trust in the influencer. (Tomoson)
- 37% better retention is reported when a customer acquired through word-of-mouth advertising. (Brandon Murphy)
There is no way anyone can argue with these stats. And anyone relying on internet marketing for their business can’t, either.
Why Instagram Is #1
When it comes to Influencer Marketing, the #1 social media platform is Instagram.
Part of the reason is that Instagram is powered by hashtags. In fact, you can use as many as 30 hashtags per post. However, research conducted by TrackMaven has shown that 11 hashtags per post gets the most engagement.
But hashtags alone don’t make Instagram #1. Here are three additional reasons why Instagram is the best for Influencer Marketing:
- Instagram is by far the fastest growing social media platform for brands. TrackMaven shows that Instagram has a 7%-8% growth rate each month.
- Instagram is the most engaged platform. Forbes reports the high engagement is due to a few factors, including Instagram’s mobility, it’s visual nature, the novelty of it, and its functionality.
- Instagram is SIMPLE to use!
And again, the statistics don’t lie. Here are some Instagram stats that prove its effectiveness:
- Instagram’s influencer marketing will generate $1 BILLION by the end of 2017.
- Instagram’s influencer market is expected to DOUBLE by 2019 (around $2.4 BILLION)
- 60% of influencers say Instagram is the best platform for engagement followed by Facebook, which is 18%. (Forbes)
- Instagram has 700 Million (Omnicore)
- The platform has 400 Million daily users. (Omnicore)
- 95 million photos uploaded per day. (Omnicore)
- There are2 billion likes per day. (Omnicore)
- More than 40 Billionphotos have been uploaded to Instagram so far. (Omnicore)
- Posts with at least one hashtag average 6% more engagement. (Omnicore)
- When Instagram introduced videos, 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours. (Omnicore)
- Instagram videos get 2 times the engagementof photos than any other social media platform. (Omnicore)
Bottom line—anyone serious about their online marketing efforts needs to be using the power of Instagram.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
It’s clear that Influencer Marketing is a critical part of any online marketing campaign. There are a number of benefits to this form of marketing that can’t be found anywhere else.
We have discussed many of these benefits above, but to recap, these benefits include:
People buy from people they trust—This truly is the modern word-of-mouth. Influencer Marketing is based on relationships. It is fueled by genuine recommendations from people who have interacted with the brand and had a good experience with it.
Fewer limitations—When using advertising, there are a lot of rules to follow. But with Influencer Marketing, it’s just a person posting on their account. They aren’t bound by the advertising rules of the platform, which gives them more freedom to express themselves in a way that can’t be done in an ad.
Improves content marketing—This truly is the ultimate in content marketing. The influencer is using their own content and credibility to increase reach and sales. This offers a lot more value to their followers than the brand can provide.
Think about it. When an ad is used, there is limited space and rules. But when a person posts about a brand, they can let loose. They can tell their story. They can use humor. They can completely capture their audience in the way that works the best—because they know their audience in a way no one else does.
Amplifies brand reach on social media—Let’s face it. A brand offering is far more likely to go viral if a trusted person endorses it than if an ad shows up on someone’s feed. An influencer sharing content that they believe in is so much more powerful.
Creates brand authenticity—Having an organic post is much more authentic than an ad. This is especially true if the influencer genuinely uses the brand. They are speaking from the heart ad from experience. That can’t be faked.
Builds credibility—If the influencer is credible, the brand will gain credibility by association with that influencer. It’s that simple. People want what other people have.
Avoids ad-blocking—With so many people using ad-blocking software, the impact on online marketing is huge. But Influencer Marketing reaches everyone. There is no blocking it because it isn’t an ad! It’s just a post by someone people trust.
There is NOTHING that sells a brand or product better than a relationship built on trust.
And that is why Influencer Marketing is a MUST for anyone who is marketing their business online. Influencer Marketing is nothing more than using the celebrity status or popularity of an individual to promote a brand.
After all, if they like it, their followers are more likely to trust the brand.
And Instagram is THE #1 social media platform for Influencer Marketing. There is no better way to get the word out about a brand. Instagram’s visual nature, its novelty, its mobility, and its ease of use all contribute to a winning influencer platform.
Plus, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform for brand awareness!
Influencer Marketing’s benefits are many and powerful. To recap, they include:
- People buy from people they trust
- Fewer limitations
- Better content marketing
- Improves brand reach
- Creates brand authenticity
- Builds credibility for the brand
- Avoids the use of ad-blocking
The power of Influencer Marketing is immense. And having a deep understanding of it is critical for successful online marketing. That is why we are offering our FREE Influencer Academy Bootcamp.
This bootcamp will give you the knowledge and tools you need to tap into the incredible power of influencer marketing. And it will be launching in one week. So stay tuned!
I can’t wait to see everyone there!