Who are Influencers and what Role do they Play in Your Social Marketing Strategy?

Five years ago, it seemed that ads were the failproof promotional strategy for brands on social media. They were cheap, fast, effective and targeted, being able to reach out to millions of potential customers at once. Fast forward to today and any respectable marketing company will tell you that social media ads are simply not enough to guarantee success anymore. Enter influencer marketing, one of the strongest marketing trends of 2018 that can completely refresh your social media image. Of course, the existence of influencers is nothing new; brands have been associating themselves with famous figures for a long time, but the advent of social media has changed the brand-influencer dynamic, making room for more opportunities.

Influencers vs. digital ads

A Tomoson study reveals that influencer outreach is the fastest growing online customer acquisition channel, surpassing online ads, organic search and email marketing. Almost 60% of marketers want to increase their influencer marketing budget in the following years, whereas only 9% plan on increasing their digital advertising budget. Here’s why:

  • Influencers are seen as more trustworthy. Compared to an ad, which is just text on a web page, influencers are real people, and people trust other people. Influencers already have a powerful voice in their industry, they have a considerable follower base, so when they recommend a brand, people are likely to listen and purchase their recommended product. How likely? Well, a recent study shows that on Twitter, people trust influencers almost as much as their friends and 70% of social media users would buy a product if someone famous recommended it. YouTubers are becoming more and more influential too, especially among the younger demographic, who seem them as more reliable and more “real” than other celebrities.
  • Adblockers are popular. After there was a boom in the use of digital ads, Internet users started seeing them as annoying and disruptive, so they started downloading ad blockers. Now, it is estimated that about 30% of desktop users have an adblocker installed, so it’s very possible for your ad to go unnoticed. This is not the case with influencers. They have up to millions of followers who look up to them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Instagram or Snapchat and one single post can increase your brand visibility and boost sales.

How to reach out to influencers?

There are several ways to reach out to influencers, depending on the amplitude of your campaign. The classic, traditional method, is to contact them yourself for a collaboration, but keep in mind that this may take quite some time, and it might not always work with famous influencers. They usually get a lot of offers and rely on agents for brand relationship building, so sending a message yourself only works with smaller influencers. A faster, more effective method would be to use an influencer finder tool, so you can contact more people at the same time. Or, don’t forget, if you don’t know how to use these tools or don’t have the time, we’re always here to help you build an effective social marketing campaign by partnering with influencers!