Word of mouth is a powerful tool in the world of marketing. People believe people. This is why turning people into brand ambassadors who have the ability to powerfully influence buying behaviors is simply genius. The business world has known this for a long time. Building a brand around a credible individual can move mountains when it comes to attracting and retaining customers.
The premise behind this style of marketing is that credible people have the ability to both drive and retain customers by becoming the voice and the heartbeat of a brand. The strength of this concept powers influencer marketing which is why it’s working with flying colors. When these pieces of the puzzle effectively join together the results can be incredible. Word of mouth has and always will be a powerful cost-effective marketing strategy that continues to guide the success of a brand if all the necessary ingredients are present.
People Trust People
Research has revealed that people no longer trust ads, but they still trust authoritative credible people. This is why who a brand chooses to represent them is extremely important. Choosing someone that lacks enough credibility to carry a brand can produce results equal to paid advertising, in terms of efficacy and sincerity. This is why electing someone that possesses the charisma, authority, and credibility to represent a brand is especially important. When a brand pairs a genuine message with a credible person the results can be spectacular and immensely far-reaching. This is why anything that remotely resembles traditional advertising or paid promotion is not the goal and should be avoided at all cost. A credible person will have an air of authority, credibility, transparency and most importantly, honesty. Influencer marketing makes truth and honesty the core of all its goals. Overwhelmingly, people have always looked to the opinions of people they deem both trustworthy and credible for referrals and decision making. This is truly the magic in influencer marketing because this style of marketing builds off of a natural consumer behavior.
All Influencers Aren’t Created Equal
Although influencer marketing is a strategy that’s rapidly growing, many companies may not be paying proper attention to the influential power of the influencer. Anyone can recognize the impact that a well-known celebrity can have on a brand, but how many companies have miscalculated the impact of an influencer who is perhaps only well-known in particular circles?
This is an area that would be well-served by critical examination and practical thought before electing an influencer to represent a particular brand. This doesn’t mean that an influencer has to be a celebrity to be effective and credible. Instead, any influencer that a company chooses to represent their brand should make sense for the brand and have a credible connection that can be optimized to grow the brand. Keep in mind that the goal in influencer marketing is to provide an honest and transparent platform.
Anyone that fills the position of influencer should meet this criterion adequately enough to be both believable and authoritative. This means that the right influencer must be married or joined to the right brand. When this doesn’t happen, it’s possible that a campaign won’t have the impact that it should and may fail or come across as a disingenuous form of paid advertisement. Neither scenario represents influencer marketing because of the most important ingredient, the influencer, fails to be perceived as influential and credible. Without this major piece to the puzzle, you don’t have an influencer marketing campaign. This is why both macro and micro influencers should be evaluated in terms of which would most effectively represent a brand and why. This is an area where relevance makes way for credibility and authority.
Influencer Marketing Puts Truth at its Core
If truth is not a core value of a brand’s marketing plan it’s not influencer marketing. This type of marketing seeks truth as a hallmark and a vehicle to get a brand’s point across and to tell a story. With the current fascination with expert opinions, self-help gurus, and the like, brands are getting smart and taking advantage of this phenomenon to help them tell their story. This is a season where customers want to make their own choices but want the help and opinions of well-informed knowledgeable people. The influencer marketing stance asserts that the credible voice behind a brand is powerful enough to influence buying decisions through their personal experiences and knowledge of the brand. An authoritative brand ambassador has the ability to build confidence in the consumer decision-making process.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Studies continue to show that the power of influencer marketing is both viable and effective. This is best exemplified by the fact that this form of marketing is the fastest growing most cost-effective marketing strategy. Most people look to people they know for referrals more than any other source. In fact, 92% of consumers trust people they know as a credible source for referrals. This is perhaps why word of mouth generates double the revenue compared to paid advertising and has a 37% higher rate of retention. In fact, businesses make $6.50 on every dollar they invest in this form of marketing. The numbers tell a story that fully supports the efficacy of influencer marketing. This is more than likely the reason why this form of marketing is being used on such a large scale and with such powerful results.
A Sincere Influencer-Brand Relationship Yields a Positive ROI
Influencer marketing works best when there is a sincere relationship between the brand and the influencer. In other words, this form of marketing works best when the influencer is truly an advocate. As an advocate, the influencer has the ability to guide the consumer experience, largely because the influencer is a consumer or believer in the brand themselves. This lends a different more authentic feel to the whole marketing experience. The customer is being led through personal experiences from the influencer, and it becomes more of a storytelling journey than an attempt to artificially market and sell a brand or service. However, even the best-led plans can go astray and when they do, things can become catastrophic for both the brand and the influencer. If an influencers credibility becomes questionable, it can negatively impact the brand as well. What consumers are bearing witness to is the relationship between the influencer and the brand. If what they see is believable, authoritative, and helpful, both the influencer and the brand are elevated.
Honesty & Transparency Equals a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
The success of an influencer marketing campaign rests heavily on the influencer’s ability to maintain credibility through honesty and transparency. These virtues are truly the cornerstone of this type of marketing. If any of these pieces to the puzzle or missing you have a marketing campaign that will begin to unravel and lose steam quickly. Unbiased honest opinions help guide and shape the consumer experience in addition to giving the brand a more personal edge. Without these must-have ingredients, your influencer marketing campaign will cease to live up to its name. Truth has a powerful way of creating light and transparency, which are both factors that support credibility and authority. This is perhaps why this form of marketing almost always works when it is done right. A successful influencer campaign is one in which the credibility of the influencer remains strong and brand awareness grows as a result. This is only possible if the influencer is able to maintain his or her credible and authoritative voice for the brand. Creating and maintaining transparency is often a key part in creating both credibility and authority.
Influencer marketing is clearly the wave of both the present and the future. Consumers continue to look to others they trust for advice and direction because people have always trusted people. Influencer marketing is a strategy that takes the weight of trusted authoritative people and puts it behind a brand. Combining both the brand and the influencer can often produce powerful results for the brand. More than ever, self-help gurus, expert opinions, and thought leaders have a heavy impact on the consumer making process because the masses look to credible people to help in the decision making process. This form of marketing requires sincerity and transparency on behalf of the influencer in order to be successful. Anything less than truth diminishes this form of marketing, rendering it ineffective. This is why the second tier of influencer marketing is the positive and honest relationship that the influencer must have with the brand in order to be believable. When you take truth and transparency out of the equation you get a failed marketing campaign which negatively impacts both the influencer and the brand. Influencer marketing is all about building honest relationships between the brand, the influencer, and the customer. These are the necessary components of a successful campaign.
Influencer Marketing Benefits Your SEO Strategy
The effective use of influencer marketing allows you to generate authoritative links that naturally lead to more audience engagement, more site traffic, and exposure for your brand. This form of marketing truly has the ability to turn your SEO campaign into virtual powerhouses. Furthermore, this type of marketing provides a better ROI than other marketing strategies and is a much easier way to reach customers.
Build Inbound Links with Influencer Marketing
Use influencer marketing to create content driven campaigns. Use your campaigns to create content that addresses industry specific issues that your audience may be dealing with. Elaborate extensively on these topics and create inbound links back to your website as a resource. If you need to enlist the help of micro-influencers, do so. This is a step in the right direction and goes a long way when comes to earning credible inbound links. There is nothing wrong with borrowing credibility until you build your brand’s credibility.