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The Growing Importance Of Influencer Marketing For Brands

The Growing Importance of Influencer Marketing for Brands

There is no doubt that the COVID pandemic has changed the world and, more specifically, how we consume media, but it’s also had a profound impact on the entire advertising industry. As our lives changed and we started spending more and more time at home, we have seen people spending more time online and, more specifically on social media, looking for entertainment, education, and inspiration. A recent Kantar study found that Facebook and Instagram traffic increased by 40% for consumers aged under 35.

There has also been an increase in influencer engagement over the past 18 months, with influencers who have an average of 2000 plus followers enjoying an increase of up to 20% engagement according to stats pulled by Humanz in 2020.

Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing media channel and marketing practise worldwide! The time is NOW for brands to start leveraging the power of influencers. By understanding their audience and then analysing potential influencers, brands are able to align with influencers, where their audiences align, in order to increase their brand awareness and reach, assist in building credibility and trust, enrich brand content strategy, boost SEO and ROI and drive purchase decisions and sales.

Another interesting and compelling reason to jump on board the influencer marketing train, is that consumer behaviour is changing online. This includes behaviours that could limit the success of traditional online advertising. Influence Weekly recently reported that 47% of internet users block ads and that 72% of Instagram users purchased product they saw on the platform, with a large portion of that coming from influencer content.

Influencer content often also has the ability to reach a far wider audience than brand content and brings diversity to brand messaging online. But brands should also proceed with caution. In the age of the influencer, where so many social media account holders aspire to be influencers, it’s important to remember that while all people have influence, not everyone is an influencer. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being seduced by an influencers audience size, but this is really the poorest metric when measuring influence.

Some of the most influential influencers I’ve worked with have audiences under 10K. It’s also important to look at the audience location, most especially for localised brands. The simple fact that an account has a large following does not mean you are going to be reaching your audience or achieving any kind of ROI. There are other factors when looking at potential influencer accounts that should also be looked at, like follower to following ratio – the number of followers versus the number of accounts being followed. Many may argue that this metric doesn’t matter, but in my opinion, it does, which is why it is often referred to as the “Cool” ratio. It’s considered a reliable metric in the quality of the account and in the level of influence.

Engagement is another important metric to be considered. The higher the engagement the more people will be reached. Engagement is an important measure of how the content message is resonating with an influencer’s audience. I mean, without engagement, social media just becomes media.

There are many reasons why every brand should have an influencer marketing strategy, whether it be as a long-term partnership in the form of an ambassador or time-sensitive campaigns around product launches, brand awareness campaigns or sales-based campaigns. But all brands should proceed with caution and develop a proper strategy and plan for managing campaigns and aligning with the right influencers.

Click here to see how Exposure Marketing used influencers in their Purity Campaign

About The Author:

Sharon van Wyk boasts more than 20 years sales & marketing experience with 10 plus years content creation and influencer marketing experience with a strong drive towards organic, authentic engagement with experience across a wide variety of niche markets.

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