Everyday we see more and more content around Influencer Marketing. How to find top social influencers, how to connect with them, case studies on brands who rock Influencer Marketing. This tells us that Influencer Marketing is no longer a trend on the horizon, it's a reality. What's exciting for us as Digital Marketers is learning about the added benefits influencers can have on overall campaigns.
The more brands collaborate with influencers, the more we all learn about them as a media channel. And the more we learn, the more value we can add. I've always said that the key to a great online media plan is experimentation. The online world changes faster than textbooks can be written - so if you aren't experimenting, you aren't learning.
But if you're reading this article you're probably the learning type so lets continue.
With 92% of consumers saying they trust word-of-mouth recommendations above all other forms of advertising, this rise of influencer collaboration is unstoppable. The idea of brands maintaining complete control over their messaging is fading into the digital distance. And brands that want to be heard are learning to work with the people their consumers trust most - the people who already influence their target market.
What we've learnt building an influencer marketing platform is that working with Influencers has more benefits than you might think. Experimentation has taught us that Influencers can help brands conquer more than just the awareness and consideration part of the marketing funnel. It's great to see brands stepping outside of their comfort zones and working with influencers to discover new ways to deliver on traditional marketing tactics.
Here are four ways you haven't considered working with Influencers - but should:
1) Influencer Driven Market Research
The traditional way to conduct market research involves rooms with one-way glass, focus groups and often a series of questions asked by the group leader. The internet has given us the tools to do things quicker, reach more people and collaborate with others to improve the way we gather data. It's exciting to see brands taking advantage of this.
Social influencers already have established audiences in the niche demographics you're looking to survey - working closer with influencers can be valuable not only to share data, but also collect it.
Influencers allow you to ask more people questions, track reliable data, and look into the conversations that happen when people think you're brand isn't watching. Which leads me to my next point...
2) Insights Around Influencer Driven Conversations
Every Influencer campaign has different goals. The common ones usually focus on reach and engagement levels, but there is one metric that doesn't get enough attention. It's not the click-through rate or the blog readership, it's not the famous engagement rate either. Nope.
It's the conversation insights.
With that data, brands can learn about their target audience from conversations sparked by Influencers. As digital marketers, it's important to see how people react to your content, the questions people ask, and the paths your shared content travels. This data can be more informative than your own analytics at times because people tend to react differently when in conversation with a trusted source.
3) Content Creation by Influencers
Let's be honest, brands are used to content ownership. It's easier to control the messaging, seed it through your own channels and have a hold on the conversation that happens afterwards.
But just because something is easy, doesn't mean it's the best way.
In the quote above Andy Crestodina talks about influencers credibility. In order to keep that credibility in tact, and in-turn, leverage the audience in a considerate way, it's important that ask influencers to work with you as a brand, not for you.
Brands venturing into the YouTube space are starting to do this really well. Content collaboration doesn't just happen between agency and brand anymore, it's now involving influencers right from the start.
4) Influencer Driven SEO Benefits
Google is looking for authentic, credible sources to talk about your brand - what better way to do this than work with social Influencers? We're not talking about buying backlinks here, we're just talking about being smarter with your influencer marketing efforts to get the added SEO boosts you need.
Influencers can play a big role in creating authentic content linking back to your brand, but also have a huge effect on off-the-page SEO. Getting credible influencers to share your brands content is a technique that shouldn't be overlooked.
Content may be king, but in the SEO world it's all about where that content links, who shares it and how authentic it is.