Nothing works better than influencer marketing to create brand awareness. Out of 81% of marketers who use influencer content, 51% said it outperforms brand-created content. Influencer marketing is cost-effective, which means that companies of all sizes can use it to promote their brands. Marketers can work with social media influencers to execute a variety of marketing activities, such as contests and referral programs, to create brand awareness.
In this article, we will look at the various ways in which companies can leverage influencers for brand promotions. But before that, let's quickly look at why influencer marketing is an effective tool for marketers.
Why Influencer Marketing Works
Word-of-mouth has been an effective marketing strategy for ages. And influencer marketing is a digital form of traditional word-of-mouth. However, because the entire activity happens in a digital realm, you can measure audience response accurately using indicators such as number of likes, shares, etc.
Influencers, by nature, have large numbers of loyal and dedicated social media followers. These followers perceive them as experts in their niches and regard their recommendations highly.
Unlike traditional celebrities, influencers enjoy a strong rapport with their fans. This makes influencer marketing work like a charm for creating brand awareness and achieving other marketing goals.
When it comes to influencer marketing campaigns, there are multiple social media platforms to choose from. But the best one for your company is simply where your target audience spends the most time.
For example, Instagram is the preferred influencer marketing platform for B2C brands, especially for lifestyle and fashion brands. According to a report by Mediakix, about two thirds of marketers will spend most of their marketing budget on Instagram.
Another study from Mediakix revealed that 89% of marketers get comparable or better ROI from influencer marketing compared to other marketing channels.
1. Leverage Influencers to Create Engaging Content
Influencers have amassed huge follower bases because their followers find their content useful. They understand their followers and know what kind of content they want to consume. So they create content that resonates with their audience and helps them establish a sense of bonding and trust.
For example, Murad and Nataly Osmann cater to followers who are interested in wandering around the world. Their content includes breathtaking travel photos that will appeal to their followers. When influencers offer buying suggestions, their audiences trust them and make purchasing decisions based on them. At the same time, their followers are also quick to differentiate natural posts from those that are promotional.
So it follows that the best way to create content for brand promotion is to let the influencers have creative freedom. The marketing team can look at content quality and relevance to ensure that it matches your brand value before it goes live; but if you've chosen to work with an influencer, you should already feel confident that they accurately represent your brand. You might know your product or service, but they know their followers.
Create guidelines based on these suggestions so you can provide them to your influencers, but leave the rest to them. Since they know what works best with their audiences, they can produce content that drives the best results.
2. Run Contests with Influencers
Contests and giveaways are some of the best influencer marketing strategies to promote products and create positive buzz. Marketers can use them to increase their social media following and drive traffic to their websites.
An effective and creative contest strategy will enable influencers to develop an environment that promotes engaging conversations. It will also create curiosity among the followers to try the product.
You should develop different contest strategies for each social media platform that is appropriate for the audience on that platform. For example, Instagram and Facebook are the perfect social media channels to promote fashion and lifestyle products. But B2B marketers may find LinkedIn more useful to connect with the right audiences.
For example, KeVita ran a giveaway contest for a KeVita drink case and a $50 Amazon gift card and partnered with influencers to promote it. To participate, users had to follow their page and tag their friends. They also had to comment their favorite KeVita flavor on the influencer’s post
3. Run Referral Programs for Influencers
Referral programs are one of the best strategies to can measure the ROI from your campaigns. According to a study conducted by Twitter, there was a whopping 88% increase in the purchase intent of consumers when the products were promoted by a trusted influencer.
The easiest and most effective referral program strategy is to share a promo code that is unique to each influencer. The influencers can then share the promo codes with their audiences through their content. When the influencer shares the promotional link and discount codes exclusive to their followers, it draws their attention and inspires them to visit the link or use the code.
Whenever you run a referral program, always ask the influencers to mention the brand name on their blog and social media channels. When their followers see the influencer mentioning your brand, it builds social trust and increases your brand recall value.
Peer recommendations carry a lot of weight. People are more likely to buy a product or service when recommended by those they trust, such as influencers they follow.
Here's a great example of an effective brand recommendation by an influencer: Aimee Song, a fashion blogger and influencer, shared an image of a product by TERRY and included a short comment describing how the product helped her.
4. Invite Influencers to Contribute to Your Blog
When a very well-known influencer from your industry submits a guest post to your blog, ask them to promote the content. It's a great mutually-beneficial strategy to drive traffic from multiple platforms.
The influencer shares the blog link, which creates both brand recognition and builds trust among their followers. When people see the influencer they trust has contributed an article to your blog, they perceive your blog as more trustworthy.
However, finding the right influencer to contribute to your blog is easier said than done. But if you know your audience persona, you can use specialized tools such as iFluenz to get recommendations of the most relevant influencers.
You can then send an invite to the list of influencers, review their proposals, run campaigns, and measure the outcome.
While you are searching for influencers, keep track of the kind of engagement their posts are enjoying. If influencers are hardly getting any engagement with their posts, chances are that they have fake followers or their content isn’t engaging enough.
With the right social media influencer marketing strategy, you can not only amplify your brand awareness, but also turn it into a household name.
But for you to achieve this, you will need a perfect match of three integral components - the right platform, the right influencer, and the right strategy. All three of them should complement each other.