If you haven't heard, social media influencers now play a pivotal role in marketing for a wide range of brands.
Whether it's endorsing a skincare product, a luxurious handbag, a new model SUV or even the latest knitting accessory, there's a digital influencer for every product, and increasingly, more businesses are joining the influencer marketing bandwagon as a means to improve their marketing and outreach strategies.
But how do influencers actually 'influence', and subsequently guide people's purchase behavior?
While the concept of influencer marketing, in its modern, digital evolution, is still relatively new, as with all consumer marketing processes, the underlying drivers relate to fundamental human motives. The most notable of our core motives in this particular respect are 'making friends' and 'attaining status', which are two of the seven key instigators for human action.
These broader, evolutionary needs drive all of our decisions, and being part of influencer 'tribes' can help us feel a sense of affiliation and power, spurring consumer action.
In this post, we'll look at three specific ways in which social media influencers align with these psychological principles, and prompt their audiences into action.
1. Build Brand Awareness
A key benefit of social media influencers is that they have a solid understanding of the platform's they're using, and how to create impactful and engaging content which can build more awareness for your brand.
These influencers have often spent years growing their audiences, and maximizing that sense of affiliation and inclusion within their groups. With their refined presentation and storytelling skills, they know how to forge effective relationships with their audiences and tell your brand story seamlessly.
This can be as simple as a post with a relatable caption on Instagram, or a YouTube video tutorial which assists consumers in understanding the more complex features of a product. The best influencers have the capacity to can weave your brand’s message into their style and tone, in order to make promotional messages look more authentic.
And such campaigns can generate significantly better results than conventional marketing methods.
2. Strengthen Customer Relationships
According to research, a whopping 77% of consumers have had relationships with brands for a decade or more. Moreover, 61% of loyal customers would make an extra effort to shop from their favorite brands.
The numbers underline the importance of establishing connection with your target market, in order to form stronger connection - but in order to do this, you first need to get your brand in front of your target consumers, and build that affiliation within their tribe, playing into that 'attaining status' element.
Consumers are more likely to trust peer recommendations, as they're generally considered more trustworthy than claims in brand ads, and social media influencers can be very powerful in this respect. If a product is accepted within their circle, that immediately boosts its reputation and affiliated connection - which means the strongest voices within any group have huge sway over that initial relationship.
3. Improve Buying Decision with Unbiased Opinions
Here's another key consideration to keep in mind - influencers are great storytellers.
These people have learned how to effectively communicate with their audiences, and they have the capacity to do so seamlessly, and without sounding too 'salesy'. One of the main reasons why consumers trust influencers is because they can relate to these individuals on a personal level. They know them, they like them. Again, it comes back to 'making friends' and 'attaining status'.
Influencers don’t just put up an ad on their feeds, they talk about the product/s in detail - how to use them, if they're value for money, what consumers should expect, etc. Basically, influencers cover the most asked questions that consumers generally have about any brand or products.
Utilizing this established trust within these communities can massively boost your brand reputation, and drive significant results.
Social media influencers tap into core human interactive needs, which spur response, often in the form of purchase action. As such, influencers can be a powerful way to communicate with your potential customers and increase your customer acquisition rate.
By aligning with psychological principals, and understanding how influencers fit within that scope, you can better establish how to target the right influencers for your digital outreach efforts.