The BFF Illusion: Influencers & Consumers

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Did we just become best friends?

That Step Brothers movie quote accurately (and hilariously) describes our search for instantaneous connections in modern society. We are so in tune with internet life that we start to feel like we actually know the people behind the blogs and social media accounts.

Influencers have become “friends” to all of us online – even though we’ve never actually met them. There’s something about following someone’s blog or Instagram, and gaining peeks into their daily life, that cultivates a sense of intimacy; a bond. It’s only natural, then, that we turn to these influencers when doing online product or service research.

According to Adweek, 49 percent of people say that they rely on influencers’ recommendations when making a purchase decision. And 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. Influencer marketing harnesses the bond between influencers and consumers to accelerate a brand’s mission – without compromising credibility.

How? Influencer marketing connects brands with relevant, high-quality influencers who reach their target audience. This cuts out the random one-size-fits-all problem with advertising, and ensures that companies can hone in on consumers who care about what they have to offer – increasing brand affinity and overall ROI.

“47 percent of online customers use ad blocking technology. The way to reach them is to provide content they want from people they trust,” Digital News Report explains.

 

Influencers are among the trusted inner circle for many consumers today because of honest product reviews, no filter images, “day in the life” type posts, and more. Blogs and social media have created a new type of friendship built on likes, comments and shares. Brands who capitalize on this by creating an influencer marketing strategy can expect to see at least some of the following benefits:

  • Improved ROI: An average $6.5 return on investment for every dollar spent
  • Increased credibility:92 percent of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations over advertising http://www.adweek.com/digital/why-influencer-marketing-is-the-new-content-king-infographic/
  • Consumer loyalty: Word-of-mouth marketing results in a 37 percent higher retention rate

Influencer marketing can help you make the most of relationships between influencers and consumers online today to drive results. Contact the Find Your Influence team with any questions about getting started!

P.S. Are your influencers “friends” with the right target audience? Learn more about demographics and psychographics here.

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In Tune: Influencer Marketing & Taylor Swift

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Did you hear her song about John Mayer? I can’t believe he did that!”

We tend to feel like we know pop stars from their music. This is certainly true when it comes to Taylor Swift – the queen of using her own life as song material. Any time she releases a new album, the buzz is all about who’s who in her songs, from break ups to love interests to spurned friends. There’s a vulnerability in the way she shares her stories that makes listeners feel a connection with her – just as influencers build trust with consumers online.

So, if Taylor Swift was a friend of the Find Your Influence team, this is the wise influencer marketing advice we imagine she’d dole out (in song, of course):

Fill your blank space wisely: Taylor Swift may be referring to the next name on her dating list here, but it also applies when it comes to your list of influencers. Which influential bloggers will fill your blank space? This is a pivotal decision for your campaign – the influencers you choose to work with will shape your strategy and reflect on your brand. No company wants to look back and think “I knew you were trouble.”

You belong with me: “I’ve been here all along so why can’t you see, you belong with me.” Not to get too intense with your influencers right off the bat, but it’s important to let them know why they belong with you. Why is this partnership a good fit? What value can you provide? We can all learn something from this bold Taylor Swift song: be up front about what you want and what you have to offer.

Let those sparks fly: Once you’ve set your campaign in motion, watch the sparks fly. Let your influencers do what they do best: create quality content and connect with consumers. Marketing guru Jay Baer said: “True influence drives action, not just awareness,” and so we’re looking for powerful results in the form of engagement—whether that’s likes, comments, shares, clicks or buys.

Shake it off: If one method doesn’t work, shake it off! There are copious ways to make the most of influencer marketing tactics. Don’t be afraid to change your strategy if an influencer isn’t the right fit or your content isn’t resonating with consumers. These teaching moments can lead to greater success in the future – like a $6.5 return on investment for every dollar spent – if you’re open to growing from them.

Inspiration is everywhere! And if you want to avoid bad blood when it comes to your influencer relationships, we advise listening to the best practices above. Of course, if you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Find Your Influence for strategy and campaign guidance.

Which other popular songs unintentionally offer influencer marketing advice?

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Summer Loving: How to Turn an Influencer Fling into the Real Deal

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By Courtney Moser

 

Sunset walks on the beach, pina coladas, sponsored blog posts…

Is it more than just a summer fling? When it comes to building a successful influencer marketing strategy, your seasonal partnership should last far past September – and continue to drive results all year long.

Influencer marketing is at its most effective when centered around relationships. Together, a brand and an influencer can increase product awareness, brand affinity, website traffic, intent to purchase and more. How? When you partner with an influencer, make sure their content and audience align with your brand mission and campaign goals – and then offer value in return. We dive further into how to turn an influencer fling into the real deal below.

Tips for creating influencer relationships that can go the distance:

Build on a foundation of mutual respect: So you like an influencer – but is your admiration reciprocated? As Forbes says: “Effective partnerships start with identifying influencers who already love your brand or have engaged social followings that align with your company and offering them some data-driven creative guidance.”

Commit for the long haul: Your attitude going into a brand-influencer partnership is crucial. You should start out the relationship with commitment in mind – this sets you both up to work together for the common goal of educating consumers, reaching new audiences, sharing product features, and so on.

Prioritize communication: Clear expectations and feedback are important when you’re building a partnership – this sets the tone for future projects and opens the door for effective communication and successful results. Don’t turn to the silent treatment when something doesn’t go as planned!

When you take the time to build a long-term relationship with your influencers, they can move from one-time associates to brand ambassadors who increase authenticity and trust among consumers. As said in this blog post, “The best influencers drive action – they spur their readers and followers to do something, rather than just listen.”

Looking forward, 83 percent of brand marketers say that “identifying and building one-on-one relationships with industry key influencers” is a top priority this year. Are you ready to take your influencer relationships to the next level? To learn more about establishing successful influencer relationships, contact the experts at Find Your Influence today.

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