Social influencers are an enormous aspect of marketing today and in many cases offer companies great ROI. Consumer buying behavior and attention has changed dramatically.

In the past consumers greatly made purchasing decisions based on – traditional advertisements. Most consumers buying decisions were mainly influenced by TV, newspaper, magazine and newspaper ads to decide whether to buy a particular product.

Companies have hired famous people to endorse their brands for a long time and many with great success. With endorsements from reputable personal brand names, they were likely to get more conversions. This notion actually did work and many companies experienced incredible revenue boost e.g. in the 1980’s when Michael Jackson became the face of Pepsi Cola.

This trick is what brought about influencer marketing. Now a new breed of online social influencers has come forth to act as brand ambassadors. Influencer marketing has now taken root and is what most brands are using today to reach their audiences. This is because consumers have shifted their focus to depending on influencers to help them decide what to purchase.

The rise of influencer marketing

In today’s world, consumers have developed a completely different approach to considering whether to make a purchase or not. With the growth of social medial platforms, people have developed an intensified dependence on influencers to indirectly help them make their purchasing decisions.  Most consumers don’t just rely on the usual adverts on TVs and newspapers like it used to be before. Instead, they have developed a habit of making their purchases based on what influencers are saying about a brand on social media.

With the growth of influencer marketing, we have witnessed even more powerful figures like the Kardashians popping up to endorse brands or their own products on social media. To add to the strength of influencer marketing, there is also an upsurge of “ordinary” and often more trusted influencers on social media platforms. These are the “Instagrammers’’, “YouTubers” and “Facebookers” with a high number of followers and engagements.

Unbalanced value of influencers

Despite marketing for top brands and drawing in more conversions, these set of influencers are often underpriced as compared to their fellow celebrity influencers. There seems to be no relation between the ROI they bring and the value attached to their influencer efforts. On the other hand, the celebrity influential figures seem to draw all the attention to themselves in terms of their value. They reap a larger share of the influencer marketing industry than their counterparts.

But as we witness the growth of social media platforms, the ordinary influencers are also growing their number of followers and likes. This directly resorts to more conversions for the brands using their services.  The social media has revolutionized influencer marketing; the ordinary consumers are also trending as stars and are being used by many more companies to reach their audiences.

Dependence on social connections

More and more consumers are turning their heads to relying on human connections for their purchasing decisions. Social media has made a significant change on how consumers make their decisions. Influencers are now turning out to be the ones who build the connections between brands and consumers. They are the forms of marketing campaigns brands are using today.

Through social media, a world of possibilities for marketers is rising.  New and more effective channels for brands to connect with consumers are popping up. Despite this, most marketers haven’t embraced it in full. Some still fear the risk of dwindling their growth with respect to competitors who are still using the traditional forms of marketing. But is it really logical to be liked by millions who hardly make purchases as compared to being loved by thousands who make successful purchases? The second choice definitely sounds much better. Which is why influencer marketing should be used by marketers seeking growth.

The ROI of influencer marketing

Why should a company use the social influencers in their brand marketing campaigns? Here are a few reasons to that:

  • It’s authoritative

According to McKinsey studies, it is revealed that marketing through consumer to consumer word of mouth gives twice returns as compared to what paid advertising can offer. Out of what is acquired, there is a higher chance of making retentions, by up to 37 percent.

By using influencer marketing, brands have a greater opportunity to maximize their sales through familiar personalities that other consumers are following and admire.

  • Authenticity

With the usual paid adverts on TVs or magazines, consumers are unlikely to trust the message that is being communicated in the advertisement. The end result received by consumers is something fake, lacking authenticity. It’s not known if the paid advertisers have actually tested the product. But with persons acting as influencers on social media platforms, most consumers are made to believe that the message passed across is genuine. With a product being promoted by paid adverts, it is possible that it will reach millions of consumers, but very few purchases may be realized. But with a social media post from trusted people who are followed by many, it will feel genuine and will turn many heads to make purchases.

  • Paid ads are exhausting

It is said that an average person gets up to 5,000 advert exposures in a day, according to Yankelovich. Regardless of whether it’s a scientifically proven fact or not, it is very evident that everyone gets a lot of ad exposures. When it gets too much, it becomes very difficult for a consumer to even recall the last advertisement they saw. Pumping your audience with paid ads courtesy of your broadcasting channels every now and then, may not yield the best results as you had anticipated. But with a few endorsements from trusted and followed influencers on social media, you are sure to get better results as your brands will stick for long on your audience’s minds.

  • Boosting your SEO

Last but not least, using influencers can help build your SEO rankings. The Social Media Revolution reveals that social posts that are user generated account for about 25 percent of all the search engine results from top 20 leading brands worldwide.  That simply means, the more publicity you gain on social media, the higher likelihood of your brand gaining top ranking on Google search engine. With a paid ad on broadcasting stations or channels, it might not even affect your rankings on search engine results page.

How to find influencers

Choose influencers whose values and brands are in line with yours. But most importantly, they should show their love for your products to move the masses. This will make your efforts feel authentic. Thus, their followers will be strongly charmed to make a purchase.

When it comes to finding your influencers, you have a couple of methods to use. You can start with the famous YouTubers and Instagrammers with many followers. That is, if you opt for the common influencers.  You can also use influencer platforms like the H Influencers. These platforms act like networks or agencies where influencers and brands can meet. As for the celebrity influencers, you can directly send them a private message explaining yourself and they will respond if that is what they are best at. But be prepared with proper financing for this.

Remember, being real to your audience is the most important thing. Be careful when searching for influencers because some may not show any authenticity when marketing your brand on social media. Consumers care much about genuineness, more than anything if at all they are to purchase your brand.

Written by Kenneth Hogrefe