What is Influencer Marketing and is it right for your brand?
Whether you’re launching a start-up or running a well-established brand, digital marketing is one of the most important tools you can use to support and grow your business. In this series, we’ll explore useful ways to add value to your business – harnessing the power of social media to boost your digital marketing efforts, and ultimately boost your brand.
Digital marketing techniques are becoming more and more innovative as technology evolves and social media becomes an increasingly prominent part of our day-to-day lives. Adopting new approaches, including Influencer Marketing, to supplement your existing digital strategy can help you reach and connect with customers in a new way.
WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Influencer Marketing is a type of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placements by influencers – these are individuals or organisations with a perceived degree of expertise or social influence in their field. The power of influencers lies in the trust that they have with their following. Their word is often taken as gospel by their followers, which can result in an instant connection with a large audience for brands looking to promote their products and services.
SOME EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL INFLUENCER MARKETING IN SOUTH AFRICA
Zara’s #DearSouthAfrica Micro-Influencer Campaign
In September 2019, fashion retailer Zara officially opened its online store in South Africa. In the days leading up to the launch, Zara rolled out its #DearSouthAfrica campaign to generate awareness on Twitter. The campaign focused on South African micro-influencers, who generally have a lower number of followers (between 1 000 and 100 000), but higher engagement rates.
The official hashtag #DearSouthAfrica saw explosive traction thanks to influencer activity, resulting in a social reach of nearly 8 million people.
Brutal Fruit’s #SpritzerSaturdays Influencer Campaign
In order to promote Brutal Fruit’s Spritzer, following an unmemorable initial launch, 12 South African social influencers hosted Saturday brunches, while dressing up in iconic celebrity looks. The campaign aimed to honour women who’ve paved the way for others in their respective fields – women you would love to sit down to brunch with – and used the hashtag #SpritzerSaturdays.
The campaign had a tangible impact on sales and led to an increase in demand by consumers for retailers and venues to stock the product.
WHY SHOULD YOUR BRAND CONSIDER INFLUENCER MARKETING?
- Amplify brand awareness.
- Access and establish an authentic connection with a new captive audience.
- Enhance and build credibility and trust in your product or services.
- Stand out in a crowded market.
HOW DO INFLUENCERS WORK WITH BRANDS?
There are a number of ways that brands and influencers can engage. The relationship has to be mutually beneficial for both parties – for the business it’s usually about growing brand awareness, increasing sales and reaching a new or existing target audience in an authentic manner. For the influencer, it’s about promoting something that fits with their profile, results in compensation and can broaden their personal brand and influence.
Brand ambassadors are people who love your brand and your products. These individuals usually start off voluntarily using products or services from your company. As brand ambassadors are vocal about their love for a business, they can usually be identified through social listening – the monitoring of social media channels for mentions and customer feedback.
Ambassadors can be considered your brand experts and specialise in promoting your products socially, via word-of-mouth and via social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. They are not necessarily celebrities, and they do not always have an enormous network on social media, but they are passionate about what your business does.
Benefits of brand ambassadors for your brand
- Authentic messaging
- Great potential ROI
Brand ambassadors are the perfect people to review new products and to gain insights from because they’re always excited to help better your brand. They will use their own viewpoint to speak about your brand, so it’s easy for them to communicate with their audiences sincerely. They will most likely share the content with their friends, who will also spread the word to their own friends.
An Influencer Marketing campaign can be an important addition to a new product launch. Influencers can help create buzz prior to the launch, in the form of a countdown to build anticipation, or a giveaway to generate hype. They can also build trust in your target audience before the product goes to market, significantly improving your results at launch. This can be done via product trials and reviews, shared with their audiences.
Discount codes are given to influencers to promote sales on platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Followers are encouraged to use the code at checkout for a special discount or promotion. This is a great way to measure an influencer’s direct effect on conversions.
Affiliated links are dedicated URLs used in sponsored content and video descriptions to drive traffic to product pages. Affiliate links are easily trackable and an excellent way to attribute revenue directly to the influencer’s efforts. The influencer usually earns a commission on the sales made via their affiliate links.
Word-of-mouth is still recognised as one of the most powerful marketing mediums, and in the build-up to an event, influencers can help boost ticket sales by using their voices to connect with the right people in their network.
Influencer Marketing can be a powerful addition to your social media and overarching digital marketing strategy. The key is identifying and connecting with the right influencers for your brand.
At Responsive Digital, our team can help you define a winning digital marketing strategy and determine whether Influencer Marketing is right for you. We can support you every step of the way from concept to execution.
Contact us to set up your free consultation.