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The Importance Of Influencer Marketing In 2015

18 September 2015
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As any brand present in the digital marketing sphere undoubtedly knows, having your marketing efforts received by your target audience online is extremely difficult and becoming increasingly so due to the overload of noise and information that is present on the Internet. Think about it- as a consumer, you are bombarded with advertisements, promotions, and information from the moment you wake up and check your cell phone to the minute you close your eyes at night whether it be from your music streaming service, the Internet, your TV, salespeople, or traditional advertising mediums such as billboards and signs. You cannot escape. So you tune out what doesn’t matter. For advertisers and brands, this can be a huge problem because your message can and will get lost in all of the noise.

Social media continues to grow which is what makes social platforms such appealing destinations for advertisement and marketing efforts. According to Social Media Today, as of August 2015, there are over 2.206 Billion active users reported on social media (a global penetration of 30%), social media users have increased by 176 Million in the last year, and 12 new active mobile social users are added every second (that’s 1 Million per day) which is perhaps why the company claims that social media is #TheFutureOfMarketing. They’re right. Large social media platforms like Facebook understand that their success (like any other company) lies within pleasing their users. On a social networks, users want to see friend information as opposed to branded content, so platforms like FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. limit the reach and power of business pages as to keep their consumers happy. There are obviously solutions to reaching your audience that lie within following company best practices for social (think: conversational tone, special incentives, being helpful, optimizing posts, etc.) as well as great content strategy/execution and paid advertising.

With such a major shift of consumers to social media (for entertainment, research, networking, product research purposes and more), consumers are now putting more trust in their peers instead of businesses because they are thought to be more transparent, honest, and trustworthy. Our CEO Ty Downing has always told us that Talk + Trust = Transaction, and this formula remains the same on social- except now, your customers have more influence on generating sales (more OR less) for your business in the future. So today we want to explore a different method of product/service dissemination through a marketing strategy called influencer marketing.

A social influencer is a well-connected, in the know individual who has an above average impact on their peers (and their purchase decisions) based on authority, popularity, knowledge, position or relationships on social media. They typically have a high klout, and can serve as a great asset for a brand if they choose to endorse it.

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Influencers can be anyone with these traits, but some traditional examples of typical social influencers include brand advocates, bloggers, industry experts, social ‘celebs’, journalists, socialites, etc. Influencer Marketing therefore is identifying, targeting, and building relationships with industry influencers in order to increase the reach of your brand, your social media exposure, buzz and awareness surrounding your brand, and ultimately sales! There are three basic tiers to influencer marketing:

1) Marketing TO influencers : exposing them to your brand and initial relationship forming

2) Marketing THROUGH influencers :having the influencers endorse, vouch, promote your brand

3) Marketing WITH influencers : working alongside influencers as they become brand advocates

… and the method is catching like wildfire in digital marketing. But why should your brand use Influencer Marketing?

The Social Media Examiner reports that “ In a poll of 125 marketers conducted by online promotions firm Tomoson and reported in AdWeek, marketers rated influencer marketing as the fastest-growing online customer acquisition tactic, beating organic search, paid search and email marketing.” According to Tomoson, influencer marketing dethrones organic search as marketers’ best method to acquire new customers, 22% to 17%.

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Influencer marketing also increases credibility of your company and helps build your brand, is seen as more trustworthy and believable since it is a third party, can help SEO (through content like testimonials, blogs, reviews, etc), and helps your brand truly nail the concept of social media (as long as it is paired with a great content marketing strategy).

Social Media is the marketing and landscape for the future, but as a brand it is essential to recognize that your place on social is to provide entertainment and information, not to sell. Customers must be engaged with, not pitched at. Let your product and influencers sell your brand for you and enjoy forming relationships with all of the people you can potentially reach on social media. Once you understand the importance of influencer marketing and how it is essential for your brand’s digital success, the next step is finding and marketing to your brand’s specific influencers. Stay tuned for our next blog in our influencer marketing series that will help you strategize, plan, and locate influencers for your influencer marketing campaign on social media.  Need help making a bomb influencer strategy and content marketing plan for your brand’s social media platforms? We got you.

About Morgan Jones

Morgan is a graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in Communication Studies and a minor in journalism. She brings to the table a vivacious spirit and unique creative energy that she uses in all things SayItSocial. When she isn't being an awesome Digital Account Executive, you can find her running the Wrightsville Beach loop with her dog Grizzly, out on the beach, or on her front porch reading her nook.

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