This is a guest post by Iva Grigorova.
The role of influencers has become key in brand communication.
Social media opened the world of communication because it connects people. Digital media giants like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have been transforming the communication industry for years.
People spend most of their time online where they consume content.
Zenith’s Global Intelligence report for Q3 2018 says Facebook has 15.5 billion users per day with global reach 53.6%; Google and YouTube mobile search has 75.6% global reach; and, Twitter has 335 million monthly users and +11% grow of daily users, meaning existing users have become more active.
In addition to the growth of social media, let's take a look at the six key reasons why you need influencers to help you grow your business:
# 1 The human behind the human
Human insights help to build communication strategy and messages for a targeted audience. We use data to analyze people’s behavior — how and why people act in a certain way, what trends they watch, what content they read. Those insights allow us to know what influencers people follow. Thus, leading us to choose the right influencers for our brand. This means that influencers help us build human-to-human communication.
#2 Influence impact on brands and people
Everyone has a voice on social networks and can express an opinion online. This way people have become influencers themselves, having their own group of friends, colleagues, followers.
Public figures, of course, have bigger followers and their messages reach to wider audience. Celebrities have the power to spread social messages for a cause, start a movement or promote a product. According to The Impact of Celebrity Endorsement on Strategic Brand Management, “there is a 98% correlation between the success of celebrity endorsement of brands and the power of the brand in the market place.”
#3 The video influence
There is a new type of influencers. Now, there are more than 1.9 billion people who visit YouTube each month. Video content is engaging and more interesting because it doesn’t require too much commitment time. In 30 to 40 seconds, you can tell an inspiring story.
YouTubers create reviews from tech gadgets, through beauty tutorials to blockchain platform reviews.
Even, Instagram has changed its features — with its stories the platform is encouraging consumers to focus more on the video content.
#4 It’s all about engagement
In digital communication earned media has a critical role in both appearance and engagement.
Engagement is what brands are most looking at in their communication campaigns. They want consumers to engage with their products or services. For example, to make a brand message viral (Oreo’s blackout tweet during the Super Bowl in 2013), to join a movement (Always’ LikeAGirl campaign), or to become brand’s advocates (Lady Gaga’s monsters).
According to neuroscience study sponsored by MSL on how the brain engages with and reacts to different forms of digital media, earned articles delivered nearly 3.5 X the purchase intent as traditional digital Ads.
The mix of earned and shared media is the engagement we are seeking from influencers. Content with shareable buttons within the human experience encourage shareable actions. To turn non-believers to believers and loyal fans, and loyalist to advocates that naturally can be brand’s voice publically.
#5 Micro-influencers bring added-value and loyalty
Engagement has become a critical point for measuring campaign’s results that opened a new segment for influencers - the so-called micro-influencers. These are popular personas who have grown an audience by their own and based on the content they share. People follow them because of the content. People go back to their profile because of the content they share. Micro-influencers are an emerging trend because their fans are more loyal and engage more with the content.
At Cision, EMIA president Abe Smith says brands will need to get smarter about how they measure the ROI of influencer spend, beyond cost and number of followers: “PR professionals will start to select influencers to work with based on how closely aligned their audience is with their target market, even if they have a far smaller number of followers. As more and more brands look to incorporate purpose into their very nature, any influencers they work with will have to reflect that purpose.”
Everything around influencer marketing is strongly linked to a brand’s trust, transparency, accountability and ROI.
#6 Influencers are supporting brand messages awareness
Influencers help brand messages become popular a lot faster.
When we have a global celebrity as an influencer, we talk about brand messages going globally. We can have a smaller scale influencer who is also very popular among their fans and followers. There are those influencers who have started as bloggers and social influencers and have turned to a global celebrity because they have succeeded to maintain and grow audience because of the content they share. Such example is The blond salad’s founder and fashion trend-setter Chiara Ferragni.
Of course, let’s not forget that influencers are people like all of us. They also have feelings and emotions and a private life. Their professional expertise may be to review products or to discuss a topic, but at the end of the day they do have a family and they go home in the evening.
If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon of influencer marketing, now is the time to rethink it. There's a tremendous opportunity for the growth of your business when you engage with influencers.
What has your experience with influencers been?