Is influencer marketing worth the effort?

The world we live in is growing more connected with each passing day. Since the advent of the internet, many new channels for marketing have arisen, from social media to search-based content marketing. One of the most topical means for online marketing in the past year is influencer targeting.

So, what exactly is influencer marketing, and is it worth the energy?

Defining influencer marketing

Without the right market, your campaigns risk falling on dead ears or gaining little-to-no traction. This is why careful market selection is so vital when designing a strategy.

Influencer marketing is about narrowing your selected market down so far as to specifically target key members of your audience. These members – influencers – should hold considerable power within your broader target audience so when they publicly support your brand, others follow suit. This organic endorsement of your brand creates a kind of social proof similar to word-of-mouth advertising.

Customers are constantly connected to influencers via their smart phones.
Customers are constantly connected to influencers via their smart phones.

Does influencer marketing work?

Research certainly suggests that influencers have the potential to massively drive sales.

Purchase intent was shown to increase by 5.2 times when users were exposed to tweets from both influencers and brands, as opposed to just 2.7 times after seeing tweets from brands alone, according to research published by Twitter. Furthermore, 49 per cent of users trust recommendations from influencers – only 7 per cent fewer than those who would only seek guidance from friends.

In particular, influencer marketing has enormous potential for Australian hospitality businesses. Influencers may be able to drive 61-87 per cent of social posting about restaurants and tourism venues, says Hootsuite.

Lastly, marketing platform HubSpot reports that in 2016, influencer marketing outperformed other channels in the following metrics:

  • Google AdWords: Click-through rate, cost per click, cost per acquisition.
  • Google Display Network: Click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per acquisition.
  • Facebook Advertising: Click-through rate.

It’s clear that influencers have the power to not only expand the reach of your campaigns, but to drive real results. So how can you include influencers in your market strategy?

Influencer marketing generates a form of social proof to vouch for your brand.
Influencer marketing generates a form of social proof to vouch for your brand.

Preparing to engage influencers

One of the most important aspects to remember when preparing an influencer marketing campaign is legitimacy. If you’re supporting influencers who are only promoting your brand as a means of revenue, your campaign will likely appear transparent and have minimal impact.

It’s important to take the time to find influencers with whom you can establish a symbiotic relationship. Articulate your brand’s core values and your audience’s pain points to find an intersection where potential influencers lie. A certain influencer may have an enormous following but if they and their followers don’t genuinely relate to your brand, the campaign has been misdirected.

Identifying the right influencers is complicated and time-consuming. While you’re focusing on your influencer campaigns, don’t neglect your other channels. Purchase mailing lists from Lead Lists to take the legwork out of your direct marketing campaigns today.