Growing a wide fan base on social media isn’t always easy. With regular, relevant content and a strategic approach to promotion, you may end up with a solid, loyal audience. But truly reaching new markets can be difficult, especially when you’ve plateaued in growth.
This is why part of your digital strategy should integrate influencer marketing. This is a type of marketing wherein “influencers” — people or accounts with relatively large followings — help you promote your upcoming products, events or just help create brand awareness. Influencers may come from your current sphere of interest, or they may be strategic partnerships you create that reach outside your area of influence.
Why is Influencer Marketing So Effective?
The reason influencer marketing is so effective is that it helps drive your brand’s message to places you can’t. Thought leaders who believe in your brand can help you get the word and act as ambassadors for you, and in a world where banner ads and traditional methods are ineffective and overlooked, many consider influencer marketing to be the next big thing in advertising.
Thanks to social media, influencers are not hard to find. You don’t have to know major celebrities or heads of state. Quite often, they’re regular people or fellow brands with somewhat large followings on social media. Influencers may be paid per “ad”, or you can offer freebies or cross-promotion to them as incentive.
Check out a few examples of influencer marketing at work:
Lagavulin Whiskey Enlists Nick Offerman
In an effort to make its single malt whiskey more “culturally relevant,” Lagavulin created a campaign with Nick Offerman. Because he identifies both with younger generations, he was the perfect influencer to represent the brand. Check out the “Yule Log” video below, where he simply sits in silence, drinking the whiskey next to a warm fire. This spot won the Shorty Award for Best Influencer & Celebrity Campaign and has now garnered over 3 million views on YouTube.
Wear Yellow for Seth
When the parents of Seth, a child with a life-threatening disease, asked the internet to share a picture of them wearing yellow, many of their friends and family joined in. But it wasn’t long before celebrity influencer Ashton Kutcher discovered and promoted the campaign that it got worldwide attention. This is a shining example that it doesn’t take money or power to find influencers – sometimes they come to you.
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) March 27, 2015
Last year, Adidas created an influencer marketing campaign focused which asked young people to submit photos on Instagram with the #MyNeoShoot hashtag. According to Amigobulls, the strategy helped the sports brand increase their sales by 24.2%, while Nike experienced a 9.1% drop in sales. Adidas’ influencer was Selena Gomez, who helped popularize the hashtag.
Any brand or company can and should incorporate influencers within their strategy. They can be some of your biggest allies and strongest supporters, and they can often do more than a big advertising budget.