As social media continues to become more integrated into our everyday lives, so too does the power of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is here to stay. Google Trends suggest searches for the term “influencer marketing” increase 5000% per month.
Social media influencers have become a big-time business, with 62% of consumers saying they trust influencers more than they do celebrities. And it’s an industry that continues to grow at an astounding rate. Six years ago, influencer marketing was a $1.7 billion industry. By the end of this year, it is projected to hit $16.4 billion.
When done right, influencer marketing is a powerful marketing strategy that can return strong results for your brand. By leveraging relationships with the right influencers, brands can effectively promote their product or service to their target audience.
With a new year on the horizon, here are ten benefits of developing a strong influencer marketing strategy for 2023:
1. Build trust with consumers
Brands understand that trust is more important to consumers than it’s ever been and social proof is driving many purchasing decisions. Consumers trust consumers and rely on authentic reviews and recommendations before they commit to buying a product. Building trust through influencer marketing allows brands to reach their audience in a new way and lets consumers know your product is trustworthy. Followers connect with your product through an influencer they trust and respect, which adds credibility and reliability to your brand. Influencers have built their following from the ground up, and followers take them at their word. It’s all about trust.
2. Increased brand awareness
Influencer marketing allows brands to connect with a highly-nurtured audience and effectively expand their reach without a lot of heavy lifting. By partnering with the right influencer, a brand gets their product in front of the right people. An influencer’s recommendation is much like one from a friend or family member. Followers value opinions of influencers they subscribe to and those opinions are a natural part of the consumer’s daily media consumption. When it’s done right, influencer marketing naturally builds brand awareness and doesn’t come off as an intrusive marketing tactic. Brand awareness is the starting point that drives leads and conversions, and the more people know about your brand, the more likely they are to buy from you.
3. Instant credibility
Trusted influencers have built a community of loyal followers that turn to them for advice and suggestions on a daily basis. When an influencer posts about your product, and your brand, your credibility increases organically. Why? Because influencers have already established trust and respect with their followers. When the influencer recommends your product to those followers and shows the product being used “out in the wild”, in everyday life, it’s social proof in action. In an era where consumer trust is at an all-time low, influencer marketing is a powerful, effective way for brands to fill the trust gap with consumers.
4. Long-term relationships with consumers
Partnering with the right influencers for the long haul not only drives increased brand awareness and trust, but creates a long-term relationship with consumers and prospects. By increasing trust and credibility with those who buy your product, influencers can help you carve out your own identity in an extremely crowded marketplace. Committing to an extended partnership with the right influencer also creates that long-term relationship with their followers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
5. Driving purchasing decisions
Consumer behavior is changing. Millennials and Gen-Zers are not responding to tradition advertising the same way previous generations did. They want a more personal shopping experience, and are turning to recommendations, reviews and referrals before they buy. By providing honest, reliable reviews and product testing, influencers have an impact on what products their followers use and trust. Parents trust the recommendations of other parents when it comes to purchasing, which is why the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval is the leader in consumer product awards. Again, it’s the power of social proof and influence. If others recommend a product, it must be good. It’s instant validation that your product can be trusted.
6. Content Marketing
Creating a strategic content plan can be both time-consuming and expensive. Collaborating with an influencer can significantly improve your content marketing. Not only do you save on additional content creation costs, but the influencer content is targeting a built-in audience while driving brand awareness and trust in your product. Content marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy, but your brand can leverage its relationship with an influencer to produce engaging, relevant content tailor-made for your audience. The influencer has spent years building their following. They know how to market to them better than anyone.
7. Direct access to your target audience
Forming a partnership with an influencer allows you reach your target audience quickly and efficiently. It’s why influencer marketing generally has higher engagement rates and better ROI than other marketing initiatives. We’ll say it again: influencers are trusted and admired by their followers, and influencer marketing instantly gets your product in front of the right audience. The ideal brand voice and a strong understanding of your customer will make your influencer marketing strategy much more effective. Like your brand, influencers have their own niche. Finding the right influencer for your brand is the first step…and the most important.
8. Cost-effective marketing
Marketing professionals are always looking for the best, and most cost-effective, ways to reach consumers. Paid ads can get very costly, and your marketing team really has no control how they perform. There’s a reason why 93% of marketers have used influencer marketing in their campaigns. One study shows influencer marketing achieved 11X the ROI than banner ads, while another showed that, on average, business earn $5.20 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. Partnering with an influencer doesn’t have to be expensive, and it isn’t always about choosing an influencer with the highest amount of followers. Teaming up with a nano or mico-influencer can be just as effective, often with higher engagement rates.
9. Influencers save you time on marketing
Not only can influencers build brand awareness and trust with your consumers, but they can also lighten your marketing workload. It’s turnkey marketing, with influencers doing most of the heavy lifting promoting your brand to their followers. Building a long-term collaboration with an influencer, as opposed to a one-off arrangement, brings stability to your brand’s positioning and allows the influencer to market your product directly to a group of followers who trust and admire them.
10. Improved SEO
Collaborating with an influencer can also have a positive impact in both your on and off-site search engine optimization (SEO). Working with an influencer is an essential part of increasing engagement and ensuring your customers are developing trust with you brand. In addition to creating high-quality content, influences generate quality backlinks to your site, increasing brand awareness and engagement, which will also help improve your SEO.
The bottom line on influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a crucial part of your marketing strategy and, as we mentioned earlier, it’s not going away anytime soon.
In fact, it’s going to keep growing. Studies show 75% of brand marketers had a dedicated influencer marketing budget in 2022.
Brands and marketers are reading the room, and understand the power of consumer influence. Consumers take consumers at their word, and parents influence the buying decisions of other parents. It’s why social proof and trust are driving purchasing decisions, and why influencer marketing is helping brands build a reputation that customers can depend on and will stand the test of time.
Looking for influencer benefits without the time commitment?
Powered by a community of more than 200,000 parents, the trusted Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval offers brands the same benefits as influencer marketing without the time commitment. Built on authentic product testing from real parents, the Seal of Approval increases brand awareness and trust while giving your product enhanced shelf appeal in-store and online. It’s why we have been recognized as the leader in consumer product awards since 2007.
Get our Seal of Approval today and inspire instant trust with millions of consumers.