As the world becomes more digitally connected, influencer marketing is quickly rising to the forefront of effective marketing strategies for brands. Based on the trust garnered by traditional word-of-mouth marketing, influencers bring that idea into the digital realm.
Lord & Taylor realized the impact of influencer marketing first-hand when they used Instagram influencers for a campaign. The dress they promoted on their individual accounts sold out before the weekend was through. Influencer marketing campaigns are especially successful for retail companies like Lord & Taylor for multiple reasons.
Builds brand trust
Consumers today are more wary of the messaging that is distributed from by brands. Of course, a company is going to tell you their product is the best, but to hear that from a peer is far more valuable to consumers.
Avoids consumer resentment
Similarly, consumers tend to resent when their newsfeeds or articles are filled with overbearing paid promotions from brands. While it may be a product they are interested in, the constant push of brand-distributed content turns many people away.
Appeals to first-time purchasers
For consumers that are looking to purchase a product for the first time, research and review are two key components of the buyer’s journey. Influencers can help consumers with both of these factors. Leveraging the trust already built between a consumer and an influencer helps a brand convert a potential consumer into a current customer.
Meets consumers on their preferred channel
Influencer marketing campaigns don’t necessarily need to be limited to just one channel. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and blogs are all fair game when it comes to developing a strategy that will work for you.
Found on all devices
While the research and review phase is an incredibly important part of the buyer’s journey, it’s also important to be able to reach them when they are ready to make decisions. This doesn’t always occur when a consumer is at home in front of the computer or TV. In fact, the number of consumers that access the internet on their phones has now surpassed the number of desktop users. Influencers can easily create and post content that will be seen on the most popular websites, including relevant blogs and social media channels.
Leverages the power of visuals
When a consumer hears information, they’ll remember only 10 percent of it a few days later. However, if it’s accompanied by an image, they’ll remember 65 percent of the information. When consumers see visuals, they grasp concepts far more quickly than when just seeing text. Because influencer marketing is organically based on platforms that support images and videos, your brand is automatically a step ahead of the game.
Moreover, the rise of video is playing an important role in how influencer marketing influences retail sales. Videos create a truly authentic experience between the influencer and the brand. Unboxing videos are also a great way to reach consumers that may be new or hesitant to invest in your product. These videos reveal exactly what comes with a product, and are a great way to explain items that may be slightly more complicated to a new audience.
Think of all the time consumers spend on researching products, seeking referrals, or trying different products. This can lead to an enormous sum of time and money spent to finally find the right product. Influencer marketing can help minimize that waste. Each influencer has a very specific following, one that shares similar ideas, values, and needs. If a product is right for an influencer, it’s probably right for his followers as well.
Word-of-mouth referrals are extremely hard to track. Digital referrals, whether they come in the form of an unboxing video, an Instagram post, or a detailed blog, make correlating digital tactics and influencer posts far easier. For marketing teams, that data is invaluable because it shows both what is working and what the return on investment is on their tactics.
Finally, influencer campaigns are easily scalable depending on a brand’s goals. For those that aim to increase brand awareness, an influencer with a massive following will be the answer. A brand trying to grow a new customer segment may look for a niche blogger that will fit its needs. With defined goals, an influencer marketing campaign can be scaled to meet any need.
In 2017, your marketing strategy should consist of content and influencer marketing tactics. Retail companies especially will realize exactly how much this type of marketing will influence their product sales.