Are you currently trying to convince your boss to diversify the company marketing campaigns? Perhaps it’s you that’s skeptical about diverting funds from traditional advertising to influencer marketing?  It’s understandable to balk at any kind of new investment. However, influencer marketing is becoming an essential tool for businesses of all sizes, regardless of budget. Consider these top seven reasons why it’s time to start an influencer marketing focused campaign.

1. Influencer Marketing Offers Solid Returns

You need to squeeze the most out of every penny of your marketing budget, so it makes sense to invest where returns are promising. Businesses that understand influencer marketing techniques have the potential for a healthy return on investment (ROI).

2. There Are Plenty of Tools Available

Influencer marketing is a challenge. Searching online for the right influencers, making contact and building strong relationships takes time and effort. It’s essential to avoid pitfalls, such as partnering with influencers who don’t suit your brand or influencers who have faked their success. Fortunately, there are tools and resources to help you craft a successful marketing campaign:

  • Influencer marketing platforms: Software platforms like IZEA make it easier for marketers and influencers to connect. Some platforms are self-service, providing the forum for communication and negotiations. Other platforms have a more hands-on approach. The most comprehensive platforms also offer content management services, so you have the tools to schedule campaigns and analyze data.
  • Influencer discovery programs: If you want to cast your net wider than the registered users of a marketplace, there are influencer discovery tools instead. These allow you to make targeted searches to find the influencers that fit your marketing needs.
  • Social listening tools: Just want to know who’s talking about what? Social listening tools are great for identifying trends, finding out what kind of content people like and finding the influencers who specialize in that type of content. If you can identify influencers who talk about products related to your particular field, you’re one step closer to finding the right influencer for your campaign. This makes getting your campaign up and running more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Campaign tools: There are many campaign tools to help you schedule and promote your content. Data-driven campaigns that involve analyzing the data to make subsequent marketing decisions also require a good range of analytics tools.

3. Influencers Are Real People

Influencers have built loyal audiences. Fans trust what their favorite content creators have to say; and that trust is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. A large part of this is because influencers are easy to relate to, as most don’t have the same star power as traditional celebrities. Fans believe the influencers in much the same way they would believe a close friend or family member. In fact, 70 percent of YouTube subscribers relate to creators more than traditional celebrities, according to Google research. Additionally, 40 percent of millennial YouTube subscribers believe creators understand them better than friends.

This level of trust and understanding has important knock-on effects for brands the influencers promote. When an authentic content creator promotes a brand, that brand immediately becomes more trusted within that creator’s fan base. However, it’s essential to maintain authenticity, which comes from a mutual respect between brand and creator.

4. Influencers Influence

The clue is in the job title: Influencers know how to influence. They build strong relationships with their audiences. Engagement is a key factor. By interacting with fans, influencers create bonds that translate into lasting loyalty. The results speak for themselves. Study after study suggests that teens are more likely to trust the words from an influencer than a celebrity.

5. You Don’t Need the Biggest Influencers

Certain influencers are in high demand, and charge accordingly. Fortunately, influencer marketing is a diverse space and the right influencer for your campaign isn’t always the one with the largest audience or biggest star appeal. It’s possible to create highly successful campaigns using micro-influencers who have just a few thousand followers. It all depends on what you hope to achieve, and what you do with the content afterwards:

  • Find a niche: If you have a niche business with a very select type of customer, you don’t need massive reach. It’s more important to find an influencer with followers who fall within your target demographic. A focused group of people very likely to engage with your brand is much more valuable than a large number of people seeing the content.
  • Engage an audience: Interestingly, micro-influencers often generate more engagement with their followers. This is because their niche is much more targeted.
  • Share the content: You don’t just have to rely on your influencer’s audience. Great content deserves to be shared. Reuse it on your home page, repeat it in newsletters and share it on your own social media sites to improve the reach and engagement levels.

6. Consumers Are Blocking Your Traditional Adverts

The money you spend on traditional advertising is money wasted if nobody sees it. Unfortunately, the rise of ad-blocking software is making it increasingly difficult for your adverts to find an audience. Influencer marketing conveniently sidesteps ad-blocking techniques, as the sales message is part of the valuable content that consumers want to see. Put your brand message in the hands of influencers, and consumers actively search for your advertising rather than using software to avoid it.

7. Influencer Marketing Is Growing

You may not be keen to get involved with influencer marketing, but your competition is. Consider these statistics:

  • Over 2 in 5 Marketers plan to invest more resources and budget to Influencer Marketing in 2020 vs. 2019
  • Specific industries such as video games and beauty are relying heavily on influencers. Fifty-seven percent of companies in fashion and beauty already work with influencers, according to Fashion and Beauty Monitor.
  • In 2017, the influencer marketing industry was estimated at $2 billion. The estimate for 2020 is a staggering $10 billion, according to Adweek.

Put simply: The marketing world isn’t going to wait for you. If you don’t start working on influencer marketing focused campaigns, you’re going to get left behind. The time to take action is now.