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It’s definitely an influencer economy. Consumers are now in charge of the store, the buyer’s journey, and all communication preferences. If there’s any doubt, just check out brands like Arby’s, Gap, and Mercedes-Benz, who have shown how effective an influencer marketing strategy has been over the past year. And if you need even more proof, influencer marketing strategy was recently featured in a segment called “The Influencers” on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

So, why is influencer marketing strategy so vital to content marketing strategies? We’ve got 15 good reasons:

Why You Should Add An Influencer Marketing Strategy to Your 2017 Budget

  1. Consumers aren’t interested in traditional marketing tactics anymore. They would rather put their trust in spokespeople—especially YouTube stars—because they seem more credible than brand advertising.
  2. Word-of-mouth marketing boosts brand identity and recognition through stories about people, instead of just the brand.
  3. Brands can launch new products, communicate important milestones, and increase awareness.
  4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as views, reach, and engagement rates all spike because audiences feel connected to the influencer and follow loyally.
  5. Influencers have the charisma to create reactions and mobilize opinions through unscripted dialogue and impromptu promotions.
  6. B2B buyers rely heavily on peer opinions and reviews, and appreciate authentic influencer input.
  7. B2C influencers engage consumers, improve brand awareness, and boost sales.
  8. Emerging social platforms provide more opportunities for consumer engagement with influencers.
  9. Influencer marketing is considerably less costly than other promotional tactics.
  10. Influencer marketing can reach interested target audiences more effectively for active engagement.
  11. It’s one of the strongest marketing tools available, delivering 11x the ROI of a banner ad.
  12. Any brand or business can easily implement an influencer marketing strategy with relatively little ramp-up production or expense.
  13. Influencers help boost your SEO because they often have their own highly rated websites that get high exposure, giving your brand that desirable halo effect.
  14. New audiences become available to companies utilizing an influencer marketing strategy due to the influencer’s reach and exposure.
  15. The likeability factor goes through the roof for brands who grab the tail of the influencer comet by featuring a popular influencer. Authenticity is critical, and consumers will be more inclined to engage with brands.

Influencer Marketing Strategies Are All About Trust

Today’s companies must adopt a proactive and innovative approach to their marketing. This allows brands to separate themselves from others.

There are many concrete reasons to implement influencer marketing strategies into the content marketing mix. One intangible factor—trust—might be the most valuable of all.

Brands that establish trust with a consumer, forge a strong bond important to both parties. Influencer marketing is the perfect strategy for strengthening customer loyalty.

When a brand finds the right person as an influencer, that’s when the real magic happens—not to mention increased sales, improved ROI, and the mercurial factor of customer loyalty. Savvy brands will implement, or strengthen, their influencer marketing strategies not only because it’s fun, but because it will outdistance most other inbound tactics.