By Linda Carvalho, Account Director at MSM DesignZ, Inc.
Influencer marketing has taken the world by storm over the past few years. With the number of social media users on the rise it makes sense that companies are looking for ways to be seen. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are the major platforms for social media influencers. Social media influencers are similar to celebrities who do endorsements but they are normal people with a large following. By using an influencer, brands now have the power to leverage word-of-mouth through someone that consumers already look up to and value their opinion.
1- Repeat your message
Social media is turning the old way of marketing on its head. A brand has the power to reach audiences they wouldn’t normally market to based on influential bloggers. In 2015, Lord & Taylor jumped on the social media bandwagon by partnering with 50 influential Instagram fashionistas to introduce their Design Lab collection. All 50 wore the same dress and posted about it the same day. In one week, the dress was sold out.
Now, I personally would find it annoying to see the same fashion bloggers posting the same dress, and maybe a little curious, but that was Lord & Taylor’s intention. According to their CMO Michael Crotty, “The goal was to make her stop in her feed and ask why all her favorite bloggers are wearing this dress and what is Design Lab? Using Instagram as that vehicle is a logical choice, especially when it comes to fashion.”
When all of my favorite YouTubers and Instagram makeup artists are using the same product, I have to give it a try. I was a target. They aimed, and I bought. I’ll admit that some of the products just didn’t do it for me, but it makes up for the ones I use daily. All because of “normal” people I follow on social media. When an influencer talks about a product they usually let their audience know it’s a sponsored post. Not all the reviews are standing ovations of the product, which gives the blogger credibility. The audience appreciates real opinions on products, whether it’s good or bad. In my opinion, it’s cost effective as well because if it didn’t work for them, why should it work for me? It saves time and money, and people appreciate that.
2- Cut the clutter
Research shows that the average American is exposed to over 5,000 ads a day so it’s no wonder people are paying more not to see them. Many companies are now offering ad free experiences such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Spotify Premium. However, consumers are being solicited through these social media influencers in a non-advertising way. The look and feel of the posts, whether video or picture, don’t feel like an ad to their followers but just a “hey! Look what I bought! I love it and you’ll love it too! (Insert heart eye emoji and discount code here)”.
3- Use a promo code to track effectiveness
The infamous discount code is being utilized with almost every paid sponsorship and it’s a great way to partner with an influencer. When this unique discount code is used on the company’s website, the blogger gets paid a certain percentage. This also acts as a data tool for brands to track who visits their site, which code is being used by whose followers, and who is ultimately clicking through to purchase.
4- Improve your SEO
On top of brand awareness and improving sales, using an influencer can help your SEO. Think about it, an influencer mentions a brand they love, their followers are going to do a search for that product to find out more. The more people are searching your brand and products, the more relevant your brand becomes on Google. Whenever I see a beauty product I like, I immediately go to Google to look at color swatch images. Afterwards, I’ll go to my favorite beauty site and purchase or save the product to my wish list. Either way, the product gets on my radar and it’s all because of my favorite beauty gurus.
5- Get on the list
Even indie brands should try this form of marketing to get their products out there. Social media influencers almost always have a contact email or mailing address to send samples for reviews. Many of the current trending videos consist of “monthly favorites” and your product could be on their list!