Influencer Marketing: Is It Worth It?
Gone are the days when social media was only used for posting pictures and getting likes and comments. It is rare to check your social media handles now and not see any form of advert or promotional offer. This is because people are now aware that they can improve the performance of their business using social media. Influencers now display and advertise different types of products like clothes, makeup brands, bags to mention a few using different social media handles.
Who are Influencers?
Influencers are opinion leaders that have a large number of followers on social media and have the ability to influence their audience. In the past, they were majorly celebrities, and bloggers. Nowadays, however, different people have risen to becoming influencers by growing their following on social media.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a strategy used by businesses that want to promote their business on social media and increase brand exposure. These businesses partner with individuals, and organizations that have a perceived degree of awareness or social impact in their field, high social media following and high engagement rate to drive brand messages to their target audience. It is based on the assumption that people trust the individuals they follow. Companies may ask the influencers to post content that promotes their product, pay for advertisements, giveaways, and also generate awareness and loyalty for their brands through unpaid and paid posts.
To know whether influencer marketing is worth it, we need to know the benefits and disadvantages.
Benefits Of Influencer Marketing
- It increases brand awareness:
Most influencers have billions of viewers and millions of followers. The influencer which you partner with brings an opportunity for millions of potential customers to be aware of your product. Influencers make advertising activities genuine for a target audience, help you gain more visibility when they recommend your products, services or mention your brand.
- It drives purchase decision-making process:
Different studies have shown that a customer’s decision – making at any level is affected by influencers. According to DMI Blog statistics, 49% of respondents had made purchase decisions based on influencers’ referrals and 70% of teenagers purchased a product after seeing it on Facet, Instagram or Youtube. This reveals that people’s respect and trust for their favorite influencers make them more receptive towards the brands they promote.
- It is cheap:
Unlike the traditional advertisement which is costly and less effective, influencer marketing is cost effective. The cost is reasonable and depends on the niche and the size of audience. It also provides an avenue for new brands to compete effectively with well known brands on social media sites. According to researchers, companies earn $18 for every $1 they spend to manage, and create messages to customers via influencers.
- Influencer marketing saves time:
It reduces the time required on building a fanbase for your business, since your company is in partnership with existing players in the industry. This partnership also reduces time spent on scheduling advertisements across platforms.
- It helps increase visibility through reposts:
The content created by influencers to promote the company may be reposted or repurposed for the company marketing campaign. Also, feedback from the audience can help to improve on the product or services and also target a certain group of people.
- It is suitable for everyone and any type of business:
Influencers are experts in their fields, irrespective of the type of business you run or how big the industry is, there is opportunity to use Influencer marketing as long as the influencer who suits your needs is identified and partnered with.
- It helps brands build a long term partnership:
This is done by selecting influencers based on the audience they can influence, their field, and maintaining effective collaboration with the selected influencers. Over time, shares, reposts, and retweets multiply, providing long-lasting brand awareness.
Disadvantages of Influencer Marketing
As wonderful as the benefits of Influencer Marketing sound, there are also challenges. These include:
- Partnering with the wrong influencer does more bad than good:
If the company does not collaborate with the right influencer for its campaign, it can damage the reputation of the brand. Also, it is really hard to determine if an influencer has genuine followers.
- Mistakes made by the Influencer can cost your brand a lot:
This strategy is relatively new and there is bound to be mistakes since there is no handbook to being a successful influencer marketer. Influencer mistakes like inflating followers and engagements using bots, not disclosing that a post is sponsored and posting contents the target audience do not like may cost your brand.
- Waste of effort:
If the influencer fails to come up with a content that is suitable to catch the interest of the target audience, then the time, money and effort invested in the campaign is lost without returns to show for it.
- Influencer Fatigue:
Due to the influx of influencers, and presence of sponsored advertisements on social media, the target audience may find it really hard to decide which brands to trust, and the genuinity of the content posted by the influencer.
Is Influencer Marketing Worth It?
The challenges of Influencer marketing can ruin the reputation of a brand or company forever. However, the benefits of the strategy cannot be over-emphasized due to the wide range of audience it reaches at once, the ease of use and the long term benefits derived from its use. Influencer marketing is worth investing in. This is because it has not only helped in promoting brands to reach a larger audience, it has also provided a leverage for businesses to gain recognition. and grow with ease.
Nevertheless, you should be careful about your choice of influencer. Make sure the influencer’s followers are your target audience, check the sincerity of the influencer, check his reputation, and hope for the best.