Taking Your Business to the Next Level Using Influencer Marketing

Apr 05, 2024
Taking Your Business to the Next Level Using Influencer Marketing
The $22 billion marketing industry is worth

Digital marketing has comfortably outpaced traditional advertising. It is the default for all marketing and advertising in today's business landscape. And like its predecessor, it comes with various marketing options and channels. Currently, influencer marketing is proving to be one of the most potent digital marketing strategies for businesses and brands.

A report by Statista showed that the global influencer market surpassed $15 billion in value in 2022 and is on course to reach $22 billion in 2025. This rapid growth is proof that marketing teams are swiftly catching on to the impact of influencers on the decisions of their followers.

In a sense, with influencers, part of the work of marketing is already done. Most influencers have an established niche with a proven audience interested in all content within that space. With influencer marketing, brands don't need to spend a ton of their marketing budget to run extensive ad experiments to build their ideal target audience since credible influencers essentially come with in-built social proof.

The expansion of digitalization and the growing preference for video content have something to do with this reality, too. They've helped to open the door for influencer marketing to take center stage as the go-to marketing move for brands and businesses that want to cut to the chase and reach their ideal customers where they are. Unsurprisingly, there are a plethora of influencer marketing platforms that have popped up to help marketers and brands find and connect much easier to the influencers that fit their brand, products, and services. However, some influencer agencies are approaching influencing in revolutionary ways.

"Influencing is unique because people follow and respond to people they love and respect. When an influencer advocates for your brand through well thought-out and inspiring content, it inadvertently turns their followers into your brand advocates, slowly building a loyal community for your brand," says James Hacking, the founder of Socially Powerful, a full-suite social marketing agency.

Still, there is a caveat: The potency of influencing is contingent on quality content. Without it, even the right influencer might fall short. The real value in influencing and wider social marketing is in the creative and not just in finding the right influencer. The truth is that except in the case of ultra celebrities who can influence just about anything, relatively small or niche influencers will be harming themselves and your brand if they put out subpar or inauthentic content that risks denting their reputation or lowering your brand's credibility. And remember, the internet never forgets, which is why reputation damage control is an expensive endeavor.

As powerful as influencer marketing is, it is worth noting that it can be a double-edged sword and can hurt your business as much as it can help it, and there are several ways this could occur. If your content doesn't align with current industry and media trends or doesn't keep pace with cultural shifts, it could flop and you would have wasted your time and money.

As bad as that is, it can get worse, and any marketing team knows this. One wrong word or deed from the brand or its representatives in your influencer marketing content or anywhere across the entire marketing campaign can backfire massively.

Sometimes, it may not even be your brand's content. Because we live in a socially driven global community, brands have to be ultra-vigilant to discover what people are saying about them online and make immediate efforts in their marketing and social engagements to rectify them.

It is pertinent that businesses do not neglect the power of social influence on their brand. Imagine a world where a leading name like Gordon Ramsey goes online to criticize a food brand and the brand is unaware or doesn't do anything about it; the damage to such a brand could be irreparable. In early 2024, Keith Lee, a popular TikTok food aficionado and critic, posted a video in which he rated a local restaurant's food favorably. This video caused a massive inflow of customers for the small business in a couple of days. However, it was soon discovered that Lee had given the restaurant's owner about $4,000 to share between herself and some others in and around her business premises, but she kept all the money for herself. Lee and hundreds of others posted about this on social media, and this bad publicity just as quickly drove the restaurant out of business.

To wrap it all up, influencer marketing is an essential element of any effective marketing campaign for several reasons: it's relatively cheap, shortens the marketing process, and is powerful for brand growth, awareness, and conversion. But to make it work, you need the right type of content that aligns culturally and socially with current and evolving trends while being honest and transparent about your brand. That is the only formula for influencer marketing success.

Source: inc