The Importance of Influencer Marketing - Social Industries | Managed Social Media Advertising The Importance of Influencer Marketing - Social Industries | Managed Social Media Advertising

The Importance of Influencer Marketing

The world is a competitive place and although the arena remains the same, the competition continues to grow. If your business is still marketing in a traditional manner, you’re a lap behind the race. If you are marketing digitally, you still won’t win.

The savviest of today’s marketers realize that the power may truly be out of their hands as more and more are turning the keys over to what the industry calls “influencers.” But just how important are these people? Companies report an ROI of $6.50 for every dollar spent.


What is an Influencer?

Reaching near heights of celebrity, influencers are just people that can influence things. They are also individuals that are considered to be an authority or thought leader in their industry (it doesn’t have to be yours). They have the power of commanding attention and convincing people they want to buy your stuff.

A prime example of an influencer for the finance industry, for instance, would be Warren Buffet. People listen to him about money because he has proven he knows what he is talking about. Cha-ching! Influencer marketing takes these people and uses them as a brand’s calling card. How much do you think you would sell in stock if Buffet told everyone to buy from you? Exactly.

Influencer marketing encompasses several steps. It takes work to get the right people to not only like your brand but love it enough they shout it from the hilltops. Steps for successful influencer marketing include:

  1. Identifying key individuals that not only resonate with your brand, but your audience as well.
  2. Marketing your brand to the influencers you discovered.
  3. Supporting influencers that market your brand and calling them to action.
  4. Turning influencers into loyal brand advocates.

Of course, there can be many more links in the chain, but the idea is that you are courting normal people. You want to encourage them to be as passionate about your product or service as much as you are. Total conversion comes when they would recommend you over anyone in the market. That is true advocacy.


Identifying an Influencer

It’s actually quite easy to identify the people in your industry that wield influence over the masses. They are typically those that others look to for advice or guidance. You’ll know this because they are a voice in the industry through channels like blogs, social media, websites, podcasts, etc. Just look at the comment sections. They’re never empty.

However, be careful not to confuse reach with influence. Brands often fall into the trap that the number of followers is indicative of influence. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you aren’t sure if someone is influential, consider the following key points:

  • Engagement: Look at some of the influencer’s posts on social media to determine whether they are engaged with their audience. If they are simply spewing streams of content and ignoring every comment, you probably don’t want to put your precious brand in their hands.
  • Relevance: Does the content shared by the influencer connect with your brand and message? If there is even a modicum of doubt, you know the answer.
  • Quality: Is the influencer taking their time with what they say and putting thought into their leadership? (nudge nudge “thought leader”) Or are they pumping content into Buffer? One way to determine quality is site ranking. If an influencer’s site ranks high, it’s a good indication they are actually influential and not just claiming to be so.

You should also be looking for experts. Every industry has key influencers that everyone has identified as so. The “professional” influencers are the first you should be seeking to connect with and follow.

Why are Influencers Important?

There must be a method to this madness. The reason why people go crazy for influencer marketing is because of how incredibly effective it is in both a brand growing and ROI building way.

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There are only so many people that can influence others so it’s like scoring a friendship with the popular kid at school. You know some way, somehow, that’ll probably pay off. But talk is cheap. Consider some of the following statistics:

It’s apparent that influencer marketing has a massive effect on consumers as well as your bottom line. There is so much more, however, than just a monetary payout for finding the right influencers. They can also add to the depth of your brand and message.

Builds Consumer Trust

92% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even when they don’t know them) over that of a brand. And why wouldn’t you trust someone like a friend over a corporate message? It’s almost human nature. Influencers don’t appear to want to “sell” anything but, rather, act as a trusted friend or family member trying to help. It feels organic and that builds consumer trust.

Meets Marketing Goals

Questions of attribution while prices skyrocket have many marketers scrambling to prove their worth. Influencer marketing helps meet KPIs because it is easy to track. By focusing on deeper engagements, you can look at metrics like conversions, engagement rates, sentiments, clicks, etc.

Influencer marketing is actually one of the most cost-effective channels for brands with a 37% higher retention rate than other acquisition channels. It surpasses email, paid search, organic search, and display.


Drives SEO

An influencer marketing strategy also significantly boosts a brand’s search rankings. That’s because consumers who seek out brand information on social media are also using search engines in their decision-making process.

In fact, 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 brands are user-generated social posts. (*cough—influencers *cough). It’s simple. The more influencers talk about your brand, the more it will pop up in search results. Voila!

Circumvents Ad Blocking

47% of online customers use ad block technology. People are dissatisfied with digital advertising and they will do anything to avoid it. Influencer marketing cuts through advertising with relevant and authentic messaging. A highly-visible message from a trusted and welcome source will win every time.

Focused Targeting

51% of marketers report that through influencer marketing they are able to acquire better customers by reaching a more diverse and varied audience. You can use different influencers depending on your needs. Some product categories may require different people to explain to the masses. It’s ok! You’re not cheating on anyone. Influencer marketing is about working together to get the information out there to the right consumers who will be motivated to buy.

Effective Influencer Strategy

67.6% of marketers consider finding relevant influencers their largest influencer marketing challenge. You can’t just pluck people out of thin air! When brainstorming your list of possible people, make sure you have some means of keeping track. Whether it is a spreadsheet or a software program, it’s important to be consistent about tracking your influencers.

It’s difficult to measure true influence and a lot of firms out there are still having difficulty determining the return on investment for influencer marketing. Since influencer marketing became popular, there have been countless studies on how best to determine ROI. The answer is that it all depends on the brand’s intent. It’s an open-ended concept.


Partnering with an influencer provides a range of benefits you won’t find anywhere else. From increased awareness to building trust, they’re still driving ROI. Consumers are leery, and the internet is rife with bad deals. Do you blame them for trusting other people more than a perceived company? So, you have to play along.

Ultimately, influencer marketing is about people connecting with people. You don’t even have to put in as much at marketing as you once did. You just have to convince other people to like your brand and talk about it. Although it seems simple, you must be diligent with your efforts.

Influencers are not easily swayed. The best way to court an influencer is with quality content and a consistent brand message. A mutually beneficial relationship, where the endgame rewards the consumer, is a win-win equation that works every time.