Influencer marketing, especially working with bloggers, is one of the aspects I love most about the communications landscape today. At GFM we talk a lot about bloggers – from ones with huge national reach to the best bloggers closer to home here in Colorado – because we’ve seen firsthand, measurable impact from influencer campaigns. I find the good ones to be professional, creative, patient and extremely hardworking. I personally define “the good ones” less on their reach, though that is extremely important, but more so by how well they know their brand, audience and most importantly, stay true to those things rather than becoming a product review monger.
Impact of Influencer Marketing on Consumers
A few weeks ago a colleague shared a great article with me, “Influencer content accounts for almost 20% of consumer media consumption,” and I’ve come back to it numerous times. The statistics that caught my attention include:
- More than 50% of the 1,000-people surveyed over the age of 16 made a purchase based on an influencer recommendation. This jumps to 69% when you narrow in on millennials
- The average consumer now spends one hour and 12 minutes enjoying online
- Consumers between 35 and 45 attached more importance to food influencers; 45 and older look at influencers most for health and travel recommendations
Keys to Effective Influencer Marketing
I take two primary learnings away from these findings:
- If your content creation strategy does not include working with influencers in your space, you’re likely missing huge opportunities.
- Smart marketers will make every last penny of an influencer marketing budget go the extra mile by repurposing content across multiple platforms and working with influencers to tag/target/talk to their built-in audience. No longer should a blogger outreach program live in a PR silo. Instead, gather all of the best communications’ minds around the table, including social media, digital advertising and SEO, to amplify influencer content well beyond one blog post or Instagram photo.
I share these two opinions with a big caveat. Influencer marketing only works when you work with the right people. Not every blogger is worth their sponsor/partner fee, not by a long shot. Further, once you have established and respected relationships with influencers, you shouldn’t feel nickel-and-dimed every time you share ideas or quick pieces of content with them—like a tweet about a charitable cause. The best relationships should turn into a give-and-take where you ultimately treat one another like resources—never taking advantage, while always being willing to support each other’s best interests.
The “rules” for influencer marketing are blurry at best. However, if you let the unknowns and initial setbacks (because you will have some) deter you from getting started, you’ll find it harder and harder to catch up in the long run.