Over the past few years, influencer marketing has grown from a concept into a fully-fledged market. Its advent and growth was triggered by technological advancements like streaming and the newfound need for non-traditional and remote ways to consume media.
Today, influencers with millions of followers do more than post engaging content online – they also work with brands in marketing campaigns. Working with influencers has opened up new avenues for companies, allowing them to drive traffic to their platforms and boost their sales. Here is a closer look at influencer endorsements and their impacts.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that leverages the influence and reach of personalities with sizable social media followings. Called influencers, these individuals often have a loyal and large following in a specific niche, such as pet care, food and nutrition, beauty and makeup, or sports and gaming. This dynamic gives them the power to influence the opinions and purchasing decisions of their followers. In influencer marketing, brands leverage this influence to get people to buy their products.
Influencer marketing is targeted, which means it has the ability to reach a wider audience than traditional promotions. It also often focuses on a particular niche. In igaming, for instance, online casino providers often collaborate with celebrities and influencers to drive traffic to their sites. One such endorsement deal is the one Nicki Minaj has with MaximBet. Other celebrities like Cristiano Ronaldo and 50 Cent have also worked with igaming brands.
Here, these brands leverage the influence these individuals have in the sports, gaming, and entertainment niches to highlight the best real money casino sites and drive traffic to them. 50 Cent, for instance, is famous for making large sports bets and winning massive pots.
Influencer-Driven Sales and Consumer Trust
Influencer endorsements and marketing campaigns are highly successful and one of the most sought-after monetization avenues for digital creators. In fact, according to Forbes, over 2 million professional influencers across the globe earned a 6-figure salary from Twitch, Instagram, and YouTube in 2020. Much of this income was drawn from endorsements with sponsored influencers being valued at $billion that year. The interest by major and small brands is because influencing drives site traffic.
Because they have millions of loyal, regular followers, influencers are instantly able to reach a wide market. Their authority within their niche is also sufficient enough to get followers to check out a brand – much more than a cold email or pop up ad. In fact, Crowdriff reports that about 7 in every 10 online consumers trust influencers, bloggers, and vloggers more than customer reviews on brand experience. Buyers are even 12 times more likely to trust a marketing campaign led by an influencer than a brand.
This information is crucial considering that, in 2018, 30 percent of consumers reported purchasing services or products through social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. This number has only grown since, especially in the wake of movement restrictions.
Optimizing Influencer Marketing Campaigns
But influencer endorsements do more than get people to visit an ecommerce platform. They can also boost sales and conversions. For instance, a beauty influencer may try a skin product over a duration, documenting their experience to their viewers.
When they announce the positive results, they may recommend that their viewers use a specific promotion code to purchase the product for themselves. Buyers who go through this route will usually receive a discounted price – an added perk to boost sales. The influencer may also receive a commission for every purchase – a reward for their work.
This example shows that influencer endorsements have to be strategically crafted to benefit all the parties involved. If you are planning an influencer marketing campaign, you are more likely to get positive results – more traffic, sales, and conversion – if you consider the following factors:
1. Relevance and Engagement
First and foremost, the influencer you are considering for your campaign must have a significant following in the same niche as your brand. You may veer a little – Nicki Minaj is not a professional sports bettor but she has a strong following and appeal among the contemporary igaming community. However, it is important that you do not veer too far. A professional esports gamer with no pets might be the best marketer for an esports-themed Nike shoe but nor for dog food.
It is also important that the content of your marketing campaign feel genuine, natural, and authentic to the influencer’s audience. If ad blockers have taught us anything is that consumers hate spammy ads. They will however respond to an endorsement that feels like an extension of their influencer’s values, content, and tone.
Finally, you should never just trust that a marketing campaign is doing well. You need to monitor your numbers, including your sales, engagements, and traffic. How many people are liking, sharing, and commenting on your posts? How many visits to your site are yielding sales? Analyzing these numbers will help you adjust your campaign as you go so that you make the most of your brand-influencer relationship.
Wrapping Up: The Future of Influencing
Influencer marketing has grown rapidly over the past few years in part due to a gap in the market and in part due to technological advancements in the digital space. Partnering with influential social media stars is now a viable way to get people to see, trust, and engage with your brand.
As the digital space morphs, the influencer marketing sector will also change. Possible factors that could shape this market include shifts to newer alternative platforms, micro-influencers, generative AI and the debate between speed and authenticity, and the new age of the internet – the Metaverse.