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Every so often, marketers are given access to an advertising platform that offers an incredibly good return.
Typically, these platforms are new, unproven, and businesses are weary about jumping on board. Because of this, they tend to offer an unusually high return for marketers that able to figure out how to utilize them, capitalizing on the inbalance of supply and demand.
Influencer marketing right now is one of these powerful, undervalued advertising channels that even now in 2019, is still underutilized and underappreciated.
Although it is not considered anything new (celebrity endorsements have been utilized in advertising for ages), we’ve never been at a point where influencer marketing was so accessible to even the smallest of brands – it doesn’t have to cost a single dollar for you to start.
In this article, I intend to highlight some of the most compelling reasons you should begin your first influencer marketing campaign right now, or scale it up further if you’re already utilizing influencer marketing to grow your business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling a tangible or intangible product – influencer marketing can benefit your company and help you grow in the coming months.
Let’s look at some of these reasons in detail.
1. Even With Declining Reach, It’s Still A Great Deal
Perhaps the most obvious of everything I’ll list here, influencer marketing is still a great deal – both as a direct response marketing channel for immediately generating sales, as well as a channel for building brand awareness.
It’s no surprise that the reach on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have declined heavily in recent years, but despite this, influencer marketing continues to offer an incredible ROI for brands who are willing to take it seriously.
This is because there is no centralized marketplace for brands to bid on influencers – each influencer prices themselves individually. Many micro-influencers are happy to be getting any offers at all, and will not require any additional payment. Receiving your product will be enough payment to work out a deal.
Unfortunately however, this comes with a caveat – you have to spend the time actually reaching out to people and making all of these negotiations. Similarly to email outreach for link building, systematizing your messages can greatly help speed up the process.
2. You Get To Make Valuable Connections, With Rising Stars
Sometimes, this is even greater than the money you’d make on the original deal.
Building connections with people will often benefit you more in the long-term, than it will in the short-term. This doesn’t just include future sponsored posts, but it can benefit you in ways that you may not even think about right now.
For example, these people may help you out with important projects, become affiliates for your products, or even full brand ambassadors.
Back in 2016, I wrote about something called building a power base. It is like building a network, but slightly more powerful.
I strongly recommend reading over it by clicking here, because influencer marketing is a great example on how to actually do that.
My baby product brand Kinacle owes a lot of its success to its power base, and much of its power base was built off of influencer marketing deals – deals that blossomed into full on partnerships.
3. It’s A Natural Link Builder
The long-term benefits continue if SEO is a priority to you – influencer marketing campaigns also tend to result in higher search engine rankings.
These links come both directly – from influencers linking to your site on their own pages and websites, as well as indirectly via the increased attention to your brand that the campaigns attract.
Although Google urges influencers to nofollow links that are commercially incentivized, the fact of the matter is that many influencers do not nofollow these links. Sometimes this is intentional, other times it is not.
This means that influencer marketing campaigns will increase your income for years to come due to the increased traffic arriving on your landing and sales pages through search engines.
Even better, these links themselves are often worth more than whatever you paid to work with the influencer – let alone any return you received from the initial deal itself!
4. Leverage Data Collection + Social Proof
One of the beautiful things about influencer marketing for new companies in particular, is the fact that it’s a natural trust builder.
People do not need to trust your company, because they trust the influencer making the recommendation. You get to leverage their own authority, trust, and credibility to help you build your own.
This is part of the reason why influencer marketing is so effective at driving sales – you do not need to be a particularly great marketer yourself, or even have great sales pages to convert interested people into buyers (although it certainly helps.) You just need to find influencers that actually have an engaged audience, rather than just a high number of followers.
At the same time, you get to collect a lot of data about how people feel about your product. You get to learn what their first impressions are, what they love about your product, and what specifically may stop them from buying.
For example, comments such as “wish this would have come in black instead of white”, or “I would love this if shipping weren’t so high” may help you improve your offering, or give you split-testing ideas for your sales pages that you may not have thought of on your own.
5. This Deal Isn’t Going To Last Forever
Unfortunately, despite how great of a deal influencer marketing is right now, it isn’t likely to remain this way forever.
Influencers, and micro-influencers in particular are only now beginning to realize how much power they actually hold with their following. Influencers can only accept so many deals at a time, and with brands bombarding them with offers every day, it’s understandable that they are likely to raise their rates (and become more selective with who they work with.)
At the same time, social platforms are limiting the organic reach of posts, meaning your campaign is not going to actually be seen by as many people as you may hope.
This is especially true if you choose to work with influencers that do not handle their sponsored posts in a way that still drives good engagement, and is well received by their audience.
Despite declining reach, it’s been my experience that long-time influencers have not adjusted their rates to reflect this, meaning that the value is not the same as what it used to be.
While there is still plenty of opportunity to get started with influencer marketing and do very well today, it’s important that you do not put it off any longer.
There will never be a better time than right now to begin reaching out to influencers. The benefits in both the short and long term are enormous, and should not be ignored by anybody who is serious about growing their business this year.
If you’re not already pursuing an influencer marketing strategy, I hope that this article has convinced you to give it a shot. If you are utilizing influencer marketing, I encourage you to analyze what’s working for your company and put more effort into scaling it.
Because soon, you’ll wish that you had while you still had the chance.
To your success,
– James McAllister
Review the main points of this article in the SlideShare below. Feel free to embed this on your site, use it in your organization, and share it with others! All I ask is that you give credit! (Download links are available from SlideShare’s website, which you can access by clicking the LinkedIn icon)