One of the fastest growing marketing strategies in our world is the influencer marketing strategy. Why? Over the years, there has been a trust deficit that has grown by consumers for brands. Most advertising shows you only the best of the brand. This flaw is what influencers could fix through product reviews and testimonials, hence building trust between their community and the brands they mention or affiliate with.
Using influencers in that direction has climbed from just product reviews and testimonials to infiltrating a community only accessible and influenced by said influencer. This climb according to Influencer Marketing Hub (IMH) started in 2015, and as of 2017, was one of the fastest-growing online customer acquisition methods.
This growth has set the industry to grow to $9.7B in 2020. Over 90% of the people who partake in this strategy are pleased with the effects of the marketing strategy. It is and has proven to be a viable industry.
As the world moves from the large impressions that came with the initial wave of using an influencer to the actual conversions, we notice the lapses of the wrong partnerships between influencers and brands. In a survey conducted by IMH, 65% of their respondents measure the ROI from their influencer campaigns, and the most common measure of influencer marketing success is now conversions/sales.
This begs the question, who is the right influencer for you?
Asking this question is very important for you as you build your campaigns or make them a part of your always-on strategy.
A major oversight is that we do not treat these influencers as a brand in themselves. Seeing them as brands will open your eyes to their story and asking the next question, does that brand story align with yours?
Answering that question leads to selecting your brand influencers based on shared values as opposed to the numbers which they do on their platforms. This will cause the shared values campaigns to be believable to their audience and is sure to give you the desired results of conversions.
The Nigerian marketing industry has recycled a crop of influencers across industries because of their large following and regardless of their engagement. It is nice to have the top-tier influencers when their brand stories align with yours.
One of the best partnerships I’ve witnessed in 2020, is that between luxury streetwear brand Ashluxe and its ambassadors Naira Marley, Toke Makinwa, and Davido. The common ground between Ashluxe and its chosen influencers is their shared valued brand story that they are unique and do not appeal to the masses. This partnership has yielded organic engagement and conversions.
Finding the right influencer in 2020 is only a herculean task when you look at it from the top of the pyramid down, stand as far away as possible to look at the industry you are working with. However, you want to avoid the trust deficit consumers have with brands by using influencers who will emote the same feeling from your consumers.
Finding your true partners is having a wider look and intense research into the players in your brand’s industry. IMH states that as of 2020, 300% more micro-influencers have been utilized by large firms than in 2016. I can say this for nano-influencers as they rise too. These influencers are known for their niche content and are regarded as experts and technically haven’t been bought to the other side.
You want a marketing mix of shared value in stories and intense research to find the right influencer or your brand. Paraphrasing CeCe Winans, “it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.”