Every business has to do some form of marketing. Some businesses market through traditional channels (newspapers, radio advertisements, etc), while others try to find new ways to expand their client base. With the rise of social media, influencer marketing has become a popular way for individuals and businesses to get their brand in front of large audiences via influencers.
So, what is influencer marketing? How does it help grow your brand? And most importantly, is influencer marketing worth it? In this guide, RentUp founder Dylan Vanas breaks down the pros and cons of influencer marketing for your business.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Social media influencers are individuals or businesses that have a large reach on social media. Whether they maintain a Youtube channel with over a million subscribers or a large following on Instagram, influencers have the ability to speak directly to a huge audience. Influencers leverage their audience for profit by promoting products, services, and businesses through their respective social media channels.
Influencers are not just powerful because of their numbers. Social media influencers get their name from the “influence” they have over their fanbase. Often times, people who subscribe to an influencer’s channel are more willing to engage with posts and take the advice of their favorite influencers. Thus, influencer marketing can put your brand in front of a large audience that is ready and willing to follow the guidance of a popular influencer.
How Does Influencer Marketing Grow Your Brand?
According to Dylan Vanas, the efficacy of an influencer marketing campaign depends on a variety of factors. First and foremost, you have to pick the right kind of influencer for your business. For example, if you run a construction company, you wouldn’t want to pay a popular Instagram makeup artist to promote your business. It wouldn’t align with the influencer’s brand and their audience would probably have no interest in your business.
Additionally, some influencers have much more “influence” than others. Nowadays, influencers can purchase thousands of followers to give themselves the appearance of a large audience. However, these kinds of followers (which are often fake accounts) are far less likely to engage with posts or paid promotions. Thus, you will need to do your research on different influencers and make sure you choose one who has a legitimate audience before you start an influencer marketing campaign.
Is Influencer Marketing Worth It?
While influencer marketing can expand the reach of your business, it should not be the foundation of your marketing strategy.
“Many businesses experiment with influencer marketing and are disappointed by the results,” said Dylan Vanas. “When it comes to marketing, proper research and clear marketing goals are your greatest tools.”
As it stands now, most social media influencers speak to a young demographic. While that is slowly changing, young people make up the majority of social media accounts that follow or subscribe to influencers. For example, 71% of all Instagram users are under the age of 35. Therefore, if your business wouldn’t benefit from reaching a younger demographic, you’ll probably want to look for other marketing channels.
In short, influencer marketing can be tough. It’s not easy for many businesses to find legitimate influencers whose audience matches their target demographic. Nonetheless, there is money to be made with influencer marketing. In fact, businesses with successful influencer marketing campaigns can make more than $5 for every $1 spent. Needless to say, it’s hard to ignore those kinds of numbers.
So, is influencer marketing worth it? Dylan Vanas thinks that it can be if you find the right influencer for your business and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If your business can find an influencer and audience that meets your needs, it can be a very lucrative way to market your brand. Nonetheless, influencer marketing should only make up a part of your total marketing budget.