Over 80 years ago Dale Carnegie released his self-help book titled ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’. Read the right way, it could be a blueprint for marketing success. At this point you may be wondering what an almost century old book can teach a digital marketer. Well, in two words: influencer marketing.
The way people discover new products has changed. Today’s purchasing decisions are increasing influenced by, er, influencers… Bloggers and Instagrammers build up dedicated followings that enjoy and trust their opinions on a variety of topics such as fashion, food, technology, travel, sports and even entertainment.
Influencer marketing is about leveraging the authenticity of those channels and accounts to enable brands to connect with consumers they’ve been unable to reach. And it works, like really well. The proof is in the returns: according to Pew Research Centre the average influencer marketing campaign returns $6.85 for every dollar spent on paid media.
So where does Carnegie’s book come into it? Take a look at the Wikipedia page for ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ and you’ll see some summaries of what to expect in the book such as teaching people how to increase popularity, win new clients, increase influence, encourage engagement and more. Everything described in those summaries is physically embodied in your average social media influencer. They know how to win fans because they’ve already got thousands.
Don’t worry about how you’re going to afford an A-List star because micro-influencers are where it’s at. Micro-influencers are everyday individuals who are passionate and knowledgeable about their chosen topic and get incredible levels of engagement. Brand accounts are often considered to be too salesy to be impartial whereas influencers are trusted and recommendations followed because their content is authentic and nonpartisan.
Why use micro-influencers?
In a nutshell: diminishing returns. The bigger the account the further the reach and the further the reach the more customers you get right? Wrong!
Social media is about engagement not followers. Okay, it’s about followers a bit but come a certain point it just becomes aimless retweets and likes. Almost like a cursory nod of approval or the faintest of smirks at a mildly funny joke. Big accounts either no longer have the time or inclination to engage with their followers and engagement is the driving force of influencer marketing.
Markerly research found that for the optimum combination of reach and engagement account followers should number between 10,000 and 100,000 – the sort of numbers your average micro-influencer will have.
Moreover, these sorts of influencers are typically more invested in their accounts and content. In a way they have become their own brands and are highly tuned in to what their audience wants. This makes them perfect brand ambassadors.
The great thing about the written word is how it speaks to our imaginations and we can conjure up all manners of scenes and possibilities. With that in mind I want you to use your innate cognitive creativity to make your internal voice sound like the movie trailers guy. You know the one.
Okay, using that voice read these stats to yourself…
THIS SUMMER. COMING TO A SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT NEAR YOU.
THE RETURNS ON INVESTMENT OF MICRO-INFLUENCERS.
22.2x MORE CONVERSATIONS ON WHAT TO BUY. 82% OF CONSUMERS WILL LIKELY FOLLOW MICRO-INFLUENCER RECOMMENDATIONS. AT LEAST 10% MORE CREDIBLE THAN AVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA USERS. BRANDED POSTS COST UNDER $250 90% OF THE TIME. 70% OF BUSINESSES RETURN $2 FOR EVERY 1% SPENT. 51% OF MARKETERS FEEL THEY GET BETTER CUSTOMERS FROM INFLUENCERS. 60% OF TEENS TRUST PURCHASING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM YOUTUBERS MORE THAN THEIR FAVOURITE MOVIE STARS.
You’re right. Stats that impressive didn’t need the movie voiceover guy but there’s nothing like a bit of theatricality for emphasis.
The best part of partnering with an influencer? Brand loyalty. Influencers have great integrity because they value their audience beyond money. If you’re producing the stuff they love they’ll probably keep on telling people about it even if they’re offered more money to promote your competitors. And with their loyalty comes the attention of their audience. So get yourself a micro-influencer and win some fans.
About the author
Maria Bellissimo-Magrin is the CEO of full-service creative marketing agency Belgrin. She previously wrote Digital Branding: Six ideas to help your SME nail this increasingly complex task, Define your culture…now, is that the reality?, What a 90s advert reveals about business today, How can SMBs get the most out of LinkedIn?, Virtual reality revolution: time to get ahead, why potential customers ignore your ads and Rebranding: when to take the leap?