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Commercial growth through creating thinking - SUM.AGENCY

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Under the influence – how can influencer marketing help your brand?

The success of influencer marketing is undeniable. Brands are now paying huge sums for online endorsements from bloggers and those with large social media followings; particularly Instagram followings. The term “influencer marketing” increased by 325% in Google searches over 2017 alone.


A recent study compromised of marketers found that 94% thought influencer marketing was a top campaign strategy in terms of ROI. However, many laypeople have the misconception that influencer are glorified Love Island ‘stars’ promoting whitening toothpastes. In reality, for certain industries, influencer marketing works wonders.


As a platform Instagram is perfect for influencer marketing. Instagram’s main users are young, impressionable, millennials who engage best with visual focused content. Tapping into engaged followers who on average spend 32 minutes a day on Instagram sounds like a winning idea to us.


Taking inspiration from the traditional celebrity spokesperson method, think Cheryl Cole for L’Oréal, but a hybrid cool version, influencer marketing campaigns by fashion brands are now so common you can barely scroll on Instagram without witnessing one.


What is the idea behind influencer marketing?


The idea behind influencer marketing is using an authoritative figure to preach your brand to their loyal followers. Picking an influencer with an immense network creates a quick, easy and effective approach to reach a wide audience who pay / buy into your products / services because the influencer says they should / this product or service is good / worth your time.


When executed in a way which makes the content look authentic, the posts by your chosen influencer can look like user generated content, meaning it looks really does like they love your product. Although, hopefully they do love it without you forcing them to!


But, what are the tangible benefits of influencer marketing?


According to Forbes influencer marketing is growing faster than paid ads. The beauty of influencer marketing is that your audience is already there and are already engaged. Influencers are in tune with the needs of the people they serve meaning choosing an influencer to promote your brand means that their audience will trust you.


Influencers are trend setters, particularly within their chosen industry. Millennials and Generation Z love influencers, in fact 85% of millennials use social media to learn about new products.


Influencers tend to already share great content, and we all know that great content converts! Plus, as organic reach declines on social media due to new algorithms it’s now more important than ever to try out influencer marketing as influencers tend to be riding out the changes in algorithms due to their large followings and flow of traffic. Building a partnership with an influencer and using them to post on a reoccurring basis will drill your brand message into their followers’ mind-set’s and sway purchasing decisions.


Who uses influencer marketing?


Fashion brands jump out as the most likely to use influencers, for example women’s clothing brand Fashion Nova used celebrity Kylie Jenner to promote a pair of jeans for them. The post received over 2.2 million likes and 550K comments. Fast fashion companies like Boohoo, ASOS, Pretty Little Thing and Missguided use influencers with anything from 3k followers to millions of followers to show off their products.

However, plenty of food brands use influencer marketing too. Many local restaurants hold blogger evenings, inviting influencers to come and try food in the hope that they will share the photos on their social media channels. On a large scale, brands like Asda who love to appeal to Mum’s will use blogger Mum to promote their food and baby products.


A great example of a foodie influencer is Emily Scott from What I ate for breakfast, who is often seen sharing paid partnerships posts with the likes of Warburtons, Heck sausages and Fry Light on her Instagram feed.

Sunday brunch is a healthier fry-up👌. Here's what's on my plate: 🍳 Homemade baked beans 🍳 Crispy grilled bacon 🍳 @heckfooduk Chicken Italia sausages 🍳 Grilled halloumi 🍳 @clarence_court Burford Brown egg fried in @frylighthq 🍳 Baby spinach 🍳 Homemade hash brown So tasty! 😍 My recipes for the beans & hash browns are below… ⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️ Beans: 🍅 Chop an onion and fry in a little oil/frylight until translucent. 🍅 Add a crushed clove of garlic and half a tsp each of cinnamon, cumin & smoked paprika then fry for another minute. 🍅 Add a tin of beans (I used butter beans, but haricot work well) to the pan, then add a tin of chopped tomatoes. 🍅 Simmer on a low heat for 20 mins then serve. ⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️⏺️ Hash browns: 🥔 Peel & grate a potato. 🥔 Squeeze out any excess water then mix in a bowl with herbs/seasoning of your choice. 🥔 Heat a pan with a little oil/frylight then spoon the potato into rounds. You could also use egg moulds (I used a star shape). 🥔 Fry on each side for 4-5 mins until golden & crisp. 🥔 Enjoy! #whatiateforbreakfast

A post shared by Emily Scott (@whatiateforbreakfast) on


Even Uber uses influencers! See the screenshot from influencer Leigh Woods Instagram story for proof! Instagram influencer leigh woods post for Uber


How do you pick the right influencer for your brand?


When picking an influencer, it’s key to keep in mind, how relevant they are to your target audience. Is your campaign content appropriate coming from this influencer?


Does this person’s following resonate with your companies target audience, buyer persona and business goals? Do their followers already have an interest in your products or your competitors products?


How notorious is this influencer? Are they well liked? Is his or hers fame appealing? These are the questions it’s important to ask yourself before investing in influencer marketing.


Remember, real people are proven to have more influence than celebrities. Influencers who don’t have celebrity status, seem more relatable and authentic than the Kardashian’s, therefore, their sponsored posts seem trustworthy and genuine. Engagement rates can be as much as 60% higher if you go with a micro-influencer with a smaller but more loyal and actively engaging following than one of the big players.


Lastly, what happens when influencer marketing goes wrong?

Simple, Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi campaign.


Read our other blogs on influencer marketing here.

Get in touch if you’d like an influencer marketing strategy writing here.