by Claire Lancaster, Head of Social, The if Agency.

A-listers might have once had sole rights to influencer marketing, but those days are gone. An ‘influencer’ is anyone who has an established social media following and can sway the choices and behaviours of their followers. Content from a celebrity might well reach huge numbers of people, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most appropriate audience.

Influencers who are more aligned to your audience and embody your brand values can be much more effective to collaborate with. You’ll likely get better results for less investment with a smaller group of the right audience versus thousands of followers who are unlikely to ever buy your product or engage with your brand. Influencer marketing isn’t about popularity it is about the ability to affect action.

It’s all about building traction

In its most simple form, influencer marketing is when a social media influencer creates and shares content about a brand, product, service or campaign with their followers. The purpose of collaborating with them is to build traction for your brand.

6 reasons to include influencer marketing

1. Reach your target audience

Influencer marketing is a great way to reach your target customers. Research and choose to work with an influencer who’s followers look like your customers. Influencers have their own ready-made, highly engaged follower base ready and waiting for your campaign/message to piggyback on and be seen by people who are likely to get on board with what you’re offering.

2. Brand awareness amplification

Increasing brand awareness is the main reason brands work with influencers. The high follower numbers achieved through established profiles and consistent content publication make them appealing to brand owners.

3. Improve credibility and trust 

Where influencers have real power is in the trusted relationship they’ve built with their followers. Collaborating with relevant and trustworthy influencers will strengthens brand reputation and supports credibility. Content and recommendations coming from influencers are more highly regarded and trusted by consumers, as influencers are seen as a third party, unbiased source and this can have a huge impact on purchasing habits.

4. Refresh your content strategy

Variety is the spice of life, and nowhere is that more relevant than social media content. A blend of different content formats – video, blogs, Stories, Reels and so on – keeps audiences (and content and agency teams) on their toes! Creating authentic content is crucial and using content created by influencers who are like your target audience is a great way to increase relevancy and variety. Posting content created by an influencer onto your brand social media feeds is a great way to provide genuine social proof for others.

5. Increase your engagement

Driving social engagement, increasing likes, comments and shares on posts can sometimes be a struggle, for both new and established brands. Working with influencers can help create engaging and unique content, which will lead to increased engagement on your brand channels. As follower numbers grow engagement rates fall, which is why collaborating with nano and micro-influencers with smaller follower numbers can be really beneficial as they bring above average content engagement rates.

6. Supercharge paid campaigns

Influencer content does have a shelf life, stories expire, and posts move down the feed. Repurposing influencer content in paid ads and campaigns extends their longevity and extends their reach beyond an influencer’s audience to new and wider target audiences. Consumers’ preference for authentic real-life content means influencer created digital ads outperform brand created ad assets.

Ultimately, collaborating with influencers can bring you brand recognition, enhance your reputation, audience engagement and increase conversions.

At if agency, we’ve worked with many brands on influencer, social media and brand marketing strategies that have helped them expand their audience and reach the goals of their business.