I don’t know about you, but almost every time I open social media, I’m still amazed at what a huge part of our lives it's become. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can have a huge impact on what we think over the past years, and especially where we spend our money. A huge part of it comes in the form of Influencer marketing. Be it a cosmetics line or a music festival, influencer marketing campaigns have become an integral part of promotions for businesses of almost any size. This is why we here at MicroMentor want to take a look at just how much influencer culture benefits businesses.
But First, Some History…
Before we dive too far into the how, let's first answer two of the other typical “W” questions. Namely, who are social media influencers and what do they do?
So, who counts as an “influencer”? For those unaware, an influencer is basically a person with a large following on social media who is seen as credible and can influence their audience to take certain actions.
These influencers can be famous already, like The Rock, or they can gain fame from their influencer marketing on Instagram and other forms of social media, like Jefree Star. They can also come from any type of career path, from makeup artists and athletes to seemingly everyday people.
Now, what do social media influencers do? Influencers are usually people promoting a product or service. In some cases, they could be travelers encouraging others to visit their location. Nevertheless, most times, the person at the heart of the influencer marketing campaigns is doing so for compensation.
Some campaigns pay outright. Other times influencers are paid in items from the brand or given a free trip to the destination they are promotering. Then you have some people who do it just for the love of the game, in hope of gaining potential fame. No matter what or how they are promoting, we are going to get into the good and bad of how influencers affect businesses.
Influencer's Effect On Businesses - Good & Bad
Influencer marketing can be a double edged sword, and here’s why.
So, one of the clear perks of social media influencers are that if they talk favorably about your product or company, odds are that product/company will see an increase in sales and attention. This has to do with how well that influencer can make the audience feel connected to their community while also promoting the product or service. “Oh! Kylie Jenner likes X brand of shoes? I want a pair so I can be like her!” That is a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the meaning behind it.
It’s no real difference than products or companies being promoted by certain celebrities in days on by. With the exception that an influencer marketing campaign can potentially reach a much wider audience in a much shorter time then at any point in history.
As a result of this, you’ll notice more and more companies of all types engaging in influencer marketing campaigns. The bigger the name attached, the higher the sales.
Take for example what happened with fashion brand “Fashion Nova” back in 2018 when they teamed up with Cardi B. Cardi was already a fan of the brand before she was famous and routinely promoted them on social media. However, when she released her own clothing line with Fashion Nova the whole line sold out in 84 minutes!
Needless to say, the right influencer strategy combined with the right influencer can have a seismic impact on your company. It can also lead to increased positive engagement, which is a driving force in making more people aware about your brand.
Let’s use influencer marketing on Instagram as an example here. A popular influencer promoting your product or service could mean more people are seeing it, commenting on it, and sharing it with friends. Even if that doesn’t always translate into direct sales, it is an excellent way to create awareness.
Awareness can also lead to consumers keeping an eye out for your product or service. Curiosity leaves them wanting to try it since their favorite social media influencer seems to like it. Or as mentioned earlier, it may make them feel somewhat connected to the influencer. “If X product/service is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.” FOMO basically.
Like mentioned earlier, influencer marketing campaigns are a double edged sword in that they have their own drawbacks and can sometimes go very wrong. We at MircoMentor prefer to look at things in a positive light, so we won’t dwell too much on the negatives here. However, for sake of being fair, it does have to be addressed.
The most prominent issue with social media influencers arises when it comes to negative feedback. If an influencer says something not so nice about a certain company, it can potentially have almost a catastrophic impact. The measurement of this depends on how much of an “influence” this influencer has, and just how credible they are believed to be. If they have a major influence, you are more likely to have a major problem.
Take for example when a certain billionaire speaks negatively about a certain stock. That stock's value may suddenly drop dramatically. Or the fall out from the Kendall Jenner/Pepsi fiasco. Some companies can weather a bad PR storm. Other companies will be destroyed by them.
The overall picture that we want to paint is that good or bad, influencer marketing can have massive effects on companies. It’s possible now more than ever for companies to go from “never heard of them” to “can’t live without them” in the virtual blink of an eye. But, having a well planned and executed influencer strategy can also level the playing field for companies. If you are wondering if you should engage in an influencer marketing campaign for your business, then we would say yes! But with caution. Thoroughly research the influencer you want to go with and everything else involved. Then who knows? Your company could be one influencer marketing campaign away from sitting atop of the Forbes 2022 list. We really hope you found this blog helpful and informative.