Influencer on yellow background

Is Influencer Marketing really worth it?

Businesses face an ever-evolving challenge: how to effectively market their products and services to an audience that is constantly bombarded with advertisements and content in real time.

You want to spend your marketing budget wisely, not whittle it away on avenues that bring little return.

The problem is that today’s tech-savvy consumers are increasingly drawn to what some would consider more authentic and relatable content. The rise of social media has certainly contributed to this shift and has created a new frontier for marketers, in the form of “influencer marketing”.

But is it really worth the hype and (sometimes hefty) investment for businesses? Is it ultimately an attractive solution or a fad that needs flushing?

In this blog, we unpick whether influencer marketing could unlock untapped opportunities for your business.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is when companies collaborate with individuals who typically have a following of prospective customers on their social media platforms. The influencers advertise the company’s products or services to their hundreds, thousands, or even millions of followers in exchange for payment or gifted products, services, and experiences.

The partnership between influencer and brand can ultimately help to increase brand awareness for your business as the influencer is able to tap into a pre-existing, engaged audience using their already established authenticity and credibility garnered through their channel.

By regularly posting content and engaging with their followers, they are able to gain their audience’s trust, making their recommendations more persuasive than other forms of more traditional advertising.

And it’s not just B2C companies utilising this strategy in their marketing. B2B companies are also realising the value of partnering with influencers for marketing purposes, with influencer marketing budgets predicted to increase by 20% in 2024. So if it’s not just a fad, what are some of the benefits of implementing influencer marketing in your marketing strategy?

The Benefits of Influencer Marketing

While influencer marketing can come with its share of challenges, it can be extremely beneficial to businesses when executed well. If you’re thinking about incorporating influencer marketing into your marketing strategy, here are some key points to consider:

1. Reach and Authenticity

Influencers often have a genuinely engaged and loyal following, with 72% of Millennials and Gen Z following influencers on social media. This can make them a highly valuable asset for reaching your target audience, especially if they align with your brand values. When a collaboration between a business and an influencer is authentic, the marketing message can resonate more deeply with potential customers. But be sure to do your research on any potential influencer you might choose to work with. Look further than just their follower count. Someone may have a high number of followers but a low engagement rate. Or their followers may not be the target audience you’re looking for. It’s better to partner with someone who has a high level of engagement but fewer followers than the other way around.

2. Social Proof & Exposure

Influencer endorsements serve as powerful social proof. When someone whom consumers admire and trust endorses a product or service, it can significantly influence their buying decisions, which can, in turn, elevate your brand’s visibility. With influencers actively promoting your products or services, you can extend your reach beyond what traditional advertising alone can achieve.

3. Creativity and Content

When creating content for your social channels yourself, it can be difficult to keep up with current trends. It’s a lot to keep on top of. Businesses that do this well have whole teams dedicated to content production. If you’re unable to do this and fall behind the curve, you can risk your content feeling outdated. Influencers are ultimately content creators, and their ability to craft compelling stories and visually appealing content can breathe new life into your brand’s image. Your product, service, or business itself can reach a wider audience whilst staying in the loop with social movements.

4. Audience Insights

Collaborating with influencers can provide valuable insights into your target audience and how they interact with your products or services. This can lead to future sales, increased customer loyalty, and the opportunity to address any concerns that may arise from your products. By having a better understanding of your audience, you can refine your marketing strategies and focus on a more customer-centric approach, helping to drive long-term success for your business.

How to choose the right influencer

Influencer marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and its success can vary from business to business. To determine whether it’s worth the investment for you and your business, here are 3 things you’ll want to consider:

  • Your target audience – an influencer may have a large social media following, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those followers are your intended audience. Be sure to choose an influencer whose followers are similar to your target audience and who has good levels of engagement within their community.
  • The right influencer – cheaper isn’t always better in the world of influencing, so be sure to prioritise partnering with someone who aligns with your brand values and isn’t just interested in the financial benefits. You want to make sure their communication style and personality suit your brand and that the product or service you’re offering is a good match for their brand. It is also important that the influencer is transparent with their audience about any paid or gifted collaborations. You might think this would only reflect badly on them, but dishonesty relating to this can come back to bite you, too. Without full transparency, you could find your brand image being tainted, along with a loss of trust in your product or service.
  • The right channel – if your target audience is more active on Facebook, there is little point in working with an influencer with a high Instagram following who isn’t active on Facebook. It may seem like a good idea to use an influencer to help you gain more customers from another social platform, but this is a risky move with no guaranteed reward. Instead, focus on your target audience and the channel they engage most with, even if it is not as expected.

So, is influencer marketing worth the hype? The answer to this will ultimately be different for every business, but we’d say that while it certainly can be a challenging place to navigate, when used effectively, it has the potential to drive brand growth, build strong customer relationships, and generate a substantial return on investment for businesses that are willing to embrace this new, modern approach to marketing and outreach.

Need help with your marketing?

At STORY22, we help businesses set a clear marketing strategy to achieve their goals. We’ll identify your priority areas of focus and help you understand how to measure performance. We can also support you with a range of marketing services, including Email marketingPay-per-Click advertisingWebsite Development, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media Management, and StoryBrand Copywriting, all of which are proven to increase your reach and grow your brand. If you need help with your marketing strategy, schedule a no-obligation call with our team today.

In the meantime, check out our FREE guide on How To Build A Social Media Following for more tips and tricks that will serve your business well.