Influencers Are Helping Brands Harness the Power of Social Media
Every day millions of people scroll through social media platforms for information, entertainment, inspiration, and recommendations. It’s a lot to keep up with, but brands with successful marketing strategies know the importance of harnessing the power of social media via its most popular users. The global value of influencer marketing has more than doubled since 2019 and has matured into an established industry, making collaborations between brands and influencers more important than ever. In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed why brands should place value on influencer marketing and an overview of what it’s all about. Now we’re going to dive into who should be utilizing this segment in their digital marketing strategies.
Industries Underutilizing Influencer Marketing
The short answer is: every brand from every industry has the potential to increase awareness and conversions by incorporating influencer campaigns into their plan. The reason is that there are millions of influencers with different levels of followership in different niches, and brands can tap into the exact demographic they want to target. This means there is an ideal influencer for a food brand, a restaurant in rural North Carolina, or a small business focused on selling paper in, say, Scranton, Pennsylvania. There are influencers with “foodie” followers, outdoor influencers who traverse the Montana backcountry in their RV, and influencers who cater to corporate travelers. Regardless of your brand’s size and industry, there is an effective way to utilize influencer marketing in your digital strategies. Because of the different types of influencers (based on increments of thousands of followers), even small businesses with tight budgets can find a content creator whose efforts can move the revenue needle.
Examples of Influencer Campaigns
Let’s take a look at three different non-beauty-related industries and how they can and have successfully used influencer marketing to increase brand awareness and drive conversions.
That’s right–influencer marketing doesn’t have to be glamorous. A common misconception of the influencer marketing industry is that it’s only a relevant tactic to brands in the beauty or fashion industry. While insurance may not be the most exciting topic, it is relevant to all adults and their families. Oscar Insurance is a health insurance company whose target audience is Millennials who have a job that doesn’t offer health insurance. Beginning in the early years of influencer marketing, Oscar targeted micro-influencers to create content that added a little pizzazz to a boring topic. Each video created by one of the enlisted influencers targeted a specific niche audience identified by industry, lifestyle, and age. These messages resonated with people because they “humanized” an otherwise cold and distant industry. This is a huge benefit of influencer marketing: allowing the consumer to visualize themselves using your brand or product by watching someone they trust and follow do it.
Launching a new product or planning an event? Influencer marketing could be exactly what your brand needs to get information about something new in front of an audience who cares. In 2020, Samsung identified an opportunity within their marketing efforts. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a global event with thousands of attendees every year. This tech-heavy convention provides brands with a training ground to showcase new developments and products. The problem? There are thousands of products, brands, and events that take place within this 3-day event, making it difficult for brands (even giant brands such as Samsung!) to stand out.
Samsung wanted to be able to sift through the masses and reach an audience. They enlisted the help of six micro-influencers with audiences interested in photography, gaming, tech, movies, and music production to post live updates of their 2020 CES experience. During the event, the influencers unveiled new Samsung products and demonstrated how these products can serve multiple purposes for different hobbies and industries. Between these six influencers, the Instagram stories they posted reached almost 700,000 users. User-generated content was posted to Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube increasing reach for Samsung across multiple platforms. In a report published by CES, Samsung was the most mentioned brand of the 2020 event.
When it comes to social media content, it’s safe to say that travel is one of the most-posted subjects. Some travel companies have ventured to say that vacation pictures are the point of traveling, with “Instagrammability” at the forefront of travel decisions for Millennials. While Travelocity and AirBnB have utilized their large marketing budgets and audience reach to recruit influencers in the past, even small brands in the travel industry can find ways to convert with influencer marketing. About 2 hours south of Los Angeles and 1 hour north of San Diego (essentially the no-man-land of Southern California) sits Pala Casino, Spa, and Resort. Pala recognized that their clientele skewed toward retirement age and hoped to target a younger demographic. With popular destination Las Vegas about 5 hours away, this was no small task for Pala.
Pala collaborated with an agency to organize an event for influencers with the goal that they would show their audiences a wider view of the resort offerings. This event was an expenses-paid getaway that included food and drinks, entertainment, and slot games. Over 20 influencers were invited to the event and asked to create three pieces of content. The reach of the initial content wave was over 25 million, the casino gained over 1,000 new Facebook followers, and over 800 pieces of content they could repurpose on their own channels.