With more businesses competing in the online space, it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to get customer attention. This is mainly because of the overwhelming amount of noise on the internet, and the dwindling attention span of human beings.
A recent study by Microsoft Corp. revealed that the average human attention span had dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 – when smartphones made an entrance into the market – to 8 seconds today. This is even lower than the attention span of the ill-focused goldfish, which is at 9 seconds. And with the explosion of information at the disposal of everyone through personal devices, marketers are fighting big odds to reach and engage their prospects.
The attention span of humans dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds today. It is even lower than that of the ill-focused goldfish, which is at 9 seconds.
But that is not the only problem. Customers are incredibly skeptical about brands that self-promote. They are also more wary about “experience” and “subjective” attributes than they are “search” and “objective” attributes.
A Statista study dubbed, “Ad blocking penetration in the US 2014-2021” revealed that about 25.8% of internet users were blocking ads on their connected devices. There is also the aspect of delayed identification of the advertiser, which increases consumer’s impression that the advertisement is meant to manipulate them. That is why the demand for new, innovative internet marketing strategies has been growing. The quest to reach and engage clients has compelled many businesses to turn to influencer marketing.
A Look Into Influencer Marketing
At its most basic, influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using industry leaders (or recognized personalities) to drive a brand’s message to the broader market. So, instead of marketing directly to an entire audience, a brand hires/pays/or inspires influencers to get out the word.
Most influencers have a large number of dedicated and loyal followers. They are seen as experts in their respective niches, and their fan communities highly regard their recommendations.
Consumers want to hear from people that they idolize and respect. They trust these recommendations more than advertising from brands – Jeff Bulas
What sets influencers apart from the typical celebs is that they have a strong relationship with their audience. They leverage the accessibility of social platforms to develop a personal connection with and earn their followers’ trust. Basically, influencers are ordinary people with incredible knowledge about specific matters. That is what gives them an edge and drives them to influence their community towards taking a particular action. On top of that, influencers:
- Have a social appeal and magnetism
- Create quality and engaging content
- Know the latest trends
- Are credible and speak the truth
Based on your marketing goals, you can partner with influencers to come up with high-quality content, host Q&A session, announce giveaways, and more. You can even ask them to handle your social media pages to free up your time.
That leads us back to our topic of discussion, how brands can cultivate long term relationship with influencers.
Now that you are aware of the role of influencers and their value in your business, let us look at how to develop a lasting relationship with them:
Understand the Value of the Influencer
Genesys, measuring the cost of poor customer service in the US, revealed that companies in the country lost about $83 billion annually because of abandoned purchases and defections due to poor experience. The company asked 9,000+ customers about what was more important to them while doing business with enterprises. 40% of the respondents said better human service. The same concept applies to how you should approach an influencer. When reaching out to an influencer, address them by their name rather than something generic like “hey blogger.” Doing a little background check can also go a long way in getting you in the right books.
Treat Influencers as Brand Ambassadors
Instead of using influencers as an advertising tool, you should treat them as brand ambassadors. Influencers do the hard work and have a direct connection with your target audience. They are the linchpin between your brand and consumers who are potential prospects. As your brand ambassadors, Influencers will leverage the understanding of their audience to introduce and sell your brand to them effortlessly. They will leave them with the impression that your brand is trendy, trustworthy, and attractive. To turn your influencers into ambassadors, you need to:
- Allow them to do their thing – by not telling them what to post, but instead helping them understand the messages and feelings that should be communicated through the campaigns.
- Make it easy for them – by treating them with the same organizational flexibility and rigor
- Go beyond a campaign – by looking for repeatable ways to engage them
- Be cool – by planning for meaningful interactions throughout the process to make the influencer feel included
Devote the Necessary Resources
You will need to invest your time, money, and effort into the relationship to realize success. Remember, the influencer needs to understand your offerings as well as the kind of message you would like them to pass down to their audience. So, inevitably, you will need to work together and create an inclusive marketing function.
Always Consider Relevancy
Relevance is a critical aspect and may play a huge role in your relationship with influencers. Since you do not want to shoot from the hip, find influencers in the same niche as you, because that is how you will meet the audience who are interested in your solutions. It also is essential for the influencers because this allows them to offer relevant content to their followers consistently. In fact, as many as 49% of influencers would not mind repeat business with brands that understand their interest and only comes to them with relevant opportunities – as per a Crowdtap survey. The study also revealed that relevancy is the biggest motivator for influencers to partner with brands.
As many as 49% of influencers would not mind repeat business with brands that understand their interest and only comes to them with relevant opportunities.
Be Clear About Your Expectations
Clearly defining your expectations will ensure that both of you are on the same page with regards to the working process and results. If you are not clear, the influencer may create content that does not match what you had in mind, and may waste both your and the influencer’s time. It may also leave you, or the influencer with a sour taste about the working relationship.
Offer a Fair Compensation
Last but not least, you have to compensate your influencers fairly. Instead of approaching them with free products, take time to understand what an influencer wants out of the arrangement. 68% of influencers in the Crowdtap survey said they would have repeat business with a brand that offers competitive compensation.
This article was written for our clients by Augur Marketing, LLC. Feel free to contact us with advertising and marketing related questions.
By telephone: 571-533-7149
or use the convenient contact form: