From the Influencers

The Bottom-Line Value of Influencer Marketing

April 13, 2017

If you have anything to do with marketing these days, you might well have started considering the use of influencer marketing. In fact, a new study from Linqia revealed that if you haven't already considered it, you're in an ever-slimming minority. Trying to quantify value for influencer marketing, though, isn't easy, and that same Linqia study shows just where the value is here.

First, the greatest value is that failing to use influencer marketing will put a company at a competitive disadvantage. Eighty-six percent of marketers today are turning to influencer marketing as a part of content marketing operations, and 88.5 percent of those consider influencer content to be either “valuable” or “very valuable.” That's a wide swath of marketers turning to this as an approach, and finding value therein, so it's the kind of thing that can't be readily ignored much longer.

Second, marketers have multiple reasons to work with influencers. Fully 73 percent of respondents cited relevance to the audience, while 72 percent cited authenticity. Another 55 percent cited organic reach, and 22 percent cited a “cross-channel following.” Sixty percent noted it “drove engagement,” and 45 percent claimed it gave rise to word-of-mouth advertising, easily valuable for its authenticity. Add those all together and you have 327 percent of the study, which means there was clear overlap here and many respondents cited more than one answer. The Linqia study even listed more alternatives than presented here.

These two points alone make it clear why businesses are turning to influencer marketing. No one wants to be left out of a big new trend, and those who don't follow along risk losing market share against those who took advantage of the growth.  While not everyone finds the same value, it's clear that most everyone is finding value somewhere.

Naturally, there are some firms who don't find value. A marketer has to find an influencer with a following that relates to the product in question; while it's easy to find comic book influencers or video game influencers, finding influencers in, say, customer relationship management (CRM) software will be much tougher. Pewdiepie isn't showing off his network management tools. Chrisspy isn't demonstrating her favorite bulldozer. Sometimes there just isn't an influencer working a certain market.

However, for those who can find a worthwhile influencer, there are increasingly large amounts of tools to help measure value and find value in this tactic. The influencer marketing movement may not last forever, or reach all audiences, but added to a marketing toolbox, this could be an excellent new option.

Edited by Alicia Young

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