An Executive's Guide: Working with Influencers to Boost Your Business

by: Dustin Hawley | Wednesday June 12, 2019

Influencer marketing has emerged into the forefront of digital marketing, and for very good reason. According to a 2017 study, 86% of marketers had used it, and 94% of them found it effective. In the nearly two years since that survey, it has only continued its rapid ascent into the foreground of digital advertising. Influencer marketing can help brands boost their authenticity, which is imperative for building trust with consumers. It can also help drive engagement, boost website traffic, and increase conversions.

businessmen recording podcast

It's for this reason (and many others) that the big brands are taking full advantage of this powerful marketing channel, and investing their ad spend into this lucrative tactic. Global brands like Adidas and Wish have been working with influencers on a number of campaigns, helping to drive brand awareness, elevate brand interest, and increase purchase consideration. 

As an executive in your organization, this may just sound like a well-crafted collection of buzzwords, tugging at your ear and hoping to slip a hand into the company's wallet for a few advertising dollars. But it's much more than that. So why does influencer marketing interest me as an executive?

Why Does Influencer Marketing Matter to Me as an Executive?

As a leader within your organization, prioritizing your time and attention on the tasks that matter most is paramount to your success. So why should this social marketing tactic be something that's even on your radar? The answer is, with the proper KPI's established, boosting the bottom line of your business through influencer marketing is all but assured. The stories of amazing ROI that travel within marketing circles are not fables. They are success stories from the brands bold enough to embark on this new frontier. We are merely in the infancy of the future of marketing.

Influencer marketing has a role in both introducing your brand to customers and retaining those that already exist. This is a result of building trust with your audience, having engaged and interacted with them, and ultimately, humanizing your brand through these marketing efforts. Consumers begin to start spreading the word to their family and their peers on how amazing you and your company are when these elements are present in your organization's social efforts. Brands are even beginning to promote their own employees as influencers, establishing their organization and it's members as voices of authority within their vertical.

3 Key Benefits Influencer Marketing Provides to Your Business

Let's get down to brass tacks. As an executive, there are 3 key benefits that influencer marketing can provide to your business.

1. Customer acquisition

As a business, your primary objective is to make money. And to make money, you need customers. So customer acquisition is always top-of-mind for high-level stakeholders in the organization. Influencer marketing is no longer viewed as a dark horse or unproven tactic with the marketing ecosystem. It's a tried and true approach that every business needs to embrace and weave into their overall marketing efforts.

As noted above, Influencer Marketing helps to drive brand awareness and increase purchase consideration. It does this in a way that your organization's efforts alone can not achieve through its own organic reach. Today's consumers make purchase decisions primarily based on suggestions and recommendations from people they trust.

Leveraging an influencer's audience - an audience that is intently engaged and activated -  is an ideal way to incorporate a branded message through the vessel of a trusted resource for your target audience. Influencer marketing has also become the primary approach in how to reach millennials on social media.

Customer acquisition is a key component of many social media campaigns. Viral Nation has worked with many brands on campaigns built around boosting customer acquisition and produced highly-successful results on every occasion. Partnering with powerhouse brand Baidu on their keyboard app Facemoji, a campaign was designed around the goal of acquiring users through app downloads. 

The #Eggmoji campaign was built on the foundation of driving brand awareness by leveraging the audiences of social publishers and macro Gen-Z influencers. These social celebrities were activated through Instagram Stories to drive conversion in the app store in order to boost user acquisition. The social media content highlighted the great features of Facemoji Keyboard and a giveaway was employed to drive user interest and conversions. In addition to the influencer content, a social publisher page was also distributing content for the Simeji App, a Japanese Emoji Keyboard.

facemoji keyboard case study results

As you can see above, the numbers speak for themselves, and growth expectations were exceeded by 369% as a result of the influencer activations. 

2. Sales for e-commerce

Influencers are influential. People follow influencers who have the same interests as them and love the same products that they love.

So how can you use influencers to boost your eCommerce sales?  

In November 2018, Tencent Games produced and hosted the largest global mobile eSports tournament. Tasked with driving awareness to the PUBG Mobile Star Challenge in Dubai, Viral Nation launched a global campaign activating over 100 international influencers across multiple platforms to achieve unprecedented results.

pubg dubai challenge results graph

With a campaign goal to drive both awareness of the event and ticket sales, we identified and engaged relevant media contacts across international, regional and trade outlets to attend and/or cover the event. We engaged country leaders to take part in filming content at YouTube Space Dubai, doing live interviews and challenges. These leaders hailed from around the globe, everywhere from the US, Brazil, Turkey, China, Japan, Korea, India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia, Dubai, and even Thailand to attend and promote PMSC. The campaign was massively successful, far exceeding initial expectations. Influencers drove both awareness and ticket sales, with over 220 million total impressions created. To attain sales in the e-commerce space, you must be where your customers are. And that is online and on social media. By leveraging the relationships influencers have with their audience, you can substantially increase purchase intent (and in turn, sales) by partnering with an influencer to promote your product or service.

3. Installs for mobile apps

If your company is looking for mobile app installs, there may be no better form of marketing available today than influencer marketing.

In a separate influencer campaign with Facemoji, a strategy was designed around the goal of increasing app-downloads.

facemoji app-download campaign graph

In order to accomplish this, we on-boarded young adult influencers to push downloads of the app leading up to the back to school season. In addition, parents influencers we activated on Facebook to share how they turn to Facemoji Keyboard to stay connected with their children. They highlighted the key components of the app to increase app downloads and brand awareness and exceeded projections by nearly 300%.

Mobile app-growth through influencer marketing has additional benefits. When you increase the popularity of your app, and it moves up the charts and begins ranking in the app store, you get top-of-feed placement to grow substantial organic traffic and downloads beyond your direct campaign efforts. Just another profitable reason why every organization should incorporate the use of influencers into their app marketing strategy.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Working with influencers is both an affordable and effective method to build brand awareness and meet (and often exceed) the goals of an influencer campaign. It's for these reasons that so many marketers are pivoting away from traditional advertising tactics and diving into influencer collaborations. 

READY TO GET STARTED WITH INFLUENCER MARKETING?

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