Influencers are a hot topic in today’s sales classes. It’s easy to see why. According to a study by McKinsey, 70% of customers are more likely to make a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation. Another report by DMI shows influencer campaigns have an ROI of $6.50 for every dollar spent, outperforming other digital marketing tactics by 600%.
Despite these rosy figures, many are still unclear about how influencers can help with their business sales. Here’s a quick rundown.
Reach a wider audience
At last count, social media had over 4.7 billion active social media users. There’s more than a reasonable chance that your target market is on one (or more) of the social media platforms. So, influencer partnerships give you instant access to a new pool of potential customers.
A great example is the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty and Kim Kardashian partnership. Kim did an Instagram post wearing the brand’s product. Charlotte Tilbury’s audience jumped from 50K to 500K in one day. Also, sales for that product went up by 35%.
Generate excitement and hype
The queues outside Nike and Apple stores on launch day are the stuff of legend. These companies are masters of generating excitement and hype around their product releases, a lot of which is in the hands of influencers.
Getting people talking about your product before it launches can help you generate greater purchases. According to McKinsey, new products with significant pre-launch buzz generate, on average, 30% more sales.
Produce compelling content
A study by Harvard Business School found that emotions drive most purchasing decisions. This means that if you can tap into the right emotion, you can persuade customers to buy your product. Social media influencers have a knack for churning out moving content.
Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign is one memorable example. The faces of the promotion were six “real” women. The campaign tapped into a deep emotional need for women – the desire to feel good about themselves. Sales jumped to $4 billion after the launch from a previous $2.5 billion.
If prospects are engaging with your brand, there’s a good chance they’ll make a purchase. However, the quality of engagement is just as important as the quantity, according to top sales courses. Influencers can help improve on both fronts.
For one, their personal connection with their followers makes them more relatable. This encourages two-way communication and a back-and-forth exchange of ideas. Sephora’s collaboration with Instagrammer Heart Defensor saw a 400% increase in comments. Their sentiment Score – the social network’s equivalent of a customer service rating – got a 5-point lift.
Establish trust and credibility
Seventy-six percent of customers say they need to trust a brand before they make a purchase, according to Salesforce. However, Adobe reports that businesses are having a tough time trying to build and maintain. This is where influencers come in. According to leading sales classes, people trust what the people they follow say because they see the influencer as regular people. As opposed to salespeople trying to hawk a product or service.
To improve its performance in China, Kiehl’s partnered with local celebrities and social media stars. The campaign helped the brand establish trust and credibility, resulting in sales increasing by 400% in just two months. The Chinese marketplace is notoriously difficult to crack for foreign brands. Without local partners, Kiehl’s would have struggled intensely to gain a foothold.
Improve online visibility
Higher search engine rankings can translate to more sales. This is because people are more likely to click on the first few links that come up. Organic content is more effective (and cheaper) than paid ads. Data by HubSpot shows that organic traffic converts three times more than paid search traffic.
Influencers are an asset in this regard. A mention on their blog or social media profile can improve your brand’s online visibility. For instance, when KitchenAid collaborated with YouTube personality SORTEDfood, they got a 34% lift in brand mentions. Martha Stewart helped push Home Depot’s ranking for the keyword “appliances” from position four to two.
Working with social media influencers
Including influencers as part of your social media marketing strategy can definitely help your business. However, to see a positive boost, sales classes suggest keeping the following in mind:
- Set clear objectives – It will help you find the best candidate and measure the success of your partnership.
- Pick the best candidate – Not all influencers are a good fit for your brand. Look at their content and see if it aligns with your values. Also, check out their engagement rate so you can assess their ability to achieve results.
- Respect their talent – Influencers know how to engage their audience better than you do. Trust them to do their job and don’t micromanage them.
- Try to build long-term relationships – Ongoing partnerships are more effective than one-offs.