Influencer Marketing Can Lead to Rapid Audience Growth

Brands focused on influencer marketing need to turn their efforts toward partnerships with high-impact entities that speak directly to the brand’s target consumer segment. But it’s just as important to know what goals you are trying to realize through these influencers, as well as when your strategy should be deployed.

Influencers vs. Advocates

According to “Influencers vs. Advocates: What’s the Difference?,” a report from Influitive and TapInfluence, brands need to understand how advocacy can sometimes look like influence—but with results that are very different. Influence marketing often requires a greater investment of time and resources, but the potential windfall can be significant, creating exponential growth in your brand’s audience.

The study argues that the top benefits of influencer-based marketing have to do with volume and quality. Brands can quickly expand their reach and engage a large audience in short order by partnering with influencers whose trust is established. This includes bloggers, thought leaders, other established brands, and so forth. Because a brand’s message is passed on through a known influencer, it has the ability to achieve high impact immediately instead of taking time to establish the brand’s reputation.

“Influencers who are recognized by your market as having deep knowledge in a particular area . . . are trusted authorities when it comes to making buying decisions,” according to the report. “Since influencers already have big audiences and they’re trusted by their followers, the content they create about your brand can have a high impact on your marketing campaigns.”

How Influencers Can Help

The study goes on to note a number of ways influence marketing is successfully deployed, including during product launches or even to promote an existing product in a catalog. Other successful uses can include content promotion, relationship development with established product “champions,” and celebrity endorsements, if such opportunities present themselves.

Influencers can exist anywhere they have a tapped-in audience, but the numbers suggest the vast majority will also maintain a social media presence. That’s no small detail for marketers, since a DemandGen study recently found 72 percent of B2B buyers use social media when researching a purchase.

Influencers inevitably figure into that research process. When brands are able to align themselves with those buyers, they place their product in the research process of many potential buyers.

Kraft Enlists Food Bloggers for Recipe Blitz

Kraft Foods has become an early champion of influencer marketing, using this strategy to drive huge engagement on social media within a relatively small time frame. The company did this, as TapInfluence notes, by calling on influencers to create and distribute recipes through social media. Coupons were also integrated into the distribution process.

Influencers took up the call, creating recipes and promoting them online. This not only saved Kraft from the internal costs of recipe development, but it shot social engagement upward as well. The end result was 760,000 blog post views, 7,700 social shares, more than 1,700 tweets, and 16,000 clicks on links to coupons.

In other words, Kraft used influencers to create, and then promote, branded content for the company. And with a strong social presence through those influencers, Kraft drove huge ROI while actually managing to save the company money. And that’s just one example of how influencers can be leveraged for incredible marketing results.

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for today’s digital marketer, but you have to know what you’re hoping to get out of it before you rush off to start wooing thought leaders, as well as how you’re going to measure whether or not it was successful.

This article originally appeared on Skyword.

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