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Influencers Have Some Serious Power — Are They a Worthwhile Spend for Brands? Influencers have some serious sway, but are they worth it?

By Kartik Jobanputra Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • People believe what influencers say, making their suggestions powerful.
  • They help brands reach the right people who might like their stuff.
  • When influencers and brands share similar beliefs, their ads feel more honest.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Social media influencers are like modern-day famous people. Back in the day, everyone wanted to wear what Marilyn Monroe wore or drink the same beer as Elvis. But now, influencers can show off products to many people online.

Influencers aren't always actors or musicians who've been around for ages. Anyone can be an online star if they make cool stuff people like. Their fans like them, so influencers are a big deal for marketing teams. People trust influencers and want to live like them online. Brands can use that power.

Are they worth brands throwing money at? Definitely! Think of it this way: influencers have these fanbases that match up perfectly with what certain brands are trying to sell. It's like hitting a bullseye in marketing. Plus, these influencers know their crowd so well that they can talk about products in a real way, unlike some ads shoved in your face.

The decision to invest in an influencer involves more than just numbers. It's about finding a harmonious partnership that resonates with your brand's values and goals. Collaborating with an influencer whose message aligns with your brand ethos can make it more authentic and compelling content.

Concerns over the cost of influencer partnerships are common. While ensuring a reasonable return on investment (ROI) is essential, solely focusing on cost might undermine the potential benefits. Initiating smaller-scale collaborations initially and analyzing the resulting engagement and conversions can provide valuable insights into the ROI of influencer marketing for your brand.

Challenges may arise during collaborations, particularly concerning creative differences between the brand and the influencer. Establishing clear expectations, including the number of posts, content approval processes and messaging alignment, can mitigate potential conflicts.

Why do influencers have so much power? It's because they're not just selling stuff; they're like friends to their followers. People feel connected to them. And when influencers promote something, it's like your buddy saying, "Hey, this thing's awesome, you should check it out."

What good stuff do brands get out of using influencers?

Related: Why Consumers Care About Influencers, and Why You Should Too

Getting seen everywhere

Think of influencers as these social media chameleons. They're not confined to one platform; they're everywhere. So, brands get fantastic visibility across various social spaces when they team up with them. It's like having billboards all over the digital world, catching the eyes of people who might usually ignore regular ads.

Finding the right people

Imagine a brand that wants to sell those yummy vegan snacks. They could spend ages trying to find the perfect audience or team up with an influencer who's already embraced the vegan lifestyle. It's a shortcut to reach the group that would love those snacks. It's like hitting the bullseye in a game.

Followers see influencers as pals, almost like the cool friends they trust. So, when an influencer says something's great, it's more than a sales pitch; it's like a friend suggesting something awesome. That trust is golden for brands because it makes people more inclined to buy what's recommended.

Chitchat and engagement

Here's the cool thing — influencers aren't just talking at their audience; they're talking with them. Their followers jump in with comments, questions and opinions when they share something. Brands get to be part of these conversations, almost like mingling at a party. It's a genuine interaction that can lead to more interest and sales.

Influencers aren't just about the talk; they're about the show, too. They create fantastic content that's like tailor-made suits for brands. This content is not just eye-catching; it's explicitly designed to fit and showcase the brand's product or service in the best possible light. When influencers give something a thumbs-up, it's like a crowd of excited shoppers storming in because their favorite influencer said it's worth it. That kind of power to drive sales is what brands dream of.

Related: 5 Things You Should Know Before Collaborating With An Influencer

Saving bucks

Compared to traditional advertising methods, influencer collaborations can be a real money-saver. They offer a bigger bang for the buck while bringing significant returns. Working with influencers is like being introduced to the cool crowd. Brands have become more recognizable, especially among younger generations glued to social media. It's like getting a VIP pass to popularity. Social media platforms are like different neighborhoods, and influencers are the cool kids who know their way around all of them.

So, brands can use influencer marketing to reach different groups of people in various ways. Think of influencer campaigns as experiments. Brands can track how well these experiments perform. It's like having a report card that shows what's clicking and what needs a little tweaking for better results.

But there are some downsides. Sometimes, people question if influencers are honest, and relying only on influencers might not cover all the bases in a marketing plan.

Related: 5 Ways to Identify Influencers Worth Your Brand's Time and Money

Bottom line

Influencers pack a punch in marketing. They're not just famous faces but key players in reaching and convincing folks to buy stuff. When brands team up with the right influencers, it's a win-win. By carefully selecting influencers, crafting compelling campaigns, and measuring results, brands can leverage the influence of these digital tastemakers to drive brand awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, sales.

Kartik Jobanputra

Founder & CEO

Benevolent by nature, Kartik is a diverse man of diverse and unpredictable choices, a serial entrepreneur. One may find him not just reading stoics or seizing the present like jumping off a plane. He is pro skydiver/licensed scuba. He doesn’t speak in hypotheticals and lives life by doing.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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