Should Your Brand be Using Influencers?

In the age of the internet, today’s celebrities go beyond just Hollywood films and TV shows. In the new era of social media, the market has created their own version of famed celebrities and named influencers. Stars like Gabby Hanna from The Gaby Shows, or  Jenna Mourey aka Jenna Marbles are what we call influencers, people who have a substantial following and can command an audience[1], but are still relatable on a human-to-human level. They inhabit the gray area somewhere between a celebrity and a “common” person. Influencers usually start their careers on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or other social media channels, sharing their area of expertise with the world, whether it be comedy, fashion, fitness, or cooking, and then successfully build their own brand around that.

So why would a brand hire an influencer to promote itself instead of a regular celebrity? Influencer’s have earned their celebrity-like reputations by capitalizing on the day-to-day actions of people. They have capitalized on the mundane tasks of life and made them easily digestible for people. Take Jessica Shyba, aka Momma’s Gone City, for example. She is a mom of 4 kids (with a fifth one on the way!) and one adopted dog. She became a social media celebrity by sharing the everyday life of a mom and her kids.

Jessica and her family are not only adorable, but easily relatable, making her an ideal brand ambassador. Viewers, likers, and sharers can see how easily –insert product here- can fit into their lifestyles, by relating with Jessica’s hectic life. By partnering with Jessica, brands actually show Jessica’s audience not only how their products are used, but the benefits of using them.

When influencers are added to the equation, the brand is not seen as promoting itself, rather, a third party who is trusted by its audience is. If the influencer did not believe in the brand or its products, she/he wouldn’t be posting about them since it could damage their personal brand. The influencer’s audience knows this and in fact, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement[2].

Take this sponsored post as an example:

In this case, Jessica partnered with a frozen blueberry company to show her audience how to easily and quickly make delicious, yet healthy, blueberry pancakes.

Along with being an active advertisement, influencers are also a source of inspiration. Often, influencers share their personal experience losing weight, eating vegetarian, or applying liquid eyeliner, providing their followers with guidance, support, and step-by-step instructions to reach their goals. Influencers like Alyse from Raw Alignment, give great advice not only with recipes but by highlighting the products that they actually use. They partner with different brands to inspire people and help them throughout their transition to a healthier and organic lifestyle:

So, what are the benefits for brands hiring influencers?

  • Influencers provide an authentic and organic way to deliver a brand message.
  • Influencers expose your brand to new audiences while providing a higher ROI.
  • Influencers connect with their audiences at a more personal level.
  • Influencers can grant brands access to unique, hard-to-reach niche audiences for niche products.

Influencers are becoming one of the best ways to advertise brands. Has your brand considered using an influencer before? Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below!

Posted by Maria Fornari, Client Executive at Burson-Marsteller Miami/StudioB 

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