When it comes to influencer marketing, C-suite execs want more than just good engagement. They expect a positive return on investment (ROI), incremental growth contributions and strategic alignment. While the impact of influencers in shaping consumer behavior is undeniable, translating it into benefits that resonate with the top brass is key to getting the budgets you need for your influencer program.
In this article, we dive deep into the benefits of influencer marketing, and ones that matter the most to your C-Suite. Plus, the three critical components of an effective influencer marketing strategy you need to know.
3 elements to a successful influencer marketing strategy
An influencer marketing campaign uses individuals with a strong social following to promote a brand. Ogilvy research shows that 75% of B2B companies have already jumped on board, realizing its immense potential. This shift underlines a universal truth: trusted figures influence our purchase decisions.
But you don’t realize the benefits of influencer marketing by simply collaborating with someone with a high follower count. It has to be strategic.
Here are the three key elements you need to keep in mind.
Align with the right influencers
Align with the right influencers for your brand. When you do, your brand’s message resonates with an already engaged audience. That’s why it’s important to find influencers whose values, style and audience match your brand’s. It’s also important to align influencer activities with platforms that drive high engagement and conversion rates.
Take Pipedrive, for example. They collaborate with Productivity Consultant Paul Minors, whose expertise mirrors the needs and interests of Pipedrive’s core audience.
Integrate it with your overall marketing strategy
Your influencer marketing efforts need to blend with and amplify your brand’s core marketing message. This also means establishing consistent messaging across all platforms. This approach creates stronger emotional engagement and achieves prolonged brand recollection, as well as stronger brand positioning.
Think long-term impact
According to our Q3 2023 Sprout Pulse Survey of 307 US-based social marketers, 33% prioritize long-term partnerships with influencers over one-off campaigns. This is not surprising, given the amount of effort that goes into influencer collaborations. It also gives you a consistent audience.
Partnering with influencers who exhibit fresh perspectives and innovative ideas by keeping up with industry changes also keeps your brand relevant and forward-thinking.
These strategies combine to give you benefits of influencer marketing beyond immediate gains to foster long-term brand trust and sustainable growth.
The benefits of influencer marketing for your organization
Influencer marketing amplifies your brand’s reach and credibility. This directly aligns with C-suite objectives of long-term revenue growth by enhancing brand engagement, conversions and brand recall. Let’s get into more benefits of influencer marketing.
1. Increases brand awareness
Brand awareness is the foundational element in the consumer decision-making process. It sets the stage for everything else—interest, consideration and finally, the decision to purchase.
An influencer whose audience matches your target market introduces your brand to untapped customer segments, thus enhancing brand awareness. This authentic promotion attracts attention to the brand’s content, products and services, and can lead to higher conversion rates and direct traffic increases.
For instance, Masterclass partners with Basmah Masood, an influencer who focuses on art and photography-related content, to position itself as a leader in creative education and skills development.
Tracking and measuring your influencer performance is also vital. But it can be tricky when you’re analyzing a third-party account.
Our influencer marketing tool, Tagger by Sprout Social, simplifies influencer metric-tracking by enabling you to measure metrics from a third-party account a.k.a. your influencer’s. This way, you get real-time campaign results across all platforms so you can track the engagement rates of your partnerships and present tangible data to decision-makers or your C-Suite team.
2. Builds brand authority
Influencers help your brand achieve a more credible, believable and trusted opinion than it can by itself. A credible influencer distinguishes your brand in saturated markets, positions you as a trusted leader and affirms your brand’s perceived value and reliability. This encourages consumer confidence, translating into higher customer retention rates and the ability to explore competitive pricing.
Korean skincare brand Some by Mi collaborates with dermatologist influencer Dr. Adel (@dermatology.doctor) to lend medical credibility to their products.
3. Enriches your content strategy
The Sprout Social Index™ found 26% of consumers think brands should take risks with their content and 38% think brands should prioritize original content. Influencers inject creativity and freshness into your brand’s narrative. They help you retain the audience’s attention while boosting brand visibility by showcasing innovative uses of products or services and your brand’s commitment to creativity.
Tina Lee, for example, is a travel influencer who creates visually captivating travel content and partners with Adobe to create and enhance her visually stunning travel content.
4. Improves SEO
Influencers increase your brand’s online presence by sending high-quality external links to your website and contributing to social SEO. Their posts, blogs or videos can rank for specific keywords related to your product or industry that lead potential customers directly to your site. Thus, increasing social media engagement and improving your brand’s search rankings.
This heightened social media visibility leads to increased brand recognition and drives additional traffic to your website, acting as a catalyst for higher sales conversions.
5. Enhances customer engagement
Influencer marketing transcends top-of-funnel (TOF) goals by enhancing engagement with their prospects and customer base. This boosts a brand’s visibility and strengthens brand connection, leading to improved loyalty.
Influencers help organizations use these authentic interactions to build a loyal community around their brand. This becomes a powerful asset, driving repeat purchases and increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) through sustained engagement and trust.
Engaging influencers, like Camper the Golden, for Amazon’s dog birthday products transforms passive browsing into interactive experiences, compelling audiences to like, share and comment.
6. Targets niche audiences to amplify reach
Influencer marketing gives you the chance to target niche audiences in a way that feels natural and genuine while exploring an untapped market. A targeted approach ensures your marketing efforts don’t just cast a wide net but are strategically placed where they will make the most impact. It means more efficient use of resources and a higher probability of conversions.
The benefits of influencer marketing execs care about
The way consumers view brands has changed. The Index shows 25% of consumers identify brand memorability with strategic collaborations involving content creators and influencers. It’s all about authenticity and relatability.
The benefits of influencer marketing not only enhance customer experience and your organization’s profile but also offer additional advantages that attract the C-Suite’s attention. Here are five benefits execs want to see.
Improved customer retention
Acquiring new customers can cost five to 25 times more than retaining existing ones. Influencers can alleviate this cost by using their reach to turn one-time buyers into lifelong champions. They also provide unique upselling or cross-selling opportunities. This approach maximizes CLV and ensures a steady stream of repeat purchases and brand advocates.
The 2023 State of Social Media Report also reveals that 94% of business leaders use social media data and insights to build brand reputation and loyalty. This can be instrumental in building online communities where consumers can come together to connect and learn.
Productivity app Notion uses Easlo to build a community for the brand to this end. Thus, reinforcing the product’s value in customers’ minds.
Better understanding of market drivers
For 63% of leaders in our Index, gaining a better understanding of customers is one of the top marketing priorities in 2024. Influencer marketing campaign analytics can provide metrics for more than just surface-level customer reactions. They give you an insight into consumer preferences, behaviors and their unmet needs.
With our influencer marketing tool, Tagger, you can measure your target audiences across multiple platforms and analyze conversations on various topics that mention your brand to find critical brand insights.
Insights like these can reveal immediate and long-term trends to aid brand positioning, resource allocation and product development. Ultimately, these efforts translate to increased market share, stronger brand equity and improved financial performance.
As Tim Clarke, Vice President of Product Marketing at Sprout puts it, “The most innovative leaders recognize influencer marketing is not merely a trend, but a transformative strategy that can propel your brand positioning and product strategy while bridging authenticity with reach.”
Enhanced competitive positioning
Influencer marketing associates your brand with key opinion leaders who command the trust and attention of your target demographic. It also reinforces your product or service’s unique features and benefits over competitors.
“By embracing the power of influencers, brands tap into genuine connections, thereby elevating their brand’s narrative over competitors. It’s not just about partnering with influencers; it’s about strategically aligning with those who can amplify your voice over the din to ultimately attract meaningful engagement that converts,” Clarke notes.
The index also found that 91% of business leaders believe social media data and insights improve competitive positioning and influencer marketing drives this market advantage.
Social media analytics from influencer campaigns offer businesses a continuous lens on competitive positioning by revealing real-time market trends, consumer preferences and competitor strategies. With Sprout, you can automate this process to get important metrics on KPIs such as your Topic summary, themes, keywords, hashtags and demographics.
Use the tool to evaluate how your share of voice increases with each influencer campaign with Sprout’s Listening features. If your share of voice increases after a campaign, your brand has successfully amplified its presence and influence among relevant markets.
Business growth on limited budgets
Influencers require less investment than agencies because they have lower production and distribution costs than traditional media agencies. They’re also more economical than digital ads and yield high engagement rates since these influencers already know your target audience and have a ready, focused following.
As a result, you enrich the customer experience with valuable insights and trusted recommendations while benefiting from growth on a more restrained budget.
Stronger conversion rates and sales impact
In uncertain times, influencers are vital tools for driving sales. They reduce the friction to purchase due to the trust of their followers and also boost sales impact through special discounts, direct links to your website and specific product exposure. The way to reaping the maximum ROI from your influencer campaigns is by regularly measuring how your KPIs are performing.
Tagger helps with this.
Monitor influencer opportunities and keep a pulse on which campaigns are doing well and which ones need improvement. Track your overall social presence with Sprout’s comprehensive reporting and optimize your campaigns with Tagger. Get simplified insights, flexible data visualization and actionable insights for informed decision-making to ensure positive ROI.
Capitalize on influencer marketing to boost your bottom line
Data from social campaigns enables business leaders to think strategically about customer and competitor opportunities. Influencer marketing is just one piece of the puzzle that contributes to a stronger, cohesive strategy—but it’s also a pretty big puzzle.
Marketers need to develop innovative ways to tap into the benefits of influencer marketing and measure their impact to achieve positive ROI. Check out our Future of Social Media guide to future-proof your strategy and create a pivot-and-persist approach to build a resilient arsenal of tactics.