Should startups invest in influencer marketing?
We live in a highly saturated world where consumers are now exposed to more information than they can ever hope to digest. For the online consumer, information is constantly streaming in from countless brands and at a rapid pace. This gives marketeers two options, sink in the sea of competition or swim. For brands to stay afloat in 2019 they must find a way to tap into their target audience via creativity and relatability in order to stand out. This is why many brands are opting for strategic Influencer campaigns as the lifeboat to success.
Startups in particular should take note and indeed take full advantage of what influencers can offer a brand at the early stages of its lifecycle – awareness. Many forget that influencer marketing should be used first and foremost for awareness purposes. If the target audience reached during that process decide to take action in the form of a sale, it’s purely a bonus. As outlined in the 2019 Influencer Marketing Hub’s Benchmark Report, audience relationships are deemed to be the most important factor for brand marketers when running influencer campaigns and as all new businesses will know, building audience relationships is vital.
Take Fyre Festival as a case study, albeit a controversial one! I believe this festival showcased the power of social influencers more so than the fall. With Fyre as the startup, did influencers, combined with an impressive social presence and teaser video, put Fyre Festival, on a huge pedestal for millions to take note of? Absolutely. Did this result in ticket sales? You bet it did (bonus). The purpose of influencer marketing for Fyre and for most businesses was, and is, purely for awareness. The fall for Fyre came from their execution of the wider festival not via the influencers.
Of course, not many startups will have the capital to invest in social superstars such as Kendall Jenner et al. but they will have enough to work with nano, micro and maybe even macro influencers. However, don’t allow yourself to be blinded by numbers. If you’re a new business, you will have spent time creating and fine tuning your brand values and believe it or not these are key when it comes to selecting influencers to work with. For example, if your brand has sustainability and minimalism at heart, Logan Paul is not going to be the right option for you. Look to influencers, of all sizes, who reflect what your brand stands for and add them to your short list because you can guarantee those influencers will already be creating the type of content your brand needs.
Don’t forget like many marketing forms, influencer marketing should not be used in silo regardless of whether you’re a startup or an established business. Look at your overall social and marketing strategy and use influencer marketing to amplify it. Remember there’s a marketing mix for a reason and no singular element will work to its full potential alone. You don’t have to go it alone, either. If you’re looking to take you influencer marketing strategy to the next level, get in touch with Found.