Influencer marketing works on a national and local level to encourage consumers to buy certain recommended products from someone with a meaningful social media following. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube offer companies an innovative and productive way to reach their target audience. If you haven’t taken advantage of influencer marketing, you are ceding a large number of consumers to the competition.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Social media influencers are famous or well-known in their field. As a result, they have many followers who respect their recommendations. Of course, being an influencer also means you have credibility with your followers in their field. Chef Gordon Ramsay can sway many to try a restaurant or buy a cooking appliance, but his influence in automotive is practically nil.
Studies have shown there is a 5.2x increase in buyer intent when consumers are exposed to tweets from both the brand and a reputable influencer. When you partner with an influencer, you will likely have to pay them. Although in some cases you may be creating a mutually beneficial relationship by giving them access to the exclusive products and information to share with their following, in most cases, people want to be paid for the time and effort they are putting into promoting your brand. Either way, influencers are required to disclose that the products were given to them for promotion or that they have partnered with the brand as a part of a paid campaign. Also, the influencers are able to further grow their brand and solidify their status as an influencer by consistently sharing their opinions on their latest products, many of which, the average person won’t even have access to yet.
Why is Influencer Marketing Important?
Studies have shown that influencer marketing offers an ROI which is 11x higher than that of traditional or digital marketing. Influencer marketing is not just important: it’s essential to industry success. Modern consumers are continually growing more sophisticated and are less easily influenced by traditional marketing efforts. Given that studies have shown that 9 out of 10 users browse via the mobile web, this means more people are also receiving their pre-purchase info via the mobile web, including apps like Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. Since most people know mainstream celebrities are typically paid big bucks for endorsement deals, they may not be impressed by an A-list celebrity promoting an SUV. They will take notice when someone more relatable mentions the positive aspects of a new product.
What are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
A true social media influencer takes great care not to steer their followers down the wrong path because their own credibility is on the line. They cannot keep their followers or their hard-won influence if they don’t protect their reputation. That’s why their recommendations are so powerful.
Consumers are more likely to consider purchasing the product because the information is coming from a peer-recommended source. Also, the influencer’s followers will then spread the word to their peers. This type of marketing has a strong ripple effect that can turn your brand from unknown to viral, overnight.
What Type of Influencers Should Automotive Brands Connect With?
Automotive brands should obviously partner with individuals that have influence over the market they are trying to reach. You must identify the influencer’s main audience before pursuing these partnerships. The average new car buyer is 51.7 years of age. If your aim is to sell more new cars, then you need an influencer who is targeting that community of people. If you are promoting a model that appeals to young buyers, then you might look to someone in the music or sports industries with followers who hit that demographic. For instance, studies have shown that buyers 45 and over prefer household names. Therefore, when dealing with the automotive realm, a particular celebrity or a well known online personality are two favorable options.
How Do Brands Find Relevant Influencers and Make Connections?
You shouldn’t merely look for people with the biggest social media following. You need to find someone who is the right fit for your product and your company. Some models have a huge social media following, but will that help you in the automotive industry?
You can find potential partners by searching for relevant hashtags. For instance, if you are searching for influencers in a particular region, you might search for hashtags that include the city name. Some examples of these for the Portland region are #PDX, #PacificNW, #PDXLife, and #PNW. Also, use various tools such as Hootsuite Insights, Heepsy, Influence.co, and Keyhole as a means of keeping track of insights and progress.
Once you’ve identified a list of potential influencer partners, you can then rank them by their level of engagement. That way you are finding people who will specifically help your brand, such as Brad and Hailey Devine and Bentley Partner, Jeanne Grey, do for the automobile industry. Each of which, are examples of influencers who are able to leverage their massive followings to promote and secure more sales for their respective partners.
For instance, Grey has been branded as a “new girl boss.” So, not only is she motivating like-minded women (and men) to achieve success in the entrepreneurial world, but she is also making it so her followers associate the Bentley brand with success and hard work.
On the flip side, brand ambassadors for Acura, Brad and Hailey, have a built a very successful platform on both Instagram and Youtube. Speaking of which, Youtube just so happens to be is the second most influential social media network, with 18% of consumers taking their shopping cues from the site.
How does Tier10 Execute this Strategy?
While you may think it’s a better idea to go with a full-on celebrity, there is real value in social media influencers who have not reached celebrity status. Studies have shown that people are 30% more likely to buy products recommended by non-celebrity bloggers as they are more relatable.
According to Erica Wallace, social media manager and influencer, Tier10 facilitates these partnerships by first locating influencers that have the right audience, one that aligns with the brand’s target market. They then assess the influencer’s engagement levels and the quality of their content to make certain they are a good fit for the campaign.
One successful influencer partnership Tier10 facilitated was with their client, the Greater Twin Cities Honda Dealers Association (GTCHDA), and the influencer, Kim Ly Curry. She is a foodie influencer in the Minneapolis area that has excellent engagement within the Greater Twin Cities market and provides high-quality content that aligns with the GTCHDA brand. Tier10 created a 2019 Honda Odyssey TV commercial featuring Kim Ly Curry visiting a local Japanese restaurant, Kado No Mise. During the partnership, Kim Ly Curry also shared the commercial on her social media platforms, which generated an additional 10 thousand views. This type of local partnership has an immense impact on consumers who are already emotionally invested in the influencer.
Influencer marketing offers clients the opportunity to extend their reach to a carefully targeted audience. By cultivating these partnerships, you can build a long-term, economical and effective marketing plan that is constantly reaching new consumers. Tier10 is the award-winning, creative force that can help you develop your own influencer marketing that will build brand awareness while also helping you connect with your local market. In today’s market, no one can afford to ignore or under-use the power of social media and the influencers that rule that medium.