If your more traditional marketing strategy doesn’t seem to be working, you’ll likely be tempted to double down on the seemingly more cost-effective space of social media. Here, you can use popular platforms and popular people to promote your business and, potentially, reach more customers.
Still, “influencer marketing,” as it’s being termed, isn’t a guaranteed win, and many users have become accustomed to spotting and bypassing traditional means of influencer advertising. Even so, GaggleAmp cites that as much as $10 billion was spent on influencer marketing by 2020.
This sum doesn’t get reached without some success stories coming to light or a clear perception of the methods working. Most recently, the power of social media has been clearly demonstrated for an industry thought to be in rapid decline, and its figures help to showcase exactly how influencers can help to boost a business.
It’s recorded by this PIA study that, in the second half of 2020, Americans read some 25 percent more than in 2019, with the need to fill time not being the sole proponent of this surge. Instead, virtual book clubs, the availability of eBooks and audiobooks, and those promoted by influencers on social media all contributed.
A few of the biggest of these “book influencers” to come to the fore were Jimmy Fallon, Reese Witherspoon, and Emma Watson, along with non-celebrity handles like @James_Trevino and @MarshaCollier.
All of these people would read books in their own time and share with their followers' recommendations and why their picks should be read.
In fact, in 2020, the number of readers doubled, with social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter offering solid foundations for communities to partake in book clubs and receive recommendations.
As they’re short-form, people could quickly watch little videos to get the gist of a review and then find the book online or via a link.
Publishers and authors have noticed the power of book influencers in the past, often incorporating them in time for a big launch or similar event.
However, the most powerful influence that these people have is simply being genuine. Offering their own opinions having spent their chosen time in a book entirely reflects in reviews and recommendations.
For the most part, influencer marketing’s power is through its human connection, as The Drum explains, and through genuine thoughts and praise.
As a result, the most successful forms of influencer marketing come when those with large followings just decide to discuss or inform about a product that they’ve found useful rather than one that they have been paid to tell others about.
You could see this as the most organic form of influencer marketing, but it’s very difficult to get your product or business in that circle if people with large followings don’t look your way.
The key is authenticity, as people don’t want to be sold to, as Medium shows, on platforms that are accessed purely for entertainment and information.
The way to get around this would be to establish your own social media platform that has its own lead personalities that test, demonstrate and review products that you sell.
Bringing in real customers for their thoughts could also bolster the influential factors of these posts. Alternatively, offering influencers free trials of products and services or extended use if they like and review could be seen as a more organic or genuine approach.
People follow others on social media for an authentic connection to their preferences, thoughts, and content, and paid influencer marketing tends to fly in the face of that if not posed as a sponsor. Instead, influencers should be sought out in ways that result in genuine posts.