Why Influencer Marketing Is Important to Your Brand

Why Influencer Marketing Is Important to Your Brand
By Christine Wilson

Influencer marketing is the most powerful tool in getting a brand’s message to an interested audience in a relevant and authentic way. Whether launching a new product or just trying to raise brand awareness, it’s effective in driving engagement and quality traffic.

So, what exactly is influencer marketing? At its core, it means partnering with top bloggers or social media influencers and creating engaging and authentic content. The content is then shared across each influencer’s network and, if done correctly, the word is spread.

This innovative and effective marketing tactic is on the rise. The big brands that have employed influencer marketing are thrilled with the honest messaging their new brand ambassadors communicate to their loyal followings. The content is real, authentic and unique. Many bloggers think up ideas, slogans or recipes the brand never would have come up with.

Influencer marketing is currently exploding in the Mom category, and it’s really no surprise given that moms account for more than two trillion in spending in the U.S. each year. Brands like Kraft, T-Mobile, Disney, and LEGO are just a few who’ve successfully incorporated blogger promotions into their overall marketing plan.

Blogger promotions aren’t just for the big brands. Even smaller brands can make an impact. Partnering with key influencers to reach a specific targeted audience is effective whether you’re using 250, 100, or even just 25 bloggers.

But perhaps the most valuable takeaway from executing influencer promotions is the high quality content that’s created. Marketers need to remember that each blog post is a one-of-a-kind piece of content that they own. Photos, quotes, even blog comments can be used on brand collateral. It’s content marketing at its most compelling.

How do marketers get started? There are a variety of marketing firms that manage influencer marketing campaigns. They help identify bloggers or social media influencers that best fit a brand or initiative and manage the program from blogger solicitation to end-of-program reporting.

Each company has its own sweet spot or niche and its important to investigate their influencer relationships. Those with the best relationships are usually the ones with the most impressive results.

Technology also plays an important role in influencer marketing. A handful of influencer marketing companies have found a way to truly capture Total Media Value for a campaign. Gone are the days of guessing the number of blog post page views or monthly unique visitors. There’s technology that does that now, and it’s important for marketers and PR firms to work with companies that use it. The reporting is incredibly robust, showing post engagement numbers, post page views, campaign comment totals, social media stats, and much more. You can see real results in real time.

As brands and marketers finalize 2014 budgets, remember to include influencer marketing in the plan. It’s an omission brands can’t afford to make.

Christine Wilson is Founder & CEO of MtoM Consulting. She has spent more than 15 years working with thought leaders and industry influencers in information technology, entertainment, market research and digital content, and was the former Marketing Manager for the women’s cable network, Oxygen. MtoM Consulting was created to help brands engage with moms in the digital space. Her talent for speaking to moms has helped grow MtoM into a highly successful full-service digital marketing firm.

Photo Credit: justinmatthew21 via Photo Pin | Creative Commons