Driving Under the Influencer Can Power
Influencer marketing – when someone with an engaged following introduces your brand to their loyal audience to help you sell your products – is the fastest-growing form of marketing worldwide. In fact, it had grown by some 60% in 2016, and spending is projected to expand exponentially in the next few years. That’s enough to make any marketer who uses it a little tipsy.
The fashion and beauty care segments were among the early adopters, but home design trends, licensing, the emerging Smart Home category, branding, and the right demographics make it a natural for the home goods market. GenX and baby boomer women 35+ are not only the largest group of housewares consumers, they are also the ones likely to influence other women to buy a new product.
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Leveraging the New Word of Mouth
The whole idea of word-of-mouth marketing is powerful, yet limited. But not anymore. Influencer marketing has taken word of mouth to the next level thanks to blogs and social media. Influencers share information and recommendations, just as they would with family and friends. But now, through their blogs, websites and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, their familiarity and trustworthiness can scale to reach hundreds, thousands or even millions of potential customers.
Dispelling Some Misconceptions about Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing, as it relates to the housewares industry, is still in its infancy. Yet, some marketers are already intimidated by some key misconceptions, including the following:
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- Influencer marketing requires a huge marketing budget.
- It’s only for big brands and companies.
- Influencers associate themselves only with well-known brands.
- It’s a one-time campaign.
- By it’s very nature, influencer marketing is a nebulous concept that can’t be measured.
We say, “no, no, no,” and will show you why,
Time to Switch Channels?
If you’re spending your marketing budget on social media and Google AdWords (pay-per-click), and not getting the desired results, you may have the wrong strategy (or the wrong people executing it), or those channels may be suffering from a marketing hangover – too much in one place.
Research has shown that 70% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. So if your social media and online advertisements are not delivering, working with an influencer may be the best way to build credibility and grow sales. Again, research shows that ROI of influencer marketing can be 11 times more effective than digital advertising. Aligning your housewares products with the right influencers could give your competitors headaches. (By the way, stay tuned and we’ll tell you how our influencer marketing agency finds and works with influencers to speak up for your products.)
H2: Enough Sales and Marketing Benefits to Make Your Head Spin
You’ll be impressed with the power and versatility of influencer marketing. We’ve spelled them out below.
Increased Brand Awareness & Engagement
With influencer support, your brand awareness broadens and loyalty builds. Influencers can help you reach an audience that you could not reach on your own, even with regular advertising. If you find the right influencers in your niche, they can generate segmented traffic. By tagging your brand, they drive traffic to your social media channels and get you new followers. They can also ask their followers to tag friends which will improve the reach of their posts.
Providing a New and Affordable Channel for All Housewares Markets
If you look at quality vs. quantity, contracting with more specialized “micro-influencers,” may be the most cost-effective strategy for small to mid-size housewares companies. Micro-Influencers have specific and narrow areas of influence. Consumers are more likely to believe the reviews of an expert than a celebrity who has a large number of followers. While major social media influencers may have 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers, micro-influencers may have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, making them much more affordable to smaller companies. The basic idea is to make use of the qualitative aspect of influencer marketing.
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Better Audience Segmentation through Micro-Influencers
One of the key principles of effective direct marketing is audience segmentation. The better the segmentation, the more effective – and cost effective – the marketing. This is great for housewares marketers, when for example, a flatware specialist with a following demonstrates and recommends your products. That’s how you can build a groundswell of interest in your housewares product(s) and maximize a return on your marketing investment. Of course, you must decide if you want to (a) narrow your reach to your best prospects or (b) cast a wider net and exposure but possibly less engagement. While your level of engagement and ROI will help guide you, as an experienced influencer marketing agency, we tend to go for (a) for clients with new product introductions and/or smaller marketing budgets.
Building Your Customer Database…Faster
Getting customers to raise their hands and sign up should be part of your long-term strategy. You want to keep in touch with prospects and customers as long as they continue to opt in. Influencers become your catalyst. Mentioning or displaying an exclusive offer in a video or live broadcast for that influencer’s fans could be redeemed on your website or used at checkout. This can increase registrations and sales. Ultimately, the same database that may take you months to build could be built in weeks by your influencer(s).
Increased Conversions and Improved Measurability
As noted earlier in our list of misconceptions, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are more than places to stockpile “likes” and add followers. They are now powerful sales and sales conversion tools where customers can buy. The ability to demonstrate products on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram can drive an influencer’s followers to your website or even complete a purchase your product(s) without having to leave Facebook or Instagram. While this would require setting up your products for purchase on these platforms, influencers can help to increase conversions.
Earlier, we spoke about a channel hangover and fatigue. If other social media are not producing desired ROI, a boost from influencer marketing could revive interest and prompt sales. Speaking of ROI, if you’re serious about measuring results, there are sophisticated tools to gauge the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns (especially when evaluating average cost per lead), including Google Analytics and Buzzsumo. (If you don’t have the time or expertise for this, we can help.)
Improving Product Development
Bringing products to market takes time and money. Getting consumer input on product prototypes has typically been the realm of traditional focus groups. Finding financial backers for new products, especially from smaller companies, has not been easy. But influencer marketing provides its own online version of focus groups, and can be proof positive of the number of potential customers for new housewares products via social media reports. This data can also be used to generate crowdsourced innovation for companies developing new products. An influencer can introduce your new product to his or her followers through a video, live broadcast or even a blog with images and request their feedback. You’ll get instant (and maybe even live) feedback on what they like and don’t like about your product – and what they’d like to see changed for them to buy it.
Finding and Working with Influencers
To optimize your ROI, you first need to find the right influencers. These people are valued for their following (rather than their celebrity) and should be enthusiastic about your product. If you have the time and expertise, there are various tools available to you to both find and manager influencers. These include HYPR, Onalytica, NeoReach, and Mention. We use these tools to help find and evaluate the most relevant influencers for our clients.
Drive or Let Us Take the Wheel
Influencer marketing offers tremendous potential to deliver lasting results for housewares companies, but only if it’s approached carefully and deliberately. As an influencer marketing agency, we help brands and marketers build the relationships with the right influencers to get that attention, drive word-of-mouth traffic, improve search performance and increase sales. We are also familiar with the latest FCC rules for influencer marketing. If you want to learn more about this powerful marketing strategy and explore it’s potential fit for your brand, call us at 561-674-0757 or contact us for a free consultation.