Influencer partnerships reinforce your brand’s identity, introduce your brand to prospective customers, build your Instagram base, and can even improve search engine results.
These campaigns are increasingly successful for our clients, so we decided to share some insights in a four-part series.
First, for the sake of this series of posts, we define influencers as bloggers who create photos, videos, and posts, as well as run events and giveaways. Many are small media companies with subject matter expertise and attract a loyal following. In other words, we are not defining influencers in this series as sommeliers, retail buyers, journalists, etc.
So why work with influencers? Here are six reasons.
1. Amplify your brand identity
You are the company you keep. By partnering with reputable influencers whose visual style and tone (i.e., their point of view, syntax, level of formality, etc.) complement your own brand, you strengthen your brand’s identity.
But first, make sure you vet potential partners to ensure their photography and writing style aligns with your brand. For example, a traditional, iconic Napa Valley luxury brand won’t benefit by partnering with a sassy, irreverent blogger.
2. Increase awareness with targeted, prospective customers
Our client campaigns are often designed with goals such as targeting potential customers in their late 20s and 30s or reaching wine drinkers who don’t read wine columns but do follow home décor or home entertaining influencers. Based on an influencer’s followers, your brand can get exposure to these “pools” of future customers, often at a competitive CPM (cost per thousand impressions), and in an editorial environment that isn’t saturated with your competitors. (And, by the way, these programs can complement a targeted PR campaign, but that’s a subject for a future post.)
Case study: By partnering with female influencers, we helped a client in 2018 increase the percentage of female Instagram audience from 65% to 72%.
3. Influencer opinions are more trusted than ads
Followers are attracted to influencers who inspire new ideas and serve as an “editor” of current topics, trends and products. Good influencers are the Sherpas of their domain. By providing valuable insights, experience and practical advice, they drive loyalty and trust. And people trust endorsements. According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report, 66% of the consumers in the U.S. trust recommendations from opinions while only 46% trust ads on social networks1.
4. Grow your Instagram audience
Fanning ads on Instagram, unlike Facebook, are not an option. But influencer partnerships can reach large audiences of prospective customers and help boost follower acquisition more quickly than “organic” growth alone; that is, just relying on followers engaging with your posts. Put another way, influencer-created content has a better opportunity of being discovered than organic content or traditional social media advertisements alone.
Case study: One of our winery clients doubled their Instagram audience from 3,500 to 7,000 followers in 2018 as a result of influencer partnerships.
5. Rank higher in search results
Both the quality and number of links to your root domain positively affect your SEO value. It might be an unexpected reason to work with social media influencers but doing so can increase your search engine rankings. Additionally, keyword optimization in your influencer partner’s content can also affect your brand’s ranking. Both of these benefits help drive more traffic to your website, which could drive more email signups, online purchases, winery visits and more.
6. Create new content for your brand
Influencers are in the business of creating content. So, the terms of your partnership contract should include usage rights for their photos, texts and posts. Tap their creative energy to refresh your image library, because your in-house team probably doesn’t have the time!
Now that we’ve made our case for why to partner with an influencer partner, read our second post in this series: how to select a wine influencer partner.