Influencer Marketing, under or overrated?

This week I listened to the first VaynerX "Marketing for the now" for 2022 where an impressive lineup of brands and creators joined the discussion on how to effectively market on TikTok. It was fascinating to hear from various firms executing successful marketing campaigns on the current hot spot of social media. However, there was one element of the discussion that I was particularly interested in: “Influencer Marketing”.

At Kevin Sprecher Golf, we have been fortunate enough to partner with two fantastic golf influencers, Mike & Frank Fasano, who founded and run the Golficity brand. The Golficity brand has amassed a massive following on various platforms; Instagram 64K, TikTok 71K, Facebook 93K, and YouTube 58K, but the most critical aspect of this collaboration is the relationship, not a transaction between the two brands. Focusing on collaboration to provide value to the FOLLOWERS in the form of high-quality instruction videos has allowed the content to be authentic and engaging with both consumer bases.

When we explore the values of Kevin Sprecher Golf as a business, it is to help Golfers of all abilities develop their game and play better golf; finding influencers that align with these values is key to executing a successful collaborative campaign. The Golficity brand seeks to change the game of golf for the better and help golfers worldwide enjoy and play great golf!

Listening to brands such as Nerf & Eos emphasize the importance of finding the correct type of influencer that aligns with the business made me recognize how valuable the relationship between Kevin Sprecher Golf and Golficity is. Influencer content is one of the best ways to engage with potential consumers and consistently create multiple touchpoints to convert followers into customers.

Selecting an influencer that aligns with your brand but also has a strong level of trust with their followers is a recipe for a successful influencer marketing campaign; in the case of Kevin Sprecher Golf X Golficity, I have seen first-hand the positive impact these collabs have in relation to customers and business inquiries.

Kevin Sprecher has built up a strong brand image amongst customers, therefore, benefits hugely from word-of-mouth marketing. Still, I often receive emails/questions from individuals who have watched the Golficity content and, as a result, are interested in visiting Kevin Sprecher for a lesson or a fitting for golf clubs. We even had a guy travel from Atlanta to New York for a lesson after watching the Golficity collab! If that isn't an example of successful influencer marketing, I don't know what is!

I also believe there is a common misconception that influencer marketing is costly and something that only large companies can benefit from. Although I have mentioned firms such as Nerf that spend upwards of $10,000 monthly on TikTok influencer marketing campaigns, smaller businesses can most definitely start incorporating influencers into their marketing campaigns for little to no costs.

In this instance, smaller firms should start exploring their consumer base and find brand loyalists who can share the brand's story creatively and authentically. Although this may be referred to as a "Micro influencer" campaign, I don't like using that terminology as I feel the term micro creates the thought of small scale when the use of brand loyalists to create engaging and authentic content has the power to have huge (Macro) impact for a business.

Smaller firms could focus less on the transaction between brand and influencer and more on the relationship, find creative ways to build a relationship with brand loyalists that inspire them to become part of the content creation team. This reminds me of a topic I mentioned in a previous blog post, making the invisible army more visible; this is in reference to Eric Ries book "The Lean Startup," where he describes the brand loyalists who spread positive word of mouth marketing as an invisible army. Brands must now make these loyal, passionate customers for the brand visible and integrate them within their marketing campaigns. This can be through user-generated content (UGC), some brands that execute this well;

- Gopro #goproawards | Top 3 YouTube videos came from UGC

- Apple #shotoniphone | 24 million posts on Instagram from users!

Therefore, to link it back to the focus of this post, is influencer marketing under or overrated? I believe that campaigns that deliver high-quality engaging content through which both parties' values align are highly underrated and can create massive returns for brands.

However, I also believe that many brands invest enormous resources into influencer campaigns that are evidently transactional, and therefore the content produced isn't authentic. In this case, the brand often fails to capture new customers (Poor ROI), and the influencer may even lose credibility with their followers. OVERRATED!

Therefore, selecting the right influencers to share the brand's story is integral to the campaign's success.

I am interested in finding out more about the initial interaction between brand and influencer and how valuable this is in fostering a good relationship between the two parties that can lead to campaign success.

Feel free to share some thoughts in the comments!

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