I don’t know about you, but I’ve never looked at a model in an ad and thought to myself, “I feel like I know her and should trust her judgment in clothing choices.” Someone I know, though? Absolutely.
When a friend recommends that I try a restaurant, retailer, or service, I take that suggestion more seriously. I have a personal relationship with them — why would a friend lead me astray?
For a lot of people, influencers and brand ambassadors walk a similar line. Like a good friend, their photos show up on your social media feed. They put details about their personal life out on the internet for all to see. You might be familiar with the people in their family, their likes and dislikes, or their biggest pet peeves — all the things you could never know about the average catalog model.
You also probably know what brands they love best, accentuated with flattering filters and a list of hashtags. And since that influencer looks so much like a friend, you might be inclined to give their recommendations more weight.
In a recent TSheets survey of 1,849 shoppers, 45% say they’ve made a purchase based on something an influencer recommended, and what’s more, the majority was satisfied with that purchase.
What influencers can teach you about personalization
Influencer marketing is “a meld of traditional and modern marketing techniques.” Rather than hiring a model to put on an outfit from your collection, along with a slew of photographers and makeup artists to support the shoot, listen to your customers on social media to find people they want to emulate and invest in them instead.
Many retailers who invest in brand ambassadors supply products to these people for free. In exchange, influencers promote those products on their social media channels. The best part is that by and large, influencers promote the things they’re passionate about. If your target customers connect with influencers online, they likely share some common ground and have every reason to love your product.
Rather than purchasing targeted ads on social media, which 34% of consumers in the TSheets survey said they didn’t like, you can personalize your marketing by meeting your customers where they’re hanging out in a more natural way. Not only will the people you want to attract find your blatant advertising far less invasive, but 1 in 3 respondents said they trust influencers, so by extension, they’ll be more likely to trust you as well.
Need another reason to invest in brand ambassadors? People who find your brand via an influencer are coming to you because they like what they see, not because they’re hoping to get a percentage off their ecommerce order. By contrast, 22% of respondents who said they follow a brand on social media do so to get coupons or discounts.
As for what social media platforms you should be targeting with the brand ambassadors you work with, you might just leave that up to the influencer. While it’s true that 84% of respondents said they’ve used Facebook to follow their favorite brands, a lot of influencers seem to prefer Instagram, depending on their line of work or passion. And since you’re using them because they already have thousands of followers on one or more platforms, you know they’ve already figured out their niche and can represent you in that space in a way that will resonate with your target demographic. What could be more personal than that?