5 Easy Ways To Rebuild Trust With Influencer Marketing
Many brands learned to communicate in a world where advertising reigned supreme. Businesses controlled a one-way exchange of information where consumers couldn’t avoid ads when reading the paper, watching TV or listening to the radio. Fast forward to today and this world has been severely disrupted to the point that it no longer exists for many younger people.
Consumers now have choice. They can get information from non-advertising sources, social media has given them a voice and they’re using it to tell you what they think.
Ad blocking grew by 41 per cent in the past year and will continue to rise. Consumers that were once a guaranteed audience – willingly or otherwise – are now actively seeking out ways to silence your brand messages.
Why? They no longer trust you. Decades of being spoken at, not to, has damaged the relationship. In fact, research suggests many people trust complete strangers more than brands.
Brand messages that have been carefully crafted at great expense are being shot out into a world that doesn’t care. Yet an alarming number of brands are still opting for this form of one-way communication even though they’re talking to an audience that just isn’t listening.
The most successful marketing starts by defining a target audience, finding out where they are and what content they’re consuming before taking the messages to them. No, this doesn’t mean advertising on their favourite websites. I’m talking about getting people they trust to deliver the message on your behalf.
I’m talking about influencer marketing.
This involves identifying individuals who are well respected by your brand’s target audience and engaging them. These influencers are often bloggers or social media personalities and the communication is usually part of a contractual agreement where money changes hands.
By association with these influencers, your brand can start rebuilding trust and opening new lines of communication. It will take time but at least your brand will no longer be the party guest nobody invited.
When planning your influencer marketing strategy, keep these five things in mind:
- Know your audience – Where will you find them and what do they care about? With today’s kitbag of digital tools there’s no excuse for not having this information.
- Reconsider your marketing mix – Influencer marketing is more than something your brand should ‘dip your toe’ into. It’s one of the most cost-effective marketing methods and will spark a greater number of conversations with your audience.
- Initiate conversations – Stop talking at your customers and take this opportunity to engage them. Invite input or promote discussion via your influencer and build trust by proving you’re motivated by more than self-interest.
- Be patient – Influencer marketing shouldn’t be seen as a possible quick win. Your brand must build authentic relationships with influencers before you can expect them to ‘endorse’ you.
- Be interesting – Influencers who share any old message from any old brand will quickly lose the trust of their audience and therefore their value as an influencer. Empower your influencers with information that’s relevant to them and valuable to your audience.