Adotas is pleased to present a Q&A on influencer marketing with Tony Longo, CEO of Ground Signal.
A: When brands have the ability to connect in real-time with consumers, it opens up opportunities for meaningful exchanges–exchanges that they may want to share with friends. That’s where social media influencers come in. A positive brand experience for an influencer is not only shared with friends, but with thousands of followers with the same interests. When brands can reach out to influencers in real-time, on location, with a discount or a simple “thank you,” they are not only cultivating loyalty with that specific influencer, but they have the opportunity to build interest and acquire new customers from the influencer’s follower base.
Q: Is it necessary for brands to connect with influencers if they have a strong social media following of their own?
A: A strong social media following for a brand is definitely a powerful tool, but it doesn’t boost brand loyalty or conversion rates as much as might be wished. Offers shared by influencers convert at rates 3-10 times higher than offers sent by a brand itself. Influencers connect with consumers, because, well – they are consumers. The best way to maximize the impact of a brand’s social media presence is to expand the brand’s existing social media strategy to include harnessing the power of influencers.
Q: How do brands determine the best influencers to connect with?
A: There’s not going to be just one ‘right’ influencer. But it’s important to take a look at more than just how many followers someone has. Most recently, many brands have been connecting with micro-influencers – those who have a lower number of followers, but whose followers are precisely the audience the brand wants to reach. These micro-influencers have the ability to engage with their dedicated following and move those followers to action.
Q: How have you seen influencer marketing used this holiday season to promote retail sales?
A: Many brands are connecting with influencers on Snapchat to promote products. Instagram is another popular platform this holiday season. These platforms are both based on photos and videos, which may be why they are most popular for influencers this season. Consumers can not only see the product, but can also get a sense of the overall brand experience from the influencer’s point of view.
Q: What do you see for the future of influencer marketing as we move into 2016?
A: Influencer marketing will, without a doubt, continue to gain momentum in 2016. As brands experiment with social media, influencer marketing will continue to emerge as a highly effective way to connect with many people within a targeted audience. Without a social strategy that engages influencers, marketers will miss the opportunity to engage new prospects, understand pain points in real-time and drive ROI.
Tony Longo is the co-founder and CEO of Ground Signal, a location-based technology platform that gives brands the power to understand and reach local audiences and individual influencers anywhere in the world. Ground Signal fosters innovation and empowers users’ ability to extract valuable data and insights. Reach out to Tony and share your ideas via LinkedIn or Twitter.