Saying that influencer marketing has exploded in the past year would be a wild understatement. This type of marketing exists when key individuals who have influence over potential buyers are tasked with promoting a brand. This is often done in a less pushy and in your face way compared to traditional paid ads.
One of the most underrated benefits of social media marketing is influencer-generated content (or IGC).
What is IGC?
Influencer generated content refers to when influencers create posts (photos, blog posts, videos, etc…) using their own creative process. When brands partner up with an influencer and request IGC, they’re putting them in the driver’s seat. While the brand may require certain guidelines to be followed, the influencer has total creative freedom.
Because influencers are creating content based on their experience with the product, their recommendation is a lot more believable. Their real, less-posed images add authenticity to the campaign and make your brand more relatable.
Traditional Branded Content Is Being Ignored
The way people shop has vastly changed. As crazy as this would have sounded even just 5 years ago, people are turning to social media to shop. While our parents and grandparents relied on TV, radio and print advertisements to direct their purchasing decisions, many of today’s consumers have become deaf to these sources. They view them as unreliable and untrustworthy. It’s become white noise.
It’s no secret that people trust influencers much more than they do the brand themselves. Followers have developed digital relationships with the influencers they follow which make them less likely to be ignored.
While you should certainly continue using branded content as part of your marketing strategy, not leveraging IGC is a major wasted opportunity. This type of content created by creative and savvy influencers can massively impact your marketing goals. Equally as important, it allows for your brand to reach people that wouldn’t know you existed otherwise. Not utilizing social media and its influencers to promote your brand not only runs you the risk of falling behind relative to your competitors but may turn off existing customers who look to this type of content to guide their buying.
Influencers Are the New Word-Of-Mouth
One of the first things you learn in Marketing 101 is the importance of word-of-mouth. While celebrity endorsements were once considered the top tier of word-of-mouth recommendations, they are quickly being replaced by a new type of marketing celebrity: the influencer. Celebrities certainly have the widest reach but their lackluster interest level pales in comparison to the passionate and invested dedication that comes with an influencer.
Just like how people are more likely to trust celebrities over the brand itself, they’re also more likely to trust influencers than celebrities. Influencers trump all. Because people typically follow the ins and outs of the influencer’s life through social media, they often feel connected to them. So, when they recommend a product or service, followers view it the same as if their friend were recommending it. And a product recommendation from a friend is marketing gold to any business.
IGC Has an Affordable Price Tag
While there is no specific cost for content creation, marketing initiatives can generally run between $5k and $50k depending on the size of the campaign. That’s an overwhelming amount that may be better utilized in other capacities.
Influencer generated content mitigates that high cost of creating branded content. By collaborating with an influencer who will create their own content, you’re slashing your budget and freeing up precious time. This alternative to traditional marketing will also provide you with some unique content in the influencer’s respective voice and style.
Partnering up with influencers typically delivers a large amount of unique, quality content that brands can repurpose for other marketing initiatives.
IGC gives influencers the chance to tell their stories using a brand’s product from their own point of view. It’s a great strategy for influencers looking to monetize their social media accounts and for brands looking to widen their visibility online.