Why Influencer Marketing Should Be a Long-Term Investment

Despite its rapid growth the last couple of years, plenty of brands still have not realized the benefits of influencer marketing. Many businesses still treat it like the tip jar of marketing – if you have some change left after making all of your other purchases, you might as well spend it on influencer marketing. If the headline didn’t already give it away – this is the completely wrong strategy to pursue if you want value for your money. 

This is why you should treat influencer marketing as an integral part of your overall marketing strategy, and invest in it long term:

It is fast – but takes time

Social media is known for being the fast track to success – with one single post you can quickly become viral, and reach millions of people in matter of just hours. But those 15 minutes of fame means nothing to your sales figures, if you don’t make sure to build on the awareness created and stay top of mind among the audience. 

You are probably familiar with the marketing funnel – illustrating the customers’ journey from attention to interest and consideration and, lastly, action. If you only do one-off influencer marketing campaigns, you will most likely be stuck in the attention phase, making little to no impact on the consumers’ purchase intent. To expect and increase in sales after a single influencer marketing campaign is like thinking you will be a chef after one cooking class – it’s just not realistic. However, if you continuously work with influencer marketing, you will not only reduce the inefficiency that arises from constantly starting from square one, you will also exponentially increase your chances of affecting your audience’ purchasing decision. 

It builds loyalty

Creating a long-term strategy for your influencer marketing allows you as a brand to build a stronger relationship with the influencers you work with. In exchange, the influencers will be more invested in the collaboration and put more effort in the content creation. If the influencers feel like they are entrusted with the important task of being ”the face” of the brand for a longer period of time, they will also make sure to take on that responsibility in the best way possible. Longer collaborations, as opposed to one-offs, build mutual trust, loyalty and a sense of responsibility between brands and their influencers, affecting the performance positively.

It is perceived as more authentic 

Would you trust a book recommendation from a friend if that friend only read the first chapter of the book? Probably not. Then why should an audience trust an influencer recommending a product that they have only tried once? 

Working more long term with influencers makes them look more authentic and honest in the eyes of their followers which, by extensions, reflects positively on the brand. If the audience sees that the influencer has been a loyal customer to the brand for a long time, the likelihood of them buying the product/service increases significantly. 

In summary, influencer marketing should not be neglected for the benefit of other marketing activities, but rather integrated in the long-term marketing strategy. Long-term investments in influencer marketing builds loyal influencers and followers, and increases the return on invest.