Influencer Marketing and Brand Loyalty: How to Benefit from the Match Made in Heaven

Monique Danao

Monique Danao is a writer for ReferralCandy and CandyBar.

So you want to use influencer marketing to generate brand loyalty? 

Of course, it’s easy for anyone to create a social media account and post beautiful customers. However, popular brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills and Huda Beauty have managed to stand out from the pack. They have garnered millions of followers through creating engaging content on social media. But how do you turn your social media followers into loyal customers and brand advocates?

Have a read through this article for a good head start.

What is influencer marketing and why is it so effective?

Influencer marketing involves promoting your brand and engaging with target audiences on social media. Numerous brands spend hours creating compelling content and managing their followers in hopes of connecting with customers, popularizing their products, or sharing their daily lives. 

There are many social media platforms that offer diverse opportunities for marketers and influencers that want to reach thousands of netizens. However, social media’s potential is unparalleled due to its number of users and levels of engagement. 

These days traveling to famous destinations isn’t complete without hundreds of fellow tourists whipping up their smartphones to show off for the ‘gram. When you dine in a restaurant, it’s common to spot people taking pictures that they can share with their own followers. 

Here are the statistics that prove how social media has become ingrained in our culture:

  • There are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide
  • Social media users will spend an average of 3 hours per day on social media platforms and messaging platforms. 
  • 93% of advertisers in social media use Facebook ads on a regular basis.
  • Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 849.3M users. 
  • 75% of Instagram users act upon seeing a business post. 

Social media’s success is partly attributed to users that love to bookmark jaw-dropping travel destinations, trendy food, and interesting products. People love to follow influencers living the high life and like sponsored photoshoots that can make anyone stop and stare. 

As a result, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are some of the most effective platforms for sharing visual content and highlighting the best things about your brand. 

While we can easily create a social media account, a few have managed to stand out from the crowd by sharing quality content. 

Beauty guru Huda Kattan (@hudabeauty) uses the platform to share beauty tips and tricks. Thanks to her top-notch content, she launched her own makeup line and eventually gained 45.9 million followers. 

Why is brand loyalty important for growth?

Social media is one of the few platforms that inspire brand loyalty through posts. 

Many followers learn the latest products through their social media feed. They frequent business accounts of the brands that they love and voluntarily consume new content. Meaning, your business could stay at the back of their minds, or they may even return to your store once a post piques their interest. 

Most brands solely focus on customer acquisition, but brand loyalty holds the true key to success. Researchers found that 65% of a company’s revenue comes from its existing customers. According to Bigcommerce, the top 10% of customers are estimated to spend 3x more per order, than your lower 90% of shoppers. In addition, the top 1% of customers are likely to spend 5x more than 99% of your customer base. 

Harvard Business Review also found that getting new customers through the sales funnel costs five to 25 times more, than retaining the ones you already have. 

It’s a fact – businesses seeking more profits have to shift their focus to brand loyalty.  Social media platforms provide a great opportunity for businesses seeking to consistently engage with their current customers for the long-term. 

How to work with influencers and thus increase brand loyalty (and, in the end, increase revenue)?

A popular way businesses can gain popularity on social media is to collaborate with influencers (directly, via a designated platform or through an agency) to promote their content. Obviously, an influencer sharing your brand with thousands of followers will also boost the popularity of your business. 

That said, here are some ways you can leverage brand loyalty and increase your businesses’ profits. 

Influencers as part of your referral/loyalty program

Of course, people trust recommendations from their family and friends, more than sponsored advertisements. Interestingly, it also turns out that people will trust reviews from influencers that have gained credibility. 

Meaning, if you’re looking for one way to boost your referral or loyalty program membership, then leveraging influencers is an effective tactic. 

Referral programs are a surefire method that will get you hundreds and thousands of new customers. It usually involves incentivizing your brand advocates to refer your business to their friends. Once a successful referral is made, the brand advocates and their referred friend will receive discounts, freebies, or exclusive products. 

Ztylus – an eCommerce store for smartphone accessories – targets big influencers on Youtube to refer their product. Each product review has a referral link in the description.  Viewers that click the link will receive a discount upon reaching the site. 

For instance, this product review on the ZTYLUS camera case has more than 260,000 views. Interested customers can get 25% off all ZTYLUS products by clicking the link on the description.  

Likewise, brands can also recruit influencers to promote their loyalty programs. Brands that offer exclusive products as loyalty program rewards can collaborate with influencers for product reviews. 

These may tempt consumers to sign-up and even boost customer lifetime value (CLV) in the long-run. Integrating social media and email marketing could also be a great help when it comes to CLV. 

Personalized content creation and user-generated content

When it comes to content creation, you don’t have to go at it alone. Your brand advocates and influencers will likely have user-generated content (UGC)⁠—or quality posts featuring your customer experience.

GoPro’s Instagram feed features gorgeous images from photographers that use their cameras. By posting UGC, the brand shows off the capabilities of their product and get free content at the same time. It’s a win-win situation! 

How does GoPro get tons of UGC? The brand invests up to $5 million annually for their GoPro Awards. Featured participants of their UGC campaign can tap on their 44 million followers, earn cash rewards, get featured in their GoPro Creator Series, become brand ambassadors, and so on. 

By launching a UGC campaign, businesses can empower their brand advocates and generate content that will attract more customers. 

Cross-marketing activities

Influencers have revolutionized social media marketing. Numerous brands have cross-marketing activities with industry-relevant influencers to create promotional Youtube videos and social media posts. Also, influencers are creative content creators that can help brands go viral in their industry. 

Because many influencers have managed to attract millions of followers, many are willing to engage in cross-marketing activities with brands that they love for advertising sponsorship opportunities. For brands, influencer collaborations give brands an opportunity to connect with their influencers’ dedicated fanbase. These collaborations also involve fewer resources than running a marketing campaign yet lead to faster and more astounding results. 

Sephora recruits experienced and aspiring beauty influencers to join their #SephoraSquad beauty influencer program. Influencers recruited into the program receive free products, content collaboration opportunities, professional coaching, networking events, early access to products, and many other benefits. 

By recruiting regular influencers to promote content for their brand, their fanbase is regularly exposed to your branded content. Plus, an influencers’ stories and reviews can help foster customer loyalty in the long-run. 

Targeted advertising that boosts engagement

Social media advertising gives brands an opportunity to target audiences based on their interests, demographics, and location. This way, your content can reach your target audience and boost interest in your brand. And it has great results when done right. Posting content blindly isn’t going to help you reach your target revenue. You have to use targeted advertising to boost engagement and spend wisely on social media ads. 

Understanding how to navigate these tools will help you understand the impact of influencer marketing on your businesses’ results. 

For instance, Instagram business accounts include a free Instagram Analytics tool. Users can track follower count, reach, engagement, impressions, and clicks to their profile. It also provides demographic information on your audiences such as their age, location, and gender. 

Similarly, Facebook business pages also come with a free analytics tool. This lets users identify their audience, understand their interests, and learn more about their behavior. With this information, you’ll better understand how to connect with your followers. 

Influencer marketing can be a costly endeavor, whether you’re working with celebrity influencers or a group of micro-influencers. It can be difficult to determine whether the money spent on influencers is worth it. 

Social media analytics tools can help businesses aggregate data and measure the impact of their influencer marketing campaigns. By understanding the impact of influencer campaigns, your business can create cost-effective marketing strategies to maximize the bang for your buck. 

How influencer marketing can lead to brand loyalty?

Influencer marketing is a surefire way of generating more brand loyalty for your business. 

Many influencers have thousands and millions of followers. Cross-marketing activities can enable you to tap their niche audience and boost brand awareness. Encourage influencers to promote your referral programs and loyalty programs, and reward them for every click or conversion that they generate. Launch UGC campaigns and provide freebies or exclusive offers for those that can share quality content.

Don’t forget to measure the results of your influencer marketing campaigns. Understanding the impact of influencers on your engagement, reach and conversions will help you create cost-effective campaigns. 

How will you use influencer marketing to increase brand loyalty? Let us know in the comments.