Can Influencer Marketing Work for Service-Based Industries?

With millions of people on social media, influencer marketing is a big industry and a highly effective marketing method. Many people put their trust in online personalities and content creators to get product recommendations or make purchasing decisions.

According to research from Digital Marketing Institute, around 86% of women use social media for purchase recommendations, and 49% of all consumers take influencer recommendations into consideration with product research.[1]

Massive brands take advantage of influencer marketing campaigns, including well-known companies like Subaru and Audible. This strategy isn’t limited to product-based businesses, however – service-based businesses can leverage influencer marketing for success.

Influencer Marketing Is In-Demand Across Industries

Influencer marketing was faster to grow in some markets compared to others, such as fashion, travel, and food. It’s a mainstay in modern marketing, however, and more and more companies across industries are getting involved.

Though influencer marketing as a marketing discipline is newer, the performance data indicates that its appeal lies in the authentic engagement influencers provide. This is a stark contrast to traditional marketing, which consumers are becoming increasingly wary of.[2]

Still, some marketers, especially in service-based businesses, question what influencer marketing has to offer for them. Fortunately, influencers are equipped to promote services with as much success as products.

The Common Thread of Influencer Marketing Across Industries

No matter if you’re selling a product or service, consumers respond to the authenticity and relationship with influencers and it’s more appealing to them than other marketing methods.

This lies in the inherent bias a brand has for itself. Traditional advertising promotes the brand from the standpoint of the brand itself, and naturally, the brand is going to position itself as the best (even if it’s not).

Influencers offer a different and more authentic perspective, whether the audience is consumers, clients, or B2B buyers. No matter the difference in industry, pain points, budget, or interests, all of these audiences have emotions and connections in common.

Influencers are experts at building trust and connections with people, giving them an edge in telling a story to sell an experience or a benefit to the audience.

Influencer marketing initially caught on with lifestyle industries and brands, such as beauty, fashion, and travel. The influencers succeeded in “selling” the lifestyle to the audience, whether it was jet-setting around the world or wearing the hottest runway looks.

Even in less “sexy” industries, influencers still have that power to sell something in a way that makes others want it. With service-based industries, the influencer is selling the experience the services offer.

Influencers can also position a service as more than its features – just like a product. Instead of the bells and whistles, or in the case of a service, the perks and bonuses, the influencer is providing real-world context for the audience. They act as a voice for people with the same pain points, desires, aspirations, and goals.

Influencer Marketing Is Not Just for Products

With the right influencer and campaign, any industry can benefit from influencer marketing – including service-based businesses.