What Part of the Sales Funnel Should Include Influencer Marketing?

For the last decade or so, influencer marketing has been a crucial strategy for brands to gain brand awareness, build trust, and create customer loyalty.

At its inception, influencer marketing was part of the early stages of the sales funnel, but it’s since evolved beyond initiation to activate consumers at multiple stages. With so many touchpoints and stages involved in the customer journey, there’s an opportunity to use influencer marketing for more than just awareness.

Top of the Funnel

According to the 2020 Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report from Influencer Marketing Hub, 40% of participants listed awareness as the primary goal of influencer campaigns and partnerships.[1]

Influencers have a lot of value for promoting brands to a built-in audience. They’re typically composed of groups that share interests or pain points, making them ideal for the brand.

Influencers can also improve the follower growth on brand pages and prompt user-generated content, which drives further awareness. The type of content for this stage include in-feed posts, product demos, unboxing videos, branded hashtags, and blog posts.

Middle of the Funnel

Influencers are effective for the consideration stage and mid-funnel, due to their ability to generate audience engagement. This stage is all about repeated exposure to a brand or product, and this is where influencers can be especially valuable.

One of the best ways for influencers to create repeat exposure is as a brand ambassador. By sharing a series of different types of content related to one brand, their audience becomes more aware of the product and it keeps it top-of-mind when the purchasing decision comes around.

This is also an opportunity for influencers to educate followers about the brand or product and prompt debate in comments, allowing followers to develop opinions about the brand or product based on peer feedback. Content types that are valuable for this stage include influencer content, how-to tutorials, contests and giveaways, informational videos, product offers and promotions, and Q&A sessions.

Bottom of the Funnel

More and more brands are becoming aware of influencer’s power in the conversion phase, or bottom of the funnel. According to research from Hubspot, 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media referrals, which is exactly what influencers do.[2]

Influencers are neither making peer recommendations nor directly advertising. Their recommendations hit the “sweet spot” in between, and followers trust them after having previous positive experiences. This is how influencers can convert prospects into paying customers.

Popular content types for the bottom of the funnel include direct product reviews, video testimonials, video collaborations between the brand and influencer, and product offers and promotions.

Influencer Marketing for the Entire Funnel

Your brand’s funnel may look different than this one, but it’s intended to illustrate how influencer marketing can help you reach your goals according to your funnel and the ideal content types. Maintaining a healthy funnel isn’t reliant on just one marketing approach, however. influencer marketing should be included in the marketing mix to maximize your efforts and improve your likelihood of success.

Sources:

[1] https://influencermarketinghub.com/ebooks/Influencer_Marketing_Benchmark_Report_2020.pdf

[2] https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30239/71-more-likely-to-purchase-based-on-social-media-referrals-infographic.aspx?__hstc=161661091.4481529cbab48d59dccc2493e9d8e0c2.1649300707794.1649300707794.1649300707794.1&__hssc=161661091.1.1649300707795&__hsfp=748233975