Rise of Influencers in Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are a proven way of winning customers. The first-ever loyalty program in the world is quoted back to 1896 when customers received tiny stamps from merchants and redeemed them for discounts and extra goods. It was the S&H Green Stamp Program. But today, loyalty programs are the most common method of boosting customer retention and revenue.
Over time, customers’ priorities, choices, and feelings have changed. Today, Influencers are more potent than any other channel of reaching out organically to users. Even in simple referral loyalty programs, influencers are playing crucial roles.
Influencers have “loyal followers”. So, when an influencer tells them a product is wonderful, and they should try it, they listen. According to Variety, 60% of millennials are more likely to take advice from YouTube influencers than traditional media personalities.
In fact, SocialPubli says that 42% of marketers believe influencer marketing to be their top revenue-generating marketing tactic.
Today, Influencers play a vital role in consumers’ decision-making journey.
Why is Influencer marketing bringing more ROI?
Personal connection with the audience
People nowadays find celebrities only in ad campaigns and sponsored events. Whereas influencers connect with the audience on a personal basis. Through social media, they reveal their lifestyle, accessories, products etc. This generates more trust among the audience than any commercial ad.
Moreover, Influencers connect with audiences with a higher frequency than any celebrity. It becomes easy for influencers to retain more audience because of consistency in sharing content and updates.
Influencers have specific audience
While it is true that celebrities are globally known and have a wider following, influencers are much closer to the audience interested in your product. Influencers have a very specific and curated audience. While a celebrity can endorse multiple brands across Industries, generally, influencers are followed by only one Industry audience.
For example, if you are a skincare product manufacturer, you can find an influencer on social media whose niche is beauty and skincare. As these influencers are regularly giving tips about skincare, their followers will have a large set of people interested in your product.
User-Generated content increases the impact drastically
Social media is the best place for people to share their experiences with the world. In fact, User-generated content has a 35% higher engagement rate in comparison to branded content on social media.
In addition, companies can drive approximately 30% higher conversions with the help of influencer referral reward programs. This is because influencers ask people to share reviews and create more content around your brand.
Leverage the trust of influencers and personal values
Influencers are just normal people using social media to connect with other people and share their thoughts. In addition, many influencers constantly post photos or videos of their daily lives on social media. This fact allows their audience to form a personal connection with them and trust them.
Companies can use this trust between an influencer and their followers to reach a wider audience. In addition, collaborating consistently with the same influencer will build trust and loyalty for your brand. After all, 23% of U.S. consumers feel more loyal when the brand partners with social influencers. (Accenture)
Influencers stay connected with the audience regularly
Furthermore, influencers have been known to address their followers during live streams directly. In fact, many influencers regularly reply to comments or DMs. As a result, their followers can build a special connection with them. For that reason, when influencers ask their followers to check out a brand, most of them listen. After all, if your friend told you about a great product in the market, wouldn’t you check it out?
Influencers have acclaimed expertise of their Industry
Influencers are often considered to be experts in their niche by their followers. As a result, their followers most often believe their words to be true. Hence, 60% of marketers say that in comparison to branded posts, influencer-generated contents get more engagement and views. In addition, 62% of consumers have tried a brand’s product or service because an influencer recommended it.
More ROI as compared to paid ads
According to research, influencer marketing helped 20 retailers generate a combined earned media value of $3 Billion. And they had spent $172 million collectively.
Along with increased ROI, influencer marketing also helps your brand reach more customers. And these customers, often, turn into loyal customers for the brand.
Popular ways of including influencers in loyalty programs?
1. Create a community of influencers
Community has more power to influence and create a long-lasting impact. Bringing influencers in your community by rewarding them with extra-benefits, personalized experiences, and perks are some examples of leveraging the power of community and influencers at the same time.
Having many influencers will help you a large audience of existing and new customers alike. After that, promote your loyalty programs with the help of these investors. For example, Sephora’s program to create a community of influencers and reward them through personalized experiences was a superhit campaign. It garnered more than 76k conversations and 1,500 active topics on a daily basis. They also expanded the program into multiple tiers. Based on the spending over time, you can get more or fewer rewards.
2. Influencer referral programs
People love talking to their friends about their products. Referral programs use this human act to attract more customers. By including influencers in the referral programs, the number of people attracted can be multiplied easily. Through one influencer, you can connect with thousands of followers in one go. Give a coupon code to influencers and the followers can redeem discounts by using that code.
A great example of this is Ztylus. Ztylus, a store that sells mobile accessories. They contact influencers on youtube to refer their products to followers. Followers who click the link can avail themselves up to 25% discount on all products.
3. Create a challenge with the collaboration of Influencers
Social Media is the place where people share their lifestyle, experiences, and everything they are feeling. Everybody wants to grow and be part of the community. The social media challenges satisfy this craving. With influencers, you can launch a challenge to ignite user-generated content (UGC).
So, when you add UGC to influencer loyalty programs, you are bound to see results. Take GoPro, for example. GoPro invests approximately $5 Million annually for their GoPro Awards. The participants can get various prizes, awards, and even have the chance to be featured in the GoPro Creator Series.
4. Turn your customers into micro-influencers
Yes, we all know that using social media influencers for marketing can be successful. But did you know that you could turn your customers into micro-influencers?
Yes, that’s right. You can ask your customers to share their experiences with their followers on social media. In addition, you can feature these posts or videos on your social media page. This way, you can utilize the power of UGC and influencers to keep your customers loyal.
You can also provide your customers incentives and rewards in return for sharing their experience online.
Averr Aglow, an online skincare brand, used the same tactic for its influence loyalty program. At first, the brand offered 25 loyalty points to customers for following it on Instagram and Facebook. Soon they started asking customers to act as influencers for their brand.
For every Instagram post with the Averr Aglow hashtag, the customers were offered rewards, free products, or promotions.
5. Create a reward system for influencers that show results
It’s human nature to work harder when a reward is involved. You can use this tactic to attract more influencers to your loyalty program. At the same time, rewarding influencers will help you make sure that you will stay loyal to your brand. Which, in return, will increase ROI and retention rates.
The business objectives, type of product, marketing strategy and the stage at which a brand is also determines whether the influencer aspect should be or not incorporated in a loyalty program.
Top 4 reasons why Zinrelo’s loyalty platform is trusted by brands across different industries
- Robust, scalable, and secure technology platform
- Strategic consultations to ensure we work with you all along!
- Powerful data analytics to fuel your loyalty program strategy
- Modern methods to leverage trends going in Loyalty Programs