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Can Influencer Marketing Sell Services?

Posted in Marketing, Social Media | April 12,2021

A Spotlight on Successful Influencer Campaigns Without a Physical Product

You’ve seen them. Instagram videos of A-list actors peddling everything from shampoo and workout wear to collagen for your coffee. Maybe you’ve even bought said shampoo, yoga pants or collagen. At the very least, you’ve seen and remember the campaigns, right? Why? Because they work. Influencer marketing is a growing trend and, for good reason.

According to Nielsen, 83% of consumers say they trust personal recommendations above traditional advertising. Umm, 83%?! That’s a big number! True that influencers aren’t exactly “personal” recommendations. But good influencers can make you feel like they’re a trusted friend.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a strategy that identifies people who have a strong influence on a brand’s industry or target audience. With an influencer marketing strategy, a brand forms a partnership with the influencer where the influencer agrees to share with their audience the brand’s messaging or content. Influencers often have a large and engaged audience, so brands benefit when an influencer shares or mentions their content or messaging. The exposure allows the brand to get in front of its target audience in a positive, natural and meaningful way.

Influencer Marketing Outside the Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are great. Fun. Bringing an element of surprise and delight. We love them…for actual products. Like something you can hold in your hand. Coupled with popular influencers, brands like FabFitFun, Hello Fresh and BarkBox have taken their share of the consumer market.

But influencer marketing works well beyond the box, too! At Miller Public Relations, we’ve used an influencer marketing strategy on behalf of a few of our medical clients, and with great success. While it may seem like this type of marketing effort lends itself best to an actual physical product, our efforts have shown us it can also work extremely well for high-end services and elective procedures like LASIK.

We believe there are several reasons influencer marketing can work well for selling services, but here are two of our favorite ones:

  1. Influencer content is about emotion and lifestyle, not facts and figures. If you’re considering LASIK, what moves you more: A Facebook ad that shows how many millions of people have had LASIK or a travel blogger you follow sharing how her trips, her experiences, her world have come to life in beautiful new ways after stepping into the visual freedom that LASIK offers? Or how about this scenario: A fact-based blog about the effectiveness of LASIK or an experience-based blog by a mommy blogger/influencer who shares about the tear-filled moment she was able to see her baby’s 2:00 am-post feeding smile in the dark without her glasses? While certainly there are those who want the facts and figures when making a big decision, the reality is that most people make decisions based on their gut. In other words, their emotions.
  2. Influencer content outperforms branded content. Influencers are real people, and their followers connect with them on many different levels and platforms, which can make them feel more relevant and trustworthy than brands.

Case Study: LASIK in Austin

We have a longtime ophthalmology client with locations in Houston and Austin. This multi-surgeon practice has been a LASIK leader in Texas since the procedure’s early days. As part of their overall LASIK marketing strategy, we brokered a relationship with a Texas travel and lifestyle blogger who had an impressive following and the desire to have LASIK. Win-win. Check out Chelsea’s LASIK experience here.

In addition to sharing her story (valuable content) on her blog, Chelsea recorded a Q&A video chat with her surgeon.

Don’t Go it Alone

Developing and executing a successful influencer marketing strategy can be confusing and complicated to set up, launch and manage. It’s a time-consuming project with plenty of hurdles to get over, under and through. But, great news. We’re pros over here. And we can help. In fact, we’d love to! Interested in exploring influencer marketing for your category but not sure where to start? Let us help you identify goals, find a good match, build your audience, get more engagement, generate more leads, increase conversions and so much more. Let’s talk.