Businesses in the consumer products industry are no strangers to the persuasive power of influencer marketing. Customers reduce the risk of unsatisfactory purchases by benchmarking others’ buying experiences. In the education industry, however, using influencers as a marketing strategy is a relatively new growth avenue.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the following:
- How influencer marketing creates demand and enrollments
- How to select the most effective word-of-mouth ambassadors for your brand
What can an influencer do for you?
Influencers who have created a community so engaged they’re able to maintain conversations in their niche and make recommendations their audiences trust are worth their weight in gold.
With career-advancing education, skill development, and personal development being highly emotional decisions people invest in, it’s no wonder the customer journey in the learning space is a long one. Prospective students will take their time researching and weighing their options before making a choice that demands significant financial and time commitment from them.
The right influencers will help shape the image and reputation of your brand by communicating the benefits of your programs in ways that are relevant and valuable to your audience, connecting you to better-quality traffic and ready-to-enroll leads.
Influencers translate your program’s value into information that creates an easy understanding of what your prospects can expect from enrolling and how your brand is their best bet for the most enriching learning experience. This addresses purchase anxiety coming from equal amounts of overexposure to online and offline content and prospects not knowing enough about your brand.
Finding the right influencers for your brand
Not too long ago, only celebrities and personalities with a massive online following held the authority over influencer marketing. Today, with authenticity and believability being demanded from social media, content creators who build trust and credibility–regardless of the size of their follower count–are the ones who can bring in traffic that turn into sales.
In the education space, the right influencers are not necessarily those with hyper-curated content done in full production style, shot with the latest equipment, and published looking like a magazine spread. Effective influencers create representation. Students want to hear from other students. Professionals turning to skill development to advance their careers want to see success stories from others they feel they have a shared experience with. Believable influencer marketing comes from real people, with real stories that offer solutions and relief to the audience’s pressing needs.
In fact, a report from Intead reveals that at least 57% of surveyed students found having conversations with student representatives the most helpful resource when considering which university to apply to. Additionally, it’s important that the influencer’s values and message align with your company’s mission.
In today’s digital age, word-of-mouth is more powerful than ever. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers rely on recommendations from personalities they perceive as real, relatable, and reliable. Influencers are able to create this trust-based system by growing engaged relationships with their community.
The best-fitting brand reps for your business are content creators who are in the community you are trying to reach and influence. This means working with other students or alumni or stakeholders to put your brand front and center their engaged audience.
Influencer marketing can also be used to complement an omnichannel marketing strategy, allowing education companies to reach potential students through a variety of channels, and leveraging the capacity of social proof to build trust and credibility among potential students.
Influencers have the ability to generate interest and excitement around your education programs and courses by giving prospects a clear and enjoyable look at your unique brand of learning experience. You can use this to communicate academic success, networking opportunities, and other unique aspects of your programs that create value for your students.