Using an influencer to boost awareness of a product or service has been part of marketing for centuries. In 1760, Robert Wedgewood of Wedgewood China began using endorsements from members of the Royal Family to boost his pottery sales. In today’s digital age, influencer marketing has evolved tremendously, but its core remains the same. We’ve listed six reasons influencer marketing is critical for your business today:

Influencer

1. Your competitors are already using them

Staying ahead of the game in a hyper-competitive market is vital to your company’s success. Your competitors are most likely already using influencers in their marketing strategy. According to a 2018 Association of National Advertisers (ANA) survey, 75% of marketers are using influencers as a marketing tool and 43% plan to increase spending on it in the next 12 months. ANA’s CEO, Bob Liodice, provided some insights to Chief Marketer:

“It’s clear that the popularity of influencer marketing has increased among marketers in recent years, largely due to the growth and evolution of social media,” ANA CEO Bob Liodice said. “We’ve found that a growing number of marketers are turning to influencers to help them combat ad blocking, leverage creative content in an authentic way, drive engagement, and reach millennial and gen Z audiences who avidly follow and genuinely trust social media celebrities.”

2. They build your brand’s credibility

The trust and loyalty that social media influencers establish with their audiences are among their most valuable assets. According to a 2017 Choozle survey, only 7% of participants viewed online ads positively. And in a 2017 TINT article, only 4% of consumers declared trust in marketing in advertising in general. Using an influencer is a surefire way to speak to your audience through someone they deem trustworthy through their authentic content. The proof is in the pudding: MuseFind, an influencer marketing platform, reported that 92% of customers trust recommendations from strangers (i.e., influencers) over brand advertisements.

3. They create fresh content

It’s well known that companies hire marketing teams to generate content. A lot of marketing plans revolve around content publicity. With social media’s marketing power increasing exponentially, brands want to create content that will go viral. Influencers serve as a loophole and simplify this process. Content created by influencers works like user-generated content. Instead of an ad, it’s like a credible testimonial or product review. Your audience processes the reviews as unbiased and will be more likely to use your product than if they had viewed an ad.

4. They boost organic traffic and engagement

As of last year, 615 million devices now use Adblock and it’s now mainstream across all ages, according to PageFair. This is where influencers come in. Working with credible influencers who are trusted amongst an audience allow brands to bypass the adblocking obstacle and better connect with buyers on social media. We can think of influencers as a form of “word of mouth” business mixed with native advertising. This combined with their massive social media followings allow companies to create organic traffic, engagement and grow their social followings.

5. They improve your SEO rankings

Working with social media influencers doesn’t always mean them posting your products or services on their social channels. You can also collaborate with them and request that the influencer mentions your brand on their blog or post one of your articles. This can result in generating high-quality backlinks to your website, which improves your SEO. Backlinks are a crucial component of any SEO strategy. Search engines like Google are constantly changing their algorithms to filter out junk posts. Having natural links on an influencer’s page to your site or blog boosts your page in Google’s search results.

6. They generate sales

Influencers enable your company to tap into your niche audiences with tailored content so your message will resonate with your target prospects and drive conversions. In fact, for every $1 invested influencer marketing, businesses make $6.50 in revenue according to the latest poll from Tomoson, an influencer marketplace. So, for your marketing funnel, influencers are essential to converting your prospects into customers.

Jolie Shapiro

Influencer

@jolie_shapiro

Passionate about all things communications, Jolie found her dream job as a copywriter with Critical Mention, where she’s continuing her passion for writing and editing. With a background working for high-profile clients in the financial, hospitality and technology industries, she’s excited to bring her experience to Critical Mention. When she’s not writing, you can find her at music festivals, hiking or snowboarding.

My Random Musings

Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” is on my reading list so I am delighted to share a review of it from Bijal Shah. Bijal is a book therapist, author, poet & founder of Book Therapy where she harnesses the power of literature for therapeutic purposes.

Michelle Obama

“With February being Black History Month, there’s no better book that I can think of to recommend. This is the book that I have already gifted more than 25 copies of and as a book therapist, have prescribed to every single one of my clients this year.

Yes, it’s Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”. The book has influenced me hugely. It has given me so much hope and inspiration and I’m not the only one. I have been in bookstores, accidentally eavesdropping on conversations and this has been the most-talked about book with everyone trying to get their hands on it.

On the surface, Obama seems to have it all: the picture-perfect marriage, family, career, ambition, confidence – was she born with it? No. If there was one thing that got her to this stage, it was her attitude, her mind-set, her belief in herself and her single-minded focus to never concede her identity to simply be Barack Obama’s wife.

She refused to be his follower. She needed to anchor herself in her own identity, her own capabilities, her own ambitions and motivations to make a difference. This was tremendously important to her for her own self-esteem but also that of her daughters. The following quote from the book eloquently articulates it:

“I felt like, I need to anchor myself in who I was so I wouldn’t be this woman following this man. I really felt that I could get caught up in his swerving, that I would just become part of his swerve rather then figuring out my own self. So, yes, it was destabilizing but it was a motivator. … So that I didn’t just become his woman, which I knew I didn’t want to be.”

She inspires women to pursue their identities beyond that of a mother and a wife – to truly contribute to your family and society over and above simply being a mother. How did she do this when she had her own fair share of struggles – inability to conceive children naturally, the struggles of IVF, learning to release “mum-guilt”, seeking help by attending marriage counselling, hoping to get through the daily life struggles that every couple goes through.

Michelle Obama

The key things that stood out for me personally were:

• Never give up your identity in a relationship for the sake of your partner’s. This is a lose-lose outcome for both of you.
• Don’t expect your partner to create happiness for you. Happiness is a skill and you need to work at building it for yourself.
• Ask for help – and never feel guilty about this. No one can do it alone and ditch the “should”.
• We are all unfinished products and are constantly “Becoming”.
• Consider every single possible outcome when making a decision.
• Make time for your relationship – even if you’re deeply in love.

I listened to it on Audio and instantly felt a connection with her. It truly is an intimate portrait of a lady who has inspired millions around the world and I hope it will inspire you too. It’s been added to my A-Z Book Prescription for Women’s Empowerment Book Prescription. Enjoy!”

You can email Bijal at bijal@booktherapy.io for a personalized reading list.

My Random Musings
Family Fever

Sometimes after a long and hard day at work, all we crave is to get home, climb into our beds and sleep. With that in mind, you’ll be pleased to know that sleep is incredibly important for us to allow our bodies to relax and replenish., as well as helping us to avoid potentially serious health implications.

During the process of sleeping, many important mental and physical processes take place in our bodies. It helps to improve brain functionality, emotional wellbeing, and helps to aid muscle recovery & physical health.
Research has previously suggested that around 7-8 hours sleep is vital to allow our body and mind to fully recover and be completely functional the next day.

So what happens when we sleep?

Sleep allows our bodies to rest, this includes the conservation of energy, as well as decreasing blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and breathing. Our brain remains active, logging memory and restoring your day to day mental functionality and helps to carry out the different processes needed to grow physically.

When we sleep, there are five stages:

• Stage 1, Light Sleep: This is where we transition between sleeping and waking. We are easily roused, and our eyes begin to move slowly.
• Stage 2, Eye Movement Stops: During stage 2 our eye movement ceases and we begin to enter into a light dream state.
• Stage 3, Deep Sleep: This is where our bodies enter a far deeper sleep and we are far harder to wake from our slumber. Our body temperature also rapidly reduces.
• Stage 4, Deep Sleep: Our body temperature reduces further, and our brain’s use of energy begins to decrease. If you’re a sleepwalker, this is the stage when this phenomenon occurs.
• Stage 5, Rapid Eye Movement (REM): During this stage our eyes begin to move rapidly, this is the state when most dreams occur. Our heart rate and blood pressure increases and our limb muscles become paralyzed.

So, how much sleep is enough?

The answer to this question varies depending on your age, but it can also vary from person to person. As you grow older, sleep becomes less important. For teenagers (ages 13-18) around 8-10 hours is important, however from the ages of 18+ you only require around 7-8 hours a night.

Foe infants and children, it’s important during their cognitive and behavioral learning stages they acquire as much sleep as possible to allow their brains to hold the memory, learn and grow. For infants between the ages of 4-12 months they will need (including naps) around 12-16 hours of sleep a day. As they grow older the amount of sleep needed decreases.

What happens if we don’t get enough sleep?

A lack of sleep is incredibly dangerous, and this is called sleep debt. So, as an example, if you lost an hour of sleep a night, you’d have a total sleep debt of around 7 hours after a week.

This can, surprisingly, cause you harm and over time could cause serious chronic health issues. A lack of sleep can lead to several different health issues, from the following:

• Excessive tiredness in the daytime
• Headaches and difficult focusing
• Poor memory logging
• Mental health issues (anxiety/depression)
• Chronic health issues
• Making mistakes at work

Those are just a handful of the issues that sleep deprivation can cause. With that in mind, you can see just how important it is to ensure you have a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. So, grab your duvets, and truly enjoy your sleep!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

the cost of valentines day

Future-proofing your home may not be something you have considered. It is becoming increasingly vital to do so for a variety of reasons. We have an ageing population. More of us will be combining parenting and work lives with caring for elderly relatives. Even if you don’t find yourself in this position, you are getting older every day too and as most accidents happen in the home, planning ahead is a very good idea.

Falls

I had a fall just before Christmas. I have to admit I am now middle-aged and I remember how my parents suddenly started to have falls as they entered their fifties and sixties. It got worse as they got older. There was one awful incident after they had moved house to be nearer us and their new grandchild. Dad was confused and heading in the direction he would have done in the old house for the bathroom, he found himself tumbling down the stairs. It was a shock for all of us as he injured his foot quite badly and was very shaken. He was very embarrassed which apparently is not uncommon when older people have falls. We ensured there was a light that would come on if anyone went on the landing or stairs after that. It was a great reassurance to us. It was even better when my disabled brother moved in with my parents as then they were open to having bathroom and mobility aids in the home.

Quality of life

Sadly through fear of falling, many older people give up activities they love. In our case, my parents stopped looking after my son for me as he grew older and was just always running with them struggling to keep up with him. They moved again worried about the steps up to their beloved garden. The issue with falling which I understand now after two bad falls in recent years is partly the injuries sustained but also the constant worry and fear that you will fall again.

The stigma around falling

Sadly our society tends to look down on older people. As we start falling over, we know we are getting older and feel embarrassed. Many of us don’t want to trouble our younger friends and relatives so we keep quiet about our worries. As we are all going to get older, we need to fight this stigma around falling and talk openly and honestly about it. When we do this, we increase the chances of putting measures in place that will prevent falls happening at all or as often in the home.

Future-proofing your home

It is time to do that thing that most of us are always promising ourselves to get round to. Declutter! Despite what you might think, you can keep memories without keeping all the stuff associated with them. Pass them on to charity ideally so that a good cause can benefit from you making your environment safer. Put pet bowls in a safer place, consider whether you need quite so much furniture and tidy up those electrical cables once and for all.

Be aware eyesight gets worse with age so good lighting is vital for your own safety.

Ensure spillages are wiped up immediately especially on kitchen and bathroom floors which can be so hazardous if they are wet. Don’t have things in difficult to reach places. A fall in the bathroom will be a bad one so get over any embarrassment and have rails to help you negotiate the bath and have non-slip mats in the place you get washed. Falls down the stairs are scary so have handrails at both sides to help you retain your balance if you do take a tumble.