Influencer marketing is on the rise, as influencers prove to be one of the most effective marketing tools in the era of social media. These inspiring social figures can attract hundreds of thousands of followers, bringing a wide array of benefits to brands willing to enlist them as ambassadors or representatives.
Somewhat curiously, finding the right influencers for your brand is a lot like dating. And yet, somewhat curiously, dating brands have been wary of resorting to influencer marketing to increase the reach of their own brand. Such reluctance can be dangerous in the digital age, effectively putting some brands behind their competitors. But just how do you start a successful influencer relationship?
Not knowing much about the dating market ourselves, we got in touch with Iain Murgatroyd, COO & Co-Founder of Appmi, who will share his views on this interesting segment of the industry below.
Image credit: Dean Dorat
The power of influencers: unveiling an untapped dating market
There's no question that social media influencers have revolutionised digital marketing. Today, their often large and loyal followings make them one of the most popular - and effective - ways to put your brand in front of a desired target audience. Consumers are constantly on the hunt for idols that they can trust, relate to and be inspired by, and following an influencer’s recommendations can often alter their opinions and shape lifestyle decisions. This creates a huge opportunity for brands to capitalise on the time people spend online and engaging with these public figures, using their reach and influence to drive awareness in this social media age.
From cars and technology, to beauty and hospitality, influencer marketing is thriving in almost every industry - but what does this mean for the dating world? The use of online dating platforms has grown exponentially in recent years, attracting not only the public, but also celebrities well known for their dating history. As seen in many other markets, these figures are quickly establishing themselves as ‘dating influencers’ and are teaming up with brands to tap into a large audience of single consumers online. These influencers can harness their own networks to promote the dating application, get attention for a news story, or prompt feedback and provide updates on policy changes. Not only will this encourage singles to connect with one another, but also establish a relationship with the influencer based on a recommendation from someone they identify with.
Influencer marketing is a lot like dating - brands want a loyal and genuine long-term partner that will help endorse the dating application. There are many benefits of using influencers to make your brand’s mark in the dating industry. For example, influencers can best promote an application to audiences across their social media platforms. If one thing is for sure, partnering with relatable and trustworthy influencers can translate into positive relationships with a community of potential end users.
Dating in the influencer era
The demand for new and improved dating applications has skyrocketed due to the success of current platforms, enabling people to find their perfect match. Now because of COVID-19, more people from around the world have signed up to online dating sites as a means to meet other singles since they can't meet in person. During the spike of coronavirus, the leading dating app, Tinder, recorded that its users made 3 billion swipes worldwide in just one day which was the most the app has ever recorded in a single day. Also, it recorded that the conversations increased by 12% across the UK between February and March.
As the dating industry has thrived during these challenging times, determined entrepreneurs and other business owners began to explore different avenues and create their own dating sites. However, this is not as easy as it seems. For these new sites to be successful and stand out from the existing crowd, the brand needs to get recognition right off the mark - and from the right people. Building excitement around the brand is fundamental for potential members to find the platform: this is where influencers come into play.
In a relationship between brand and influencer, it is almost always the brand that makes the first move.
Influencers have desirability, whether this is down to an engaging personality, expertise or their unique aesthetic. It is no surprise that some may follow, or even copy, the things they do. Influencers have learnt how to persuade their audience and they are skilled in making their followers want the same thing. This is why brands implement them into their marketing strategies, to create a ‘buzz’ around their product and ultimately, increase profit. This is the same for any dating brand engaging with influencers to raise its profile. However, for it to be extremely effective, dating companies should use the top influencers within the market. This may include dating experts, or even a hopeless romantic celebrity, but this decision will ultimately be guided by the brand’s purpose and desired users.
Whichever type of influencer is most suited to the specific requirements for a particular dating app, it is essential that they are viewed as trustworthy and offer genuine thought or expertise to potential users. This is crucial when considering app ratings and reviews, to create ‘one version of the truth’ and avoid users feeling misled by the brand or influencer at any given time.
Finding the right influencers
When looking for the right influencer, it’s important for dating brands to take a step back and make sure that the potential influencers align with the brand’s end goal. They need to consider whether the influencer is the right fit, such as sharing similar traits and experiences of the dating brand’s desired users. This is make or break to the long term success of the partnership.
In a relationship between brand and influencer, it is almost always the brand that makes the first move. This dating market is no exception. More often than not, companies will reach out directly regarding their latest product or service, sharing a partnership proposition to gauge an influencer’s interest in helping to raise awareness. However, for those who are fresh in the dating industry, this may not be the most efficient method, as influencers may not be willing to promote new and unfamiliar brands.
Creating impactful content
That said, there are ways around this. For example, challenging influencers with a new concept and requesting their knowledge may add more value to the opportunity. It is also important to note that influencing is often a full-time job or a main source of income, so providing them with a quote for a project can also drive incentive in collaborating with a new or established dating business. In fact, setting up a long-term contract with an influencer will help ease the pressure of having to regularly find new ones and connect with new audiences. It may be more costly but it will have a positive impact, resulting in a smooth-running involvement in the business.
Nowadays, some influencers write blogs and articles about products and services that they then share across their own social media platforms. This creative written technique is an extremely effective way to accelerate your brand recognition journey amongst their audiences. This is because with written posts, influencers have more words to play with and can provide more detail of their dating experiences on the app that they have partnered with. Therefore, this type of collaboration is a more organic way for brands to use influencer marketing for online dating.
Influencers have the power to drive brand awareness and form opinions of the masses; two hugely valuable objectives for emerging dating brands in a hugely competitive market. Many dating brands may have shied away from influencer marketing in the past, but in a new digital age, this could put them behind other competitors. Looking at influencer marketing early on can help establish trustworthy relationships with influencers, which may lead to bigger promotional opportunities going forward such as introducing brand ambassadors. By having relatable faces and personalities representing dating brands, audiences are more likely to download these types of platforms to find their perfect match.