Building Brand Loyalty with Influencer Marketing

By Khadijat Babatunde

Consumers have limited resources to meet their every want and so brands must compete through advertisements for a share of their limited resources. Thus, an ad must be appealing enough to prompt people to spend on your brand. Ads typically come in two forms: traditional and digital advertising.

Traditional Ads

Traditional advertising refers to any offline medium used to get products in front of audiences, including newspapers, billboards, bus ads, transit advertising (posters inside the bus/subway train), among others. Traditional ads are expensive because they are aimed at reaching a large audience. However, ads are only effective when they reach a target market. For instance, an ad to purchase a condo at a 50% Christmas discount is not targeted at budget-conscious students, and therefore has no effect on them.

Additionally, traditional ads are easy to miss: if you are on your phone while commuting, you may not get to read the posters on the subway train/bus, or if the car is moving fast, you might miss the details shown on billboards. Therefore, taking into consideration the highlighted cons of traditional advertising and the fact that we live in an internet age where people are glued to their phone screens, it is only natural that ads should move to meet those eyeballs online.

Online Ads

Today, online ads are dominating our screens; from video ads that you are forced to watch for some seconds before you can skip, to web banners hanging at the top / bottom of the screen, trying to pull your attention in.

Online ads are becoming more appealing with the rise of social media and popular platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok that generate the bulk of their companies’ revenues from ad placements on their sites. In fact, Insider Intelligence estimates that Instagram’s ad revenues in the US are expected to hit $50.6 billion in 2023. Social media/online ads are so popular because of how targeted they can be, increasing customer acquisition rates for brands.   However, one branch of digital advertising that is yet to be maximized by brands to best build customer loyalty is influencer marketing.


Among its many advantages, social media has helped create a career path called Influencer Marketing where creators serve as an intermediary between brands and social media users. Influencers are, as the name suggests, influential people who craft social media content in a certain niche (e.g., makeup, lifestyle, technology) and have built a loyal following on social media comprising of dedicated following and consistent engagement on their posts. Canadian small businesses can tap into these influencers’ existing loyal fanbases to extract loyal customers of their own. This can be achieved in the following ways:

Social Proof

Consumers are more likely to believe a brand is valuable and of high quality if they see influencers they respect or trust endorsing it. This can strengthen favourable perceptions of the brand and promote brand loyalty among its supporters. Canadian businesses can align with influencers who exist in their industries [e.g., makeup businesses with beauty influencers, tech brands with tech influencers] and create partnerships to showcase products on their platforms.   

Community Building

Businesses can encourage a sense of community by engaging with customers through influencers. This could be in the form of ‘social media takeovers’ where an influencer takes over the brand’s social media for the day and asks customers what they would like to see from the brand, new product ideas, and collect feedback on their products. This also creates a sense of belonging among their customers and increases brand loyalty by showcasing and promoting customer-centric content.

Continuous Engagement

Influencers frequently maintain ongoing relationships with their followers by posting consistently, engaging, and interacting with them through comments/Q & A sessions, shows or webinars. Brands can take advantage of this sustained engagement by working with influencers on long-term collaborations or ambassador programs. This helps brands develop a devoted following of followers who identify with both the influencer and the brands.

Exclusive Offers and Promotions

Influencers can promote brand loyalty by sharing special discounts, giveaways, or promotions to their followers that are only available to them. These exclusive offerings help customers feel valued and appreciated and will incentivize them to support the brand.

Emotional Connection

Influencers typically grow their followers by emotionally connecting with their audience. Brands can leverage these existing emotional connections that influencers have already built with their audiences by teaming up with those who share similar values, beliefs, or interests with their brand. This strengthens customer relationships and builds brand loyalty.

Overall, brand loyalty is key in the grand scheme of a business’ success. It is not enough to advertise simply to acquire new customers; businesses should strive to advertise in a way that keeps customers loyal to their brand. This would accelerate revenue growth as repeat customers spend an average of 31% more than first-time customers. KPMG also reports that 86% of loyal customers will recommend a company to friends and family, thereby helping businesses to cast a wider net with referrals of happy customers and increase their customer acquisition rates more meaningfully than any single advertisement could.

References / Further Reading

Boom Group (2021, January 12). Digital Advertising vs Traditional Advertising. BOOM Group Site.  

Eggspert, T. (2018, September 7). Customers, Come Back! Learn How to Use Customer Retention to Your Advantage. The Daily Egg.   Kashyap, K. (2023, April 26). 90% of Social Media Influencers Are Active on

Instagram.Spiceworks.   KPMG. (2019, November 20). The truth about customer loyalty.  

Lebow, S. (2022). Facebook still generates most of Meta’s ad revenues, as Instagram drives growth. Insider Intelligence.  

Mok, T. (2018, May 8). This is how much it costs to advertise on the TTC. blogTO.  

Shaoolian, G. (2017, April 13). Is Instagram Advertising The Right Social Media Platform For Your Brand? Forbes.

Khadijat Babatunde is a postgraduate Research Analyst student at Humber College and has worked for leading African brands in Nigeria like Stears Insights , MBC Nigeria, and more.

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