February 13, 2017
Gone are the days of celebrity endorsements. Consumers have moved on from those they admire to those they trust. In fact, according to Ambassador Marketing, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
How effective can word-of-mouth actually be? Collaborating with social media influencers is now one of the most effective ways to reach and engage with consumers. There’s been a significant number of companies exploring influencer marketing, as experienced brands enjoy its short and long term benefits.
Social influencers are key individuals known to exert influence over their loyal followers through various social media channels. Whether it’s a beauty and makeup blogger, design icon, or gaming account, these individuals wield influence through their word on social media. Their influence is more detailed and concentrated versus a celebrity for instance. Influencers help convince their viewers and fans to try a certain product, try a workout, or take on a particular lifestyle. In exchange for their endorsement, influencers are paid accordingly.
Influencer marketing arose with the consumer adoption of social media. This particular form of marketing has been shown to be most effective for millennials. Data from Twitter shows that while people ages 45 and up view more traditional household celebrities as preferred influencers, millennials prefer digital content creators.
These influencers are starting to have more of an impact than celebrities such as movie stars and professional athletes. While influencers may be less known to the general public, they usually have cult-like followings and are well respected in their target market. Although it may be hard to believe, follower count doesn’t always matter when it comes to success. Having a smaller reach allows them to stay dedicated to their followers, while a huge reach allows them to only stay casually connected to their fans. While celebrities may have millions of followers, reaching your specific target audience isn’t guaranteed. Influencers also tend to have an exceptionally devoted following and loyal audience. Because of the close-knit relationship between the influencer and their audience, brand collaborators can rest assured their products are receiving high quality views.
Why do we trust these influencers so much? They’re well known in their niche circle, they have high credibility, and they’re well respected. People value their authenticity, and have an overwhelming sense of trust with them. Because of this, influencers are very careful not to promote or endorse anything that they do not back 100% or haven’t tried and liked themselves.
Using influencers has many benefits. Collaborating with social influencers can be much more cost effective than other forms of advertising. Companies pay them in fees, free products or some pay commissions on the sales they facilitate on the retailers’ websites. Sometimes, the influencer might not own your product, and would enjoy having it. It’s critical that your influencer enjoys and likes the product you’re trying to sell. Their excitement and recommendation needs to be genuine and authentic.
While advertising through social influencers is still relatively a new concept, many brands are starting to reap the benefits. Influencers boost a brand’s visibility and raise awareness within a relevant market. The key word here is relevant. You wouldn’t recruit a beauty blogger if you were trying to promote a traveling site. Most viewers that choose to follow beauty bloggers, are interested in beauty. This specialization of influence allows companies to market to a very specific target audience, one who is receptive to suggestions from a trusted voice.
Using social influencers can amplify an agency’s advertising message, yet using an influencer doesn’t have to be a singular tactic. Many social influencer campaigns are run in conjunction with other advertising tactics as part of the larger strategy. Giant Media has been doing this successfully for our clients over the past few years. We like to use social influencers to reach audiences that may not be available through video distribution or sponsored editorials for instance. The next time you plan a new campaign, consider dedicating a portion of your budget to social influencers. After all, according to the latest poll from influencer marketplace Tomoson, businesses are making a strong return from influencer marketing, generating $6.50 in revenue for each $1 spent.