The world has never been more connected, whether it’s chatting to our friends on Whatsapp, sharing photos on social media or sending a Snapchat asking friends for advice! It is this social and growing world that brands have been struggling to effectively tap into. However, brands are increasingly using influencer marketing as their solution, integrating this into their overall strategy and incorporating it into their online and physical marketing plans.
Although reluctant, brands are slowly edging away from traditional ‘pay and spray’ marketing methods, and focusing more on the power of individual influencers to reach the wider market. Be it a blogger, celebrity, or even a brand mega-fan, influencers can effectively amplify a brand by building a bridge between them and their potential customers.
So why is influencer marketing so effective?
Targeted & focused
Brands can tailor and focus messages for specific audiences as they know exactly who they are speaking to. Money no longer has to be thrown blindly into social media campaigns, with no real understanding of who is receiving the message. This precision helps brands deliver on their bottom line through more targeted and effective marketing.
Authentic & credible
The consumer has never been savvier and it takes more than a sponsored Facebook advert to convert an impression into a returning, loyal customer. The days of basing purchasing decisions on adverts are over – people listen more to their friends’ experiences and opinions than they do to brands telling them what they would like. Cynicism and immunity towards branded messaging has grown enormously, and people subconsciously block out advertising or sponsored posts, and scan their eyes to search for their friends messages.
However, influencer marketing allows individuals to advertise to the wider market in credible way on behalf of brands. According to McKinsey, “word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising”. 92% of consumers are more likely to trust brand recommendations from their friends than they are from a brand. Using influencer marketing, brands can send specific messages to targeted groups, amplifying their brand to the right people.
Visible & extensive data
Influencer marketing provides extensive insights that you cannot see with traditional marketing. Every like, impression or follow can be tracked, providing valuable insights into the consumer market and the performance of the brand’s marketing and spend. The rise of the affiliate networks even allows brands to track from the initial post through to transaction, enabling a visible return on investment.
Brand’s online presence can also be improved using influencers – the more people are talking about a brand on social media, the higher they will rank on Google, improving their SEO.
The number of Google searches for “influencer marketing” has increased 76% since 2013, and 84% of marketers have plans to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2016, showing that brands are beginning to see the true value in focusing on their influencers within their wider marketing strategy.
“Influencer marketing is not just about paying someone to endorse your brand; it’s much more complex than that. It’s not a stand-alone channel, but it is an aspect that must be incorporated into brand’s owned media and communications. Gaining endorsements from influencers can be expensive, and brands can spend as much again on integrating and promoting these messages in order to remain authentic and to ensure the right message is reaching the right people.” Alison Jones, Marketing and Online Director, Big W