Do you remember the influence the “popular” girl in high school had on your adolescence?
Do you remember wanting to purchase and wear the same brands that she did? If you are like most people, then you have definitely been influenced on purchasing decisions, even if you didn’t realize it.
The truth is that companies are beginning to use this method of influence to their advantage.
In fact, Forbes states that 84 percent of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months. This type of campaign has proven to be one of the most effective ways at reaching audiences. That being said, commercial campaigns are proving less effective, as viewers are able to tune them out. Without even realizing it, that same individual will pick up a phone, scroll through Instagram and unknowingly “Like” influencer ads. The marketing strategies that have been bombarding our televisions, newspapers and magazines for the past 20 to 30 years are now on the downfall, and companies that want to continue to increase sales must keep up.
It’s all about trust. Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself. With the world so focused on social media, consumers are constantly engaging and showing interest in what other consumers are saying, and using those comments to inform their purchasing decisions. In time, a social media influencer will begin to feel much like a friend they can turn to for product advice. Instead of looking at commercials and companies, consumers are looking at each other and at their favorite personalities, who are gathering massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and other platforms. That being said, many platforms will use “ad blockers” to filter out advertisements, but to an influencer’s advantage, most of their content is not perceived as an ad. This blurred line is how the influencer’s content slips between the cracks and reaches the eyes of the consumer. Cha Ching!
Who is using Influencer Marketing?
Most companies are starting to implement some sort of influencer strategy. For example, many big box sports drink companies, such as Red Bull and Monster, will promote extreme athletes using and trusting their product on their social media platforms. In return, these athletes will engage with their audiences and share photos about the sports drink, reaching millions of consumers on social media. It’s a win-win for both the brand and influencer. Likewise, the fashion industry is using social influencers to their advantage. Most large retailers are identifying bloggers their audiences turn to for fashion inspiration. Retailers will send bloggers free products, and in return they have the influencer share images of themselves wearing these products. These collaborations between big brands and influencers are only increasing as social media continues to grow.
Now You Want in on the Fun? Things to Know Before Starting an Influencer Campaign.
- Know Your Audience
Ask yourself: Who are you trying to reach? Who is the target market for your message?
- Set Clear Goals
Ask yourself: Do you want band awareness? Do you want people to try a product? Are you trying to increase social media followers? Are you trying to Increase sales?
- Define How You’ll Measure Success
Ask yourself: Will you base your success from impressions and engagement? Will you consider brand mentions? Will you base it off of new sales?