Influencer marketing has become a hip new trend, on par with avocado toast and latte art, but does it really work? The short answer is yes. Influencer marketing is the process of inspiring a thought leader in a particular field to advertise to the general public for you. This is usually done through social media posts, product reviews, or blog posts. And recently, Forbes reported that 84 percent of marketers plan on using influencer marketing in 2017 – making it an important tactic for brand and marketing teams to consider.
1. Consumers Trust Influencers
Gone are the days when celebrity endorsements reigned supreme. Paying an A-lister (or even D-lister) to use and promote products is still common practice, but customers are increasingly aware of marketing ploys. Today’s consumers don’t just respond to authenticity, they require it. It’s why 92% of shoppers trust influencer reviews over classic ads and celebrity endorsements, according to Forbes. For example, if a makeup blogger and a celebrity both review the same product, research tells us buyers are more likely to trust the influencer. The makeup blogger has more in common to the average person, she has a strong understanding of makeup and does it herself, versus a celebrity that has limited knowledge of the product and a makeup artist on-hand to apply it.
2. Influencer content offers a native advertising experience.
The beauty of using an influencer is that their content is native; it lives within users’ newsfeed. Your target audience is quite literally subscribing to receive their content regularly. The truth is, people don’t respond well to invasive digital ads (especially Millennials and Gen X’ers). This has been made abundantly clear by the recent influx of “ad blockers” on computers over the last decade. According to Forbes, just last year alone, a whopping 47% of customers used ad blocking technology. This software ensures advertisements don’t make it onto consumers’ screens at all, creating a hurdle for marketing teams.
3. Influencers have captive and engaged followers.
Influencer marketing allows brands to reach consumers where they are –– providing them with relevant content that actually interests them (imagine that?). From a brand perspective, this promises to deliver far more bang for your marketing buck. As Bizibl Marketing so eloquently puts it: instead of wading into the digital masses in an impossible bid to understand, inform, and engage one elusive consumer at a time, you can now shift your energies and resources on a smaller corps of influencers who have rightfully earned the trust of a much larger population of consumers.
Influencer marketing in action:
Last year, our Brand team partnered with more than 100 Instagram stars across the nation to build brand awareness amongst Millennial and Gen X trendsetters for Vessel’s new line of backpacks, duffels, and tote bags. With dozens of social media posts averaging at 1,000 to 2,000 post engagements each, we successfully increased web traffic and brand awareness.