Once a space where family and friends could communicate and stay in touch, social media has now become the new avenue for third party content creation and engagement, with brands reaching out to influencers, consequently targeting their audiences with unbelievable accuracy.
This comes at a time when consumers are relying more and more on each other and “everyday experts” to inform their purchasing decisions. In fact, according to a study by SheKnows Media, YouTube is now at the forefront of driving brand awareness and brand engagement, with 58% of women using the platform to learn about products, followed by 52% on Facebook and 46% on Instagram.
With influencers now surpassing many celebrities and personalities in terms of engagement with their online audience networks, it’s important now, more than ever, to reach out. But just in case you need a bit more convincing, we’ve compiled five reasons why influencer outreach should be your organisation’s next big move:
It’s powerful. For the visionary marketer, the rise of the social media influencer creates a world of possibilities. It opens up a new channel for brands to connect with consumers more directly, more organically, and at scale. By creating branded content with social media influencers, brands can amplify their message while seducing their target audience. These influencers now have the power to change brand perception and increase awareness for brands. According to Brand Data, Australia's top six bloggers now have a larger combined audience than the highest-selling magazine, newspaper and TV program collectively.
It’s social. There are few things that drive a sale more effectively than a warm word-of-mouth recommendation from someone you know or admire. In fact, a study by McKinsey has found that marketing induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. In this regard, social media has turned traditional media on its head. While consumers once made purchasing decisions based on the advertisements they would see or hear, social media now allows them to connect with other consumers and make better purchasing decisions by learning about their experiences with a product or service. Influencer marketing presents an opportunity for brands to leverage this power of word-of-mouth at a scale, using personalities that consumers already follow and admire.
It’s trending. From Forbes, to Inc., to The Guardian, the phrase “influencer marketing” is on the lips of just about every business reporter and thought leader around the world. Simply searching influencer marketing on Google Trends, as we have done, illustrates the trend’s burgeoning growth.
It’s organic. Australians are exposed to at least 5,000 ads a day. Out of these, how many do we actually recall? Not many. In fact, we see so many ads that we’re unconsciously tuning them out in a phenomenon called “banner blindness”. While traditional advertising interrupts the consumer experience, influencer marketing adds to it. Consumers expect brands to talk with them, not at them. Influencer marketing does this by strategically partnering with influencers to spark organic conversations by placing brands and products within their organic content.
It’s targetable and measurable. Decisions without data are shots in the dark at best. With traditional advertising, marketers were more or less blindfolded, having ambiguous information about audience reach, and little to no accurate traces of advertising impact. The digital world couldn’t be more different. Every website visit, social like and picture posted can be stored, creating oceans of data, analysed to uncover valuable insights into your target markets.
While the disruptive power of influencer marketing is still being understood and harnessed, one thing is for sure – the marketing dollars moving towards social media aren’t going away any time soon. While the key to success doesn’t lie with just jumping on the bandwagon, getting an understanding of the phenomenon does make a useful first step.