Facts to Know about Influencer Marketing – Who Is An Influencer?
“The future is not about marketing to influencers – it’s about marketing with them. Treating influencers as an extension of your company – rather than a distribution channel – will result in a more impactful experience for influencers and consumers alike.” –Emily Garvey
The ideal influencer to target and activate is somebody who not only shares great content, but also creates great content. They are passionate about the products and brands they believe in, which makes them extremely persuasive to those who listen to them. The influencer must also be a relevant fit with brand’s target market and brand image.
Real influencers are the people whose opinions matter to others because they are easy to relate to. Their experiences are similar and relevant to those who are listening. By activating and engaging consumers of your brand, your company can create influential brand advocates – many who will prove to be more effective than high audience influencers such as paid bloggers, professionals, public figures or celebrities. According to Nielsen, brand advocates are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information by people around them. These high impact influencers are usually the friends, family members or colleagues of the everyday consumer.
Now that it’s clear who and what an influencer is, what’s next? Is it really that important for you to add influencers to your social media strategy?
Even though the term “Influencer Marketing” is used each and every day, they still remain skeptical about whether or not this new wave of marketing is worth the investment. Here are some facts and statistics to help educate you on this new kind of marketing.
1) How much money are companies spending on influencer marketing?
According to Technorati, in North America, the total online spend is $40 billion. Ten percent of that is in social media, and 6% is on influencers, which would put a market value of $240 million on Influencer Marketing. And this stat is growing.
2) Does influencer audience size matter?
Technorati determined that 54% of consumers agree that the smaller the community, the greater the influence. The reason for this is simple: if an influencer has a smaller community that’s made up of mostly friends, family, and people that they know personally, their “trust” factor goes up. Nielsen confirmed that 92% of consumers trust online recommendations from people they know. The intimacy of a smaller community helps reassure the audience that what the influencer is saying is his or her honest opinion.
3) Are a lot of businesses starting to include influencers into their marketing mix?
According to a study by ArCompany and Sensei Marketing, 64.5% of marketing and PR professionals have adopted social influence campaigns in the past, more than 50% of marketing and PR professionals will be allocating budgets for influencer marketing strategies in the near future, and 74% of marketing and PR professionals will be deploying influencer marketing campaigns in the next 12 months.
4) How effective are influencers’ opinions towards consumer buying decisions?
Knowledge Networks determined that 15,100,000 consumers go to social media channels before making purchase decisions. Whether their reason for research is for discovering new products or brands or for simply educating themselves on an item before they buy it, a consumer’s social network plays an important part in their path to purchase. Hubspot confirmed that consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals, and Forbes determined that 81% of US respondents indicated that friends’ social media posts directly influenced their purchase decision.
Regardless of a consumer’s decision to research or interact with a brand through social media, it is the brand’s responsibility to fuel trusted content to the consumer while they are online. Having the help of influencers to spread advocacy is quickly becoming a necessity for brands to remain top of mind against competitors. By working with influencers, your brand will be able to generate product reviews, recommendations and content across social media, which will ultimately drive awareness, sales and referrals across your category space.