According to Nielsen Research influencer marketing registers a positive Impact on brand affinity & shopping intent . In addition, TV spots and influencer marketing have complementary effects on the purchase journey and should be paired together for a balanced marketing approach.
With the rise of ad blockers and decline in radio and TV viewership, influencer marketing has proven to be the most effective form of advertising. It was on every trend list in 2017 and will continue to be a focus of smart marketers in 2018.
Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself. And it makes sense if you think about it in a more personal context. You don’t usually trust a person at a cocktail party who comes up to you and brags about himself or herself and spouts fun facts about his or her personality to convince you to be a friend. But you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is the mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers.
When you align with an influencer, not only do they bring their audience, but they also bring their audience’s network as well. Because of the loyalty of their audience, an influencer has the ability to drive traffic to your site, increase your social media exposure, and flat-out sell your product through their recommendation or story about their experience.
Where do influencers step in to inbound marketing? Well, they are generating content about your brand, they are recommending your brand to their loyal following , and they are inserting themselves into conversations surrounding the niche of your brand. Thus, getting them on your side before your competitor does can make a huge difference in the success (or lack thereof) of your company.
As an avid cyclist, I see this all the time. The cycle groups that I follow on facebook often have recommendations from others and there are a lot of riders who look for recommendations from others. On Yelp, bad reviews of local businesses can lead to a sharp decline in business.
There are, however, some things to be very careful with when it comes to influencer marketing. First, you have to be transparent if you compensate an influencer. When I worked with Microsoft upon the release of a new version of Windows we sponsored influencer get togethers around the country. They were given a free laptop with the new version of Windows and asked to hold launch parties in their cities. Ford often will allow people to test drive new cars for 2-3 months i they agree to BLOG about their experience.
Influencers are a market you can’t ignore.