The Rise of Influencer Marketing
It’s safe to say that the world of advertising is changing. Consumers are increasingly turned off from traditional marketing, and are looking to their fellow consumers for guidance, quickly heading to social media to begin their buyer journey.
Instead of being influenced by typical advertising, these consumers (and especially those in the Gen Y bracket) are now looking to their favourite personalities online, on social platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to help them make choices on their purchases.
These online influencers (such as vloggers and bloggers) are powerhouses in the world of advertising, selling out tours, having bestselling novels and bringing out products that sell out in a matter of minutes. They have a direct line into the target market of so many brands, and anything they put their name to seems to turn to gold.
So, why is this type of marketing so powerful?
A study by McKinsey found that “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.”
And of those that were acquired through word-of-mouth, what do you think the retention rate is?
I’ll give you a minute to guess.
If you guessed around the region of 40%, then you’d be correct. There is a 37% higher retention rate for those generated through word-of-mouth. Crazy right?
I recently did a quick Twitter poll, to delve deeper into the way that people would be influenced to buy. Over the hour, 70 people answered the poll, and you can see that 86% of people would be more likely to book a hotel if it was recommended to them by a friend or family member. We trust the opinion of those we care about.
(Source: Beth Murrell’s Twitter)
So, how do influencers fit into this? They’re not friends or family members, we don’t speak to them one on one, how do they have such a large power over their target market? These influencers are crafted to be approachable; they share their life online to millions, meaning that they build a trust with those who watch them. Most full time influencers carefully select relevant partnerships with brands to ensure that they keep that trust with their audience. This then means that they’re able to directly tap into a market and utilise that following to help sell themselves as a brand, and also any products that they endorse.
How can brands build a good relationship with influencers?
So, we know that influencer marketing works, but how do we get it to work for brands? A common mistake that many brands make is thinking that they can just throw money at an influencer and they will instantly gain a large amount more sales. Definitely a big no no. The relationship between brand and influencer is reciprocal, meaning that it has to make sense for both parties. It’s an investment from the brand to the influencer, and if chosen correctly it can work extremely well.
What does the future hold for influencer marketing?
Over the past 10 years, influencer marketing has grown exponentially, as we can see from the Google Trends graph below. From 2004 to present we can see a sharp increase in the amount of people searching for, and talking about influencer marketing, and it shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
(Source: Google Trends UK)