The landscape of global advertising is in rapid flux. Traditional commercials are less and less effective, particularly when targeting a young audience. Millenials have taken to using online ad blockers, while the majority of younger consumers reflexively skip YouTube ads. The vast majority of consumers rely on peer recommendation when making a purchase decision. This is where influencers come in. Influencers are individuals with targeted, and often large, audiences who promote a certain image, lifestyle or message. For every industry or interest there is an influencer and targeting the right one as your brand ambassador, while no easy feat, would be a welcome boost to any marketing strategy.
Shifting Consumer Behavior
Choice is abundant and time is sparse. With the rise of social media, the world is at our fingertips. Consumers have changed their behavior and no longer respond to direct advertising. Instead, 61% of consumers make a purchasing decision based on a blog post. They build a rapport, and consequently trust with the bloggers or influencers they follow – they value their recommendations above those directly from the brand. As a result of this trust, bloggers now generate twice the sales compared with traditional advertising.
The 3 top blogging sites receive 176 million visitors per year! That’s a significant marketing opportunity.
A Delicate Balance
Influencer marketing capitalizes on the meaningful engagement that has been nurtured over time between the influencer and consumer. Consumers eagerly check in with their influencers regularly – where are they travelling, what are they eating, who are they wearing. This is where product placement opportunities abound, but if done too overtly, there is risk of losing a following. Finding the influencer who strikes the right balance, and presents your brand in a complimentary light is crucial.
The Right Influencer
There’s more to identifying an influencer than their number of followers. Their audience has to be engaged and make decisions based on the opinions of that influencer. They could be a journalist, an industry expert, an academic, or a celebrity.