The Changing World of Influencer Marketing
Brands agree that leveraging influencers in social media boosts their visibility and recognition. Influencer Marketing is the fastest growing online marketing tactic, even outpacing paid search and email marketing.
This recent research study, Social Influence: Marketing’s New Frontier, found that consumers between the ages of 12 to 32 spend 30% of daily media time consuming “user-generated social media” or “peer-to-peer” content and only 23% of time watching TV. To reach consumers it’s clear that brands not only need to be on social, but also need to integrate social media seamlessly into peer-to-peer content — enter Influencer Marketing.
Influencer marketing, or using social media personalities that are followed by thousands, and who provide a unique voice and authenticity in their social media content, provides brands a unique opportunity to connect with consumers more directly, more organically, and at scale.
But, the state of Influencer marketing is changing as costs have skyrocketed for partnerships with Influencers that have a substantial follower base, in addition, the lines have become more blurry between Influencer celebrities and everyday consumers.
Going beyond the celebrity
Marketers need to get more creative in how they leverage Influencer campaigns as what was easy to mange in 2015, is becoming much more complicated. Bringing in an Influencer in to take a photo and have them post it to their social media channels, provide a few tweets, Snapshat or Blog is not as easy as it was only just last year.
Marketers will need to get creative now more than ever in leveraging native content and social media channels to engage and expand reach.
In fact, more and more digital consumers trust the experiences and insights of their peers when it comes to making decisions about brands, products and destinations. A study by McKinsey found that “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.” This means that Influencers are any of your customers or potential consumers on social media – not just Influencer celebrities.
Creating authentic partnerships: The start of any great Influencer campaign
The start of any great Influencer campaign begins with creating authentic relationships with your customers. Whether it’s directly interacting with your customers through social, delivering a memorable experience (like the famous Ritz-Carlton stuffed Giraffe story) or rewarding a customer on Twitter or Instagram for a great mention, it’s important to get to know who your Influencers are.
“Perhaps the user-generated content shared by existing and future brand influencers, those who may not have millions of followers, but who’s content tells a good story, is relevant and trusted, and is generally shared with positive sentiment is the silver bullet in Next Gen influencer marketing?”
Hashtagio Co-founder Alicia Whalen will be speaking on “The State of Influencer Marketing” at the upcoming DigMeSummit 2016. Read more on “The Next Generation of Influencers” at ideahatching.com, where Alicia discusses how marketers can be ready to leverage both social media stars of the moment – and those who are already your brand influencers.