Picture this — you're on social media, scrolling through photos, and you see a post from someone you follow talking about how much they love a new product. Now you want to know more about that product.
You've become part of a whole new world of marketing.
You may have either seen it or heard of it along the way. It's known as influencer marketing, but what exactly is it all about?
Keep reading for all the need-to-know info!
What Is an Influencer?
An influencer is someone who has the power to affect purchasing decisions because of their knowledge and relationship with a large following of people.
This is probably something you’ve encountered on social media and not even noticed. Take one of your favorite celebrities, for example. They have likely posted something on one of their social media accounts promoting a specific product or company.
They’re using the influence they have as a celebrity to convince their followers to purchase a product, and this is becoming one of the biggest ways for brands to market their products.
Welcome to marketing of the future!
The Science Behind the Influence
Pardon me for being technical, but this goes back to the psychology of people. It’s called the social identity theory, and it causes people to base some of their identity off of group belonging.
This is why people are so attracted to influencer marketing. If someone's favorite influencer promotes a product, their followers are more likely to purchase it so they can continue to feel a part of the influencer's "group."
Not only does social identity play into the power of influencers, but so does the common held distrust and disinterest toward traditional media and advertisements.
Trust in traditional media has seen a drastic decline in the last two to three years, while social media trust has seen the opposite, growing by nearly five percent in the past year.
This trust factor even plays into mainstream-media celebrities as well. And while celebrities can be considered influencers, this role is not limited to just them.
Instead, some influencers have established their notoriety solely through social media, YouTube, etc. rather than through traditional media, and people are proving their favor toward these personalities.
For teens, 70 percent find influencers outside of traditional media to be more trustworthy than celebrities.
With these factors of group acceptance and perceived trust in the minds of social media users, the power of the influencer is pretty evident.
Influencer branding and marketing is worth your while, but just in case you need more convincing, here are some statistics:
- Forty-nine percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations to drive their purchasing decisions
- Influencer marketing is the quickest-growing online customer-acquisition method
- Almost 90 percent of marketers say their ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or higher than other marketing tools
Now, I know what you’re thinking — I’m a small business! I can’t afford to get a celebrity to promote my business or products.
This is where micro-influencers come into play, and it goes back to the earlier idea of influencers who aren’t traditional celebrities. It appears that social media users respond better to these non-celebrities anyway, especially younger demographics of users.
So, what exactly is a micro-influencer? They are influencers with more moderate followings than celebrities and with this smaller following, they can interact and engage with followers easier. Surprisingly, micro-influencers have just as much or even more power as a celebrity influencer.
Plus, micro-influencers won’t hurt a small business’s wallet like their larger-followed counterparts might.
In fact, about 82 percent of consumers said they were highly likely to consider a recommendation of a product or service by a micro-influencer.
Also, micro-influencers drive seven times more engagement through Instagram than other influencers with larger followings.
Instagram is even offering businesses the option to take these influencer promotional posts and use them as ads in user’s feeds, known as branded content ads. Want to know more about this new option? Click here to read all about it.
It’s all about change in the world of digital marketing, so embrace this one as well!
Influencers are proving their worth through social media sponsorships and promotions, and their influence is only projected to grow.
Are you considering using social media as a part of your business marketing? RevLocal has the plan and services you need to get started.