Influencer Marketing… The Next Big Thing?

| July 10, 2015

???????????????????????????Influencer marketing, writes Forbes contributor Kyle Wong, is “a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers.” And it may very well become the next big thing in digital marketing. One of the top benefits of influencer marketing is that it outperforms branded content almost every time.

To be clear, influencer marketing isn’t exactly new. Celebrity endorsements and athletic sponsorships have been around for over half a century. But what is new is the use of non-celebrity influencers, who are, still every bit as effective – if not more – at generating sales.

Consumers Trust Influencers More Than Brands
Nobody likes being sold to. And branded content? It often comes across as sales-y or biased in the consumer’s mind. Naturally, wary customers are going to turn to independent reviews (which can actually make your brand look more authentic – even if the reviews are negative).

A new infographic from The Shelf  reports on this interesting relationship between consumers, brands, and perceived authenticity on social media and the web:

  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people (even someone they don’t know) over branded content.
  • 70% of consumers reported online customer reviews as the second-most trusted source.

What if you could take some control in this powerful channel and strength your brand through online reviews? You’ve just tapped into influencer marketing. According to The Shelf, sharing your content through influencers in your industry increases conversion by at least a 3x-10x higher rate.

Are Brands Actively Using Influencer Marketing?
Yes, many are! In fact…

  • 65% of brands participate in influencer marketing.
  • 52% of companies have a stand-alone Sponsored Social budget for their brand.
  • 5% have an organization annual budget in excess of $5M, and 25% have an annual budget of $500K.

What Do You Look For In Choosing An Influence Marketer?
Popularity is good, but even more important is (1) industry relevance, (2) quality content, (3) and a strong personality. Influence marketers help in a variety of ways, by creating brand awareness, educating customers, boosting your SEO, creating a social following, building trust and authenticity in your social media, and jumpstarting user-generated content.

Also, influencer marketing has a ripple effect, according to The Shelf:

  • 88% of social influencers verbally tell a friend about brands that sponsor them.
  • 72% share additional posts about their sponsors for free, outside of their contractual agreement.
  • 77% say they’re more likely to purchase from brands that sponsor them.

For more information on Influencer Marketing, with a full infographic, you can follow the link here.

This article was originally published by Buzzplant at www.buzzplant.com.  Republished by permission © 2015

 


Category: Marketing

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Email | Website | Bob Hutchins (Franklin, TN) runs Buzzplant (www.buzzplant.com), A 12+ year old Internet marketing agency targeting the faith/family market. His team was an integral part of the online campaign for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia, Soul Surfer, and many other movies, books, music releases, and events. His client/partner roster includes Time-Life, Sony Pictures, General Motors, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Warner Brothers, Thomas Nelson Publishers and Zondervan. He is co-founder of The Faith-Based Marketing Association and Ground Force Network, and has been featured on Fox News, MSNBC, in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, INC Magazine, Fortune Magazine, MarketingVOX, American City Business Journals, Dallas Morning News, and on various television/radio media. He is also the co-author of Faith Based Marketing, published by John Wiley and Sons, and his second book- The Recommendation Age. He also teaches Social Media Marketing to MBA students at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.