Let’s discuss influencer marketing
Every week, I am shocked when I get the notification about the average time a day I spent using my iPhone. Most of that time I spent on social media and I think most I am not the only one who is guilty of spending lots of time on social media without doing something important. However, for some people spending time on social media is important, it’s even their job. The people I am talking about are called ‘influencers’.
[Influencer] noun: a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.
Influencer marketing (IM) is a quite new kind of marketing, but why is it so successful? Let’s discuss this.
Characteristics of influencer marketing
Within influencer marketing, we notice some characteristics, which could make it more effective than other types of marketing. The focus of the content is more and more on storytelling. In this way, influencers make sure that their followers really connect with them. Also, video content and live streaming are growing on social media. We love to be entertained and videos have an engaging nature, which can make this way of marketing really effective. While Instagram is still the biggest platform for influencers, other platforms are also emerging. Examples are YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat. So, influencer marketing is actually visible on all different kinds of social media.
The most recent trend is the rise of virtual influencers. These influencers aren’t real humans, but they are actually avatars. One of the most popular fictional influencers at this moment is Miquela Sousa. She seems so real that people didn’t know if she was fake or not. All this commotion made sure that she now has 1.5 million followers! Also, Renault created its own virtual ambassador: Liv. In this way, Renault wants to communicate that even though Liv is completely virtual, the experience of driving a car itself is totally real. In the commercials, we will follow Liv feeling more and more alive and human, until she becomes a complete human.
Watch the Renault commercial with Liv here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAYrIkr5jpA
Why influencer marketing?
As we probably all noticed, influencer marketing has made a huge growth during the last years. We buy products because someone we follow on social media has recommended it. This type of marketing has actually been around for many years, but lately, marketeers have realised how useful it really is. Now, why is influencer marketing actually such a success? Influencer marketing is often more efficient and less expensive than traditional advertising. The greatest advantage of this type of marketing is that it is more appealing to the consumer. Probably because of the personal connection you seem to have with the influencer, as I mentioned before. As social media have become more popular, influencer marketing has exploded. Marketeers make use of the trust that millions of consumers have in the influencers. 86% of the marketeers uses this type of marketing since last year. The budgets for IM are huge.
The shocking statistics
Now, let’s discuss some interesting stats that this research has revealed. 70% of the teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. Consumers have a lot of trust in influencers. Obviously, companies are also trying to gain trust from consumers. The level of trust that consumers have in the influencers transmits to the company that the influencer is promoting. Apparently, this trust is so big that 4 in 10 millennials claim that their most favourite influencer understands them better than their friends! Celebrities seem to have lost the influence they once had. Influencers have a more engaged audience, they gain more views and comments compared to celebrities. 6 out of 10 teens are more likely to follow advice from influencers over celebrities.
And how effective is influencer marketing in terms of money? For every euro spent, approximately €5 is earned with influencer marketing campaigns. It will not surprise you that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method. Quite shocking facts, if you ask me!
By Nathalie van der Zande, Publication Committee 2018-2019