Getting in the In-group
During our times as CIS students we regularly hear terms such as brand awareness, loyalty, and in-group or out-group feeling when discussing marketing communication. Now, there is one marketing branch that is especially closely related to these specific topics: influence marketing. Over the past few years, this branch has been booming enormously, often without the target group even being aware of its existence. Though the direct influence on buying behaviour among the intended audience is often unclear, the desired brand image can easily be transferred to Social Media users. This last part immediately covering two flaws of influence marketing: unclear influence and small reached audience. So, why is it appealing for organizations to collaborate with an influencer?
Well, firstly one possible definition of influence marketing is building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you. Meaning that if you find the right influencer, he or she can reach potential customers via social networks that your brand maybe can’t. Since influence marketing is all about creating strong relationships, a “girl-next-door” type of influencer who is easy to relate to is key. Besides, social mentions are often more effective on mid-level. This means that mid-level influencers with a relatively small audience are often more influential than so-called “mega-influencers” because their audiences are more loyal and feel more engaged to them. We, as the millennials, are an important segment in each market, but we differ greatly from other generations when it comes to effective marketing strategies. We like to look into something or someone carefully to make sure that it or one is suitable or acceptable. We are mainly led by the need to be part of the in-group. This need can also be recognized in the last argument: 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, whereas only 33% trust ads. If other people like it, we are more likely to like it too.
Thus, is it effective? I think we can say that at least for us millennials it is. Our need to fit in and to be able to relate will only increase the more social media influencers and channels will arise. Meaning that also for organizations it will be important to at least consider influence marketing or keep the option in mind. So for all the future marketers, follow CEO Joel Robinson’s advice: “the future lies in social media and in social media lies influence!”