How Influencers Have Become Brands Top Marketing Strategy

Social media feeds, once reserved for showcasing the lives and times of friends and acquaintances, have evolved into a place to encounter not only people you already know but also people whom you aspire to be. These social media ‘influencers’ have become an integral part of our feeds, and often their posts feature a promoted brand or product. Commercials and advertisements, now ignored or seen as nuisances by consumers, are giving way to new, social media-focused marketing vehicles. Many brands have revamped their strategies to include one of these key vehicles: influencer endorsements. Brands not embracing this new strategy will be left in the dust. Don’t believe me? The statistics are astounding.

In a recent survey, 84% of marketers said they plan on launching at least one influencer campaign within the next 12 months (Emarketer, 2015). Since 2014, Google Trends has shown that print advertising has been on the decline, while influencer marketing has steadily grown and is closing the gap with video advertising. (Google Trends, 2016)

What’s driving this switch towards influencer marketing? When a consumer sees an influencer’s post promoting their favorite skin care line, or pair of jeans, they feel like they just got an exclusive piece of information. Consumers are more likely to research (and eventually purchase) products shown to them through influencer posts than more traditional, less intimate channels such as TV advertisements.

It is not about the numbers with influencer marketing, it’s about the emotional value it generates with the consumers. The power lies within the authenticity and curation of the post, so it is important for brands to execute their influencer campaign effectively. Forbes reported that 43% of millennials view authenticity more important over content and that they need to trust a brand before they will purchase anything. Find an influencer that is relatable to your brand, that your demographic already follows and one that genuinely loves your product. Do you remember the Scott Disick BooTea disaster? (if not read about it here). Don’t let that happen to you. Everyone knows that influencers get paid to post, but his post demolished the authenticity, deterring users from buying the product. Focus on quality, not quantity.

It pays to invest in influencer marketing. If done right, your brand is exposed to thousands (if not millions!) of new customers in your target market, not to mention the increased conversion possibilities that the influencer’s endorsement adds. Telescope’s suite of influencer marketing products provides an engaging experience for your consumers, connect them with the influencer in a unique way. From our uPic product that allows fans to create a selfie with the influencer, sociable Q&A where they can chat with them in real-time, or our autograph product where influencers can send customized autographs to fans, all branded to your company. Creating a campaign that not only is authentic, an engaging activation is even more exciting for your consumer.

Once you invest in an influencer marketing campaign it’s important to determine your ROI, to ensure the campaign was effective. Of course, having a steady click stream is great, but converting those clicks into dollars is even better. Per a study, for every dollar spent on influencer marketing the brand earns $6.65 (AdWeek, 2015). Even more astonishing, influencer marketing delivers $285 incremental sales per 1000 views, which makes the return on investment of influencer marketing 11x over other forms of digital media. (TapInfluence and WhiteWave 2016).

The reason we follow influencers on social media is because we are interested in what they do, their opinion matters to consumers. Instead of trying to avert their eyes from their social feeds, integrate within it. All eyes are on these influencers, why not have all eyes on your brand too?

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