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IS INFLUENCER MARKETING USELESS? THE FUTURE AND IMPACT OF A TECHNIQUE CAN MAKE YOUR BUSINESS GROW

Por María Eugenia Guidara |

influencer marketing

Is influencer marketing useless, dead or has stopped working? According to digital marketing specialists the answer is the same: while the public continues to confide in influential people, influencer marketing is very much alive. In any case, we are watching its evolution. That is why, in this article, we have decided to write about the future of this strategy and the impact it has on the growth of your business from different approaches.

Influencers: powerful voices that impact buying decisions

Influencers are people with a significant audience and a strong influence in a particular consumption segment. In general, they are bloggers, lecturers, experts, authors or analysts with a strong presence on social networks.

What do they offer their audience? Knowledge about the areas they handle and the brands they recommend. They make the audience feel affinity and confidence in companies or businesses. And ultimately, they work on customer loyalty and compromise for those brands.

Krono AI has published an eBook with statistics that help us understand the importance of influencer marketing.

  • Consumers trust the references on their personal networks 90%.
  • 81% of these references or recommendations are found online.
  • According to data on LinkedIn, 84% of B2B shoppers begin the buying process with a recommendation. 
  • 92% of consumers rely on referrals from people they know above all else.

conclusion ebook tapinfluence

Influencer marketing: a marketing channel that has grown significantly

This conclusion comes from an investigation made by the Statista portal with the following question: “¿What marketing channels grow faster?”. Let´s take a look at the complete results.

“First of all, the ranking for marketing channels with more growth is influencer marketing with 22%. 18% belong to the “Other” channels, 17% to organic search, 15% to email marketing, 14% to paid search, 9% to Display advertising and 5% to affiliate marketing”.

Influencers have growing

 

The opinion of “micro-influencers” change the buying behavior of consumers at a higher rate than expected.

Another recent investigation from Dr. Jonah Berger of Wharton School together with the Keller Fay group, explain that data determines influencer marketing as a key strategy for any business.

Meanwhile, this study focuses on, micro influencers. They are not traditional celebrities, but people who are really passionate, informed and authentic about he industry. Their opinions or recommendations work as a reliable source regarding purchasing a product.

Brad Fay, co-founder, operations director and main investigator of the Keller Fay Group referred to an investigation and…

explains that influential people today are passionate about what they recommend and this has a significant amount of shopping conversions so consumers are more prone to act in relation to their recommendations.”

What is put into question here is the higher efficiency of viral marketing or word of mouth marketing before common influencer marketing strategies from celebrities.

really

82% of consumers said that they are more likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro influencer

This is one of the investigation findings about the importance of micro-influencers. This data should be considered:

  • Influential people have up to 22.2 times more conversations a week and recommend what to purchase with an average consumer. 
  • Micro influencers are more direct in their recommendations and encourage someone 74% of the time to “purchase or try a product” compared to 66% of the general population that encourage these same actions with their recommendations. 
  • 87% of the purchasing recommendations are done face to face.
  • They are more credible and probable than an average person (94% vs. 83%), more informed (94% vs. 84%) and explain better how a product works or how it can be used (92% vs. 83%).

Without a doubt, the evolution of influencer marketing has to do with the important growth of these micro-influencers.

An infinite number of opportunities exist to take advantage of influencer marketing

A publication on Adweek indicates that

Companies such as Burberry, American Apparel, Land Rover, TOMS and Johnnie Walker, have partnered with celebrities on Instagram to reach consumers and create positive humor with their brands”.

Observe the case of Bear Grylls, ambassador of the Land Rover brand.

example_land rover

 

But, what does the chosen tittle have to do with this section? That we must end the myth that only large companies or international brands can take advantage of this strategy. B2C businesses of all sizes have found themselves conversing with influencers on various platforms.

With the right incentives, influencers can generate more compromise (engagement), increase the reach and create a more consolidated loyalty with their brand. Even a contest on Facebook can serve as an opportunity to introduce influencer marketing. In this sense, the participation of micro-influencers add value.

“I spend half my budget on advertising, but I don´t know what half”

This quote published on Harvard Business Review titled “3 reasons to kill the marketing influencer” begins this controversy. The author, Greg Statell (lecturer, known consultant and owner of the blog “Digital Tonto”), credits these words to marketing specialists who indicate they lose half their advertising investment on marketing influencers.

you-want-it

If we adhere to these words, this article would make no sense. Why have we chosen this publication? To show the extensive debate that exists regarding the present and future of this technique. In this article, Greg informs us about a survey conducted with 1,300 marketing experts. One of the results of this study claims that 74% of them plan to invest on influencer marketing in the next 12 months.

Regarding this, the author says that “all of this is a waste of time and effort”What does he base this on? There is no proof that influencer marketing can improve performance. However, we have presented a significant amount of statistics that indicate just the opposite. But let´s take a look at the author´s reasoning.

His first argument claims that “collective behavior requires a group”Meaning, one person can´t influence others. For this to happen, a group of people must support something in the same direction. In that case, when we speak of the influencer´s recommendation, doesn´t what that person says become viral? You now have the adequate rebuttal: the famous word of mouth. This begins with a person X who disseminates to many other X´s.

But this doesn´t end here. To viralize isn´t (and shouldn´t be) the main objective of influencer marketing. The underlying question should be in creating and sustaining the most genuine relationships (compromise) with clients or potential clients that have an influential voice.

Source: Single Grain

Source: Single Grain

Does science have little evidence to support influential marketing?

Well, we have already gone over the data that supports the positive impact theory with this type of marketing campaign strategy. But that´s not all. The author also explains that this little evidence is a product of the influence essence: the context. Meaning, that according to him, the influence is contextual. Ok, that´s true. But for this reason he doesn´t ignore anything.

When a brand chooses an ambassador, or works with micro-influencers, they select people who are in their industry. These are people who become informed, who know and use perfectly what this brand markets. This is context. A fashion company would never choose a technological influencer. Maybe that person can make the brand known, but the context wouldn´t be the most adequate one and the strategy would then fail.

The site Upfluence, where we get the information to refute the HBR article, adds another reason why this argument falls apart…

“Influencer marketing doesn´t build a brand behind selected influential people who take advantage of their relationships to build awareness, social compromise and boost sales”. 

Nonetheless: this marketing channel does not build a brand. It only forms part of a broader integral strategy. Meaning, it´s part of a context

Is influence precarious?: if most brands think about spending most of their budget on influence, then it´s quite probable that it´s not precarious

Just so, this is what the author says: influence is precarious, it´s weak, it´s subjected to social condition and can change at any time. There are always adaptations, evolutions, trial and errors and change in digital marketing. However, we have seen that influencer marketing is an essential tool. The popular Forbes site refers to it as “the golden chicken” of marketing in an article titled: `Love it or Hate it:´ influencer marketing works.

We discussed previously how some brands such as Land Rover or Burberry use it. This means they see a benefit from influence. And what about the positive impact this channel has on standard and traditional companies? Many of them have increased their budget for influencers due to their return of monetary investment (greater ROI).

In fact, I think it´s clear there are many good reasons to try to apply an influencer marketing campaign for any type of business. The future impact produces benefits. What is your opinion? Have you launched (or are in the middle of launching) this technique? Is it viable or useless? We look forward to hearing your opinions. They will truly enrich us.

As usual, we bid our farewell with some articles that are sure to interest you:

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