Word of mouth (in any form) is a powerful tool.
Influencer Marketing started as a bit of a wild west situation. However, once people learned its value, it’s become much stronger and a viable path for brands to get their products into consumer’s hands in ways that a 30-second pre-roll or paid digital ad couldn’t.
When content creators help promote a product or company through their social media channel, it’s influencer marketing. There have been some issues regarding transparency on what was promoted and what was organically posted by an influencer. But the regulations have been increased to clarify rules for promoting brands and products on social media platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook. This opens new opportunities to have posts generated on other social media platforms and reach audiences you wouldn’t have been able to target otherwise.
Why should influencer marketing be an important part of any campaign or advertising effort?
Because it’s working.
Recent analysis shows that influencer marketing is expected to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021, up from a mere $1.7 billion only 5 years earlier. In addition, new platforms and micro-influencers are showing incredible return on investment. YouTube videos have become a constant way to find tips or advice, along with the authenticity of human connection. Influencer marketing provides a genuine connection. There’s a distinct change in a consumer’s perspective when an online review, or suggestion, comes from a person they’ve followed on social media, regardless of the platform. It’s like it’s coming from a trusted friend or family member.
Instagram allows for great visual aesthetics, Reddit has niche audiences and subreddits to reach, Tik Tok provides entertainment that can tie to a brand, the amount of time people spend on the platforms means you’re going where your audience lives day in and day out.
To understand the impact of influencers, look at the new Netflix sensation, “Squid Game.” No one could have predicted that a South Korean-made series addressing class separation by having struggling civilians playing violent versions of children’s playground games for cash would have become one of the streaming platform’s largest sensations. Probably not even Netflix. The reason the show has dominated is word of mouth. The show is on track to become Netflix’s most viewed show of all time, potentially beat out perennial favorites “Money Heist,” “Stranger Things,” and “Bridgerton.”
It was popular upon launch. But at this point the thriller has become a global sensation. The intensity of the episodes, the atmospheric tension, eerie score and costumes, and character work, all came together to a fever pitch and everyone started watching. Then news outlets picked it up, dissecting why it’s so popular on a global scale. It is a case study for why traditional advertising methods are fantastic, but when something catches fire, word of mouth carries you farther than any paid effort could. People do not want to miss out.
Everyone is watching the show. The popularity has built a FOMO (fear of missing out), because when people bring it up at the office you don’t want to be the one person in the office who hasn’t watched it yet. When your friends cannot wait to spill the beans about a big twist, you want to excitedly shout “I couldn’t believe episode six!” If everyone is taking part, you feel eager to be a part of it.
And that, at its core, is influencer marketing. It’s someone showing you this impactful experience they’ve had, just via their social media platforms. With today’s social fever, you don’t want to miss out on something that is there for you and recommended by someone you’ve come to know, even if it’s only on Instagram.
There’s a chance to create a sense of comfort through influencers. Intelligent ones mix their own content with their promoted posts, showing the human side of their lives, even if it is a highlight reel. Many influencers also make a point of curating their content. They won’t work with brands or products they don’t believe in. As Influencer Marketing becomes more prominent, they’ll have more choices as content creators to select who they work with as well. This means your brand will find better elevation with well-chosen influencers pushing your content.
Now, many brands who take on influencer marketing on their own have said finding the right influencers is incredibly difficult. Statistics validate this concern. So, if you’re interested in influencer marketing and how it may tie into your brand, but don’t know where to start, talk to one of our experts to see how we would help your company. We’ll find the right influencers for you and your business, so you don’t have to sift through social media for hours on end, hoping you find some influencers to partner with. One thing is for sure, the advertising world continues to shift, and the need for human recommendations of products and services remains stronger than ever. It appears influencer marketing is one way we achieve that fine balance in between promotion and genuine connection.