The past few years have seen exponential growth when it comes to influencer marketing as part of modern marketing strategies. It is evolving at the speed of light and shows no sign of slowing down. In 2017, the industry was worth just $2 billion but is set to reach $10 billion by 2020. Influencer marketing is changing the way marketers reach out to their audiences and the expectations that consumers have for these campaigns. The reason is simple: according to Ion, not only do 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations but 40% had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. As a result, for every dollar spent on influencer campaigns, brands can expect a more than six-fold return.
The trick to a successful influencer marketing campaign is to retain the credibility, authority, and authenticity of these social marketing strategies. Modern-day heroes, including sports stars and celebrities, can reach large audiences with their endorsements or recommendations and can bring those key attributes to their followers. In fact, influencers, who are able to build strong audiences with their fans, are able to gain three times as many views, twice as many actions and twelve times as many comments compared to videos from traditional celebrities.
Influencers who have thousands, as opposed to millions, of followers are becoming an even bigger asset for many campaigns because they are viewed as more authentic due to their smaller, more intimate audiences. Acknowledging their connection to their sponsors actually services to build trust and transparency. While it can be argued that having to use #ad or #sponsor on posts will make the ads less effective because the audience knows the influencer is promoting a company’s product, the counterargument is that brands will actually be promoting trust with their audience.
Video is another great way to bolster influencer strategies, as it can be far more engaging than images. Additionally, because more and more Internet users are installing traditional ad blockers – 40% on laptops and 15% on mobile – videos are a key way to get an ad across to users. People don’t block videos from their favorite social media celebrities; in fact, they’re completely engaged in what they have to say. Advertising power is shifting to real people and influencers. Whether it’s on Facebook Live, Snapchat Stories or Instagram Stories, video content is going to be the most impactful, converting form of content that you and your influencer can create for your audience.
Bluetext has found great success when it comes to engaging in influencer marketing strategies. Built With Chocolate Milk (BWCM), an organization that promotes the benefits of chocolate milk as a natural recovery drink, partnered with Bluetext to improve the site’s consumer digital experience through a website redesign that emphasizes the science-backed benefits of chocolate milk. A key way of doing this? Leveraging impressive partnerships with world-class athletes such as Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.
It’s no question that social media has become a major element in our lives and gives a chance for “normal” people to build their own brands by promoting and engaging with content. With the rise of influencer marketing, companies no doubt have an opportunity to leverage these tactics to more effectively sell their products and solutions.