Companies are increasingly relying on social media influencers to stand out in the social noise and impact shoppers' purchasing decisions. Consumers’ trust in brands for a reliable source of information is dwindling, which is contributing to the rising number of ad-blockers. People want to see content that is relevant to them - information that provides them value and help them in their purchasing journey.
They want to have a conversation with brands instead of being talked to. Based on Reuters, 47% of consumers are using ad-blockers, and this number is expected to increase. Even Apple jumped on the bandwagon and allowed ad-blocker extensions for IOS 9.
Ad-blockers are the chief enemies of brands’ digital efforts.
A Shift In Digital Marketing
Mckinsey predicted that digital marketing spending will increase by $22 billion in 2016, and will account for 50% of the overall marketing budget by 2019. The growing number of ad-blockers and consumers’ mistrust for brand-created content have led to the increasing popularity of native advertising and sponsored content.
More than 50% of brands think that influencer marketing generates better customers compared to other digital advertising avenues. Subsequently, marketers can expect a significant shift in the portion spent on influencer marketing in the following years.
Influencer marketing gives brands the opportunity to target their audience through credible and likable influencers in a more authentic and engaging way. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on influencers because of the authenticity and affinity elements. In fact, 92% of people trust strangers more than brands, and are more influenced by their peers when it comes to making a purchase.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Collaborating with an influencer will give brands access to a relevant and engaged audience:
1. Targeted: Brands can target consumers with engaging content and create meaningful conversations. Through influencer marketing, they can turn prospects into loyal brand advocates. In fact, 84% of people make a purchase after reading about a product on a blog.
2. Relevant and Customized: Brands can customize their content marketing efforts to appeal to a niche market who will resonate with the information and find it relevant. Because of this high relevancy, they are more likely to engage with the content and further amplify and share it with their own followers. This content can significantly improve brand’s SEO and drive more traffic and sales as influencers create more links to brand’s website.
3. Authenticity: Brands can convey their message in a more authentic way through influencers and gain credibility.
The Power of Technology Platforms in Influencer Marketing
Merely partnering with an influencer does not guarantee success. The secret in its effectiveness lies in the ability to find key influencers who the brand’s target audience trust and engage with. Measuring the impact and ROI of the influencer campaign are essential for marketers to optimize their budget.
There are technology platforms that help brands make the most out of their collaborations. They can save a tremendous amount of time and money by scaling their influencer marketing campaigns through automation platforms. These tools help brands find the best influencers, distribute their content, and target the right audience. With data-driven analytics, marketers can monitor and compare performance to ensure high returns and transparency.
With the consumers’ growing mistrust for brand-created content and the prevalence of ad-blockers, a shift in the traditional digital marketing spending is happening. Influencer marketing is an effective channel to reach consumers through trusted individuals who are industry experts and thought leaders.