Surprised that your favorite blogger is promoting a product from your favorite brand?
82% of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase, according to a study we completed in partnership with Nielsen.
Influencers drive results.
These stats prove there’s no disputing the magnetic pull of word-of-mouth marketing with the modern consumer.
Influencer marketing positions people to be strong ambassadors of a brand while targeting their engaged following. This is the digitized future of word-of-mouth marketing—and it’s significantly changing the marketing & advertising landscape. While display ads still resonate in some markets, like live sports television, influencer marketing is chewing up display advertising by driving more value and a higher ROI.
Here’s what you need to know about influencer marketing, including why the modern consumer is paying such close attention.
No Appetite for Display Ads
Display ads on Facebook, promoted posts on Twitter, and network television ad spots all have one problem: viewability rates. In 2014, less than half of total ad impressions were viewable, according to data from Comscore. Different social media platforms count views differently (and their calculations aren’t always to the benefit of the advertiser).
Audiences are conditioned to click away from an ad without a second thought, and unless your audience is engaged with a live event, the Super Bowl, for instance—they’re not sticking around to see your ads.
The modern consumer also has tools available, like ad blocking technology to remove these ads from their social streams. This is literally the exact opposite of how consumers treat people they are influenced by. They are choosing to opt-into their opinions, streams, videos and thoughts -- they aren’t going to block these people, ever.
From a trustworthy source.
The premise is simple. People trust recommendations from other people they know—and that includes people they know via their online presence.
While audiences are taught to be wary of or discerning about advertising, that standard is much less rigorously applied to word-of-mouth recommendations. 84% of consumers say they completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services.
Additionally, 92% of 18-to-34 year-olds say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a product purchase—which makes word-of-mouth the highest ranked source for trustworthiness. This trust is leveraged in both referral marketing and influencer marketing.
These strategies, when deployed effectively by brands, are seeing soaring success.
Digital display ads certainly have better targeting than traditional display ads (think an ad in a magazine, or a billboard on the highway), but they still can’t compete with the targeting associated with word-of-mouth marketing. People tend to associate with other people who share their values, interests, and habits—and that includes their purchasing habits. In fact, 67% of Americans say they’re at least a little more likely to purchase a product after a friend or family member shared it via social media or email.
Targeting associated with a Facebook ad, for example, is good, but it’s not that good. Influencers, on the other hand, have the ability to beam relevant content directly to the right audience—their followers. While it’s important to note that sponsored content doesn’t exactly mimic organic word-of-mouth marketing, the principles are the same. In both cases, you reap the benefits of getting your message directly to a group of people who are already eagerly listening.
Influencer marketing is significantly on the rise compared to traditional display advertising. Stay on the leading edge of marketing with our eBook, “Influencer Marketing: Rent or Own.”