What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing refers to the practice of development, presentation, and delivery of advertising messages via powerful/influential people, and opinion leaders. They make attempts to influence by cases in point, more so than using word of mouth to illustrate why someone purchases the product.
Influencer marketing strategies can be considered to be a combination of old as well as new marketing tools. It derives the notion of celebrity endorsement tactic and places it into contemporary content-driven strategies of marketing. The primary dissimilarity in the case of influencer marketing is that the outcome of the campaign is associations between brands and influencers.
Influencer marketing includes the process of a brand working together with an online influencer to market its products/services. Some influencer marketing efforts are relatively less tangible and brands merely work with influencers to enhance brand recognition.
Of late, influencer marketing has witnessed marvelous growth and increasingly brands have preferred influencer marketing over the traditional process of advertising. Not only large-sized enterprises but also small-sized ones have also shifted to influencer marketing.
Newer trends in influencer marketing
In the upcoming years, brands are on the course to spend billions of dollars on influencer marketing. This system of marketing-presently used with Instagram and YouTube. It is not a brief fad, but rather a tectonic transformation for the future of digital advertising. It is the tactic of the future, and the accountability is solely on the industry leaders to carry on. Contemporary marketing professionals thinking about adopting influencer marketing for their brands encounter equally modern challenges. The challenges include finding the appropriate talent, monitoring results, and quantifying the way this new marketing opportunity aligns with the overall stratagem. Influencer marketing for brands can be considered to be the guide for the new age (Levin, 2020).
As rightly pointed out by Levin (2020), the phenomenon of influencer marketing was already a popular one and the pandemic compelled more and more brands to take this course of marketing. Whilst it was already overshadowing Instagram and YouTube, it also took over other platforms as well gradually with time (for example, Twitter, TikTok, Tumblr, and many others).
Influencers play an important role in social media marketing as means of discovery, motivation, and awareness. The concept of having separate content stratagems, social strategies, and influencer strategies has become obsolete.
Influencer marketing and its impact on consumer behaviour
The factor of trust crops up, again and again, these days for influencer marketing and there is a valid reason for that as well. People have realized that commercials lie and celebrities are paid to endorse things they don’t always are concerned about. Whilst influencers have built their followers around an area they are extremely passionate about. Plus, they are more likely to promote only those products they have systematically evaluated since they might lose their followers otherwise. This is the reason why their addressees trust them (Cobain, 2020). A study conducted by Olapic observed that around 39% of consumers depend on the expertise of influencers when weighing the importance of their endorsements. Expertise on the digital platform is not something new, however, influencers have twisted their expertise into an interesting way to influence consumer purchasing behavior.
Another important reason why influencer marketing is gaining momentum is owing to ad blocking. People not only have a preference towards blocking adverts. Therefore, based on the trends, facts, and figures, it becomes quite clear that influencer marketing along with user-generated content shape consumer purchasing behaviour. And whilst celebrities have a higher reach, micro-influencers have higher control (Cobain, 2020).
Influencer-generated marketing content has an important role in molding the purchasing behaviour of consumers. This is mainly because of the trustworthiness, real, great delivery, and attractiveness of the format. Besides this, the change in content that an influencer can introduce is not normally found in conventional marketing, therefore, its influence on addresses and their intention to purchase immediately rises.
Here is a list of facts and figures that show that influencers are nowadays trusted by millions of consumers. On the other hand, marketers are also taking note of this fast.
- As per research findings, 48% of influencer campaigns were carried out to use influencers on TikTok.
- Around 70% of Teenagers trust influencers more than conventional celebrities.
- Approximately 86% of women use social media for buying advice.
- 49% of the consumer demand is dependent on influencer recommendations
- TikTok has developed a $1 billion fund to support influencers
- Influencer marketing campaigns and programs earn roughly $5.9 for every dollar expended
- Roughly 57% of the fashion and beauty marketing campaigns involve influencer marketing
- Worth around $1.7 billion in the year 21016, the influencer marketing segment has reached a $13.8 billion market by 2022.
- Reports suggest that around 82% of people have full trust in social networks to guide them properly and help them arrive at their purchasing decisions.
- 42% of Consumers make use of Ad-Blocking Technology
- With 61% of Twitter operators following a creator leads to a 61% rise in brand likeability and a 64% increase in recommendation intention.
- Facebook, with approximately 2.89 billion monthly users, is considered to be the most influential social media platform, where 52% of the purchasing decisions are affected by the platform.
Factors of influencer marketing that influence consumers
Trust peer recommendations
It is seen that there is a high probability that consumers are eager to trust peer recommendations. This is because they are normally considered to be more trustworthy in comparison to the claims made in brand adverts. If a product becomes well acknowledged and admired in a particular group, then that immediately enhances its reputation. This implies that the strongest acceptance and ensuing recommendations within any group have immense influence over the consumers (Barker, 2020).
Roles of influencers as opinion experts
Over the current years, influencer marketing has become increasingly popular, reflecting a particular type of social media marketing. Thorough knowledge about the roles of influencers as opinion experts in the social media environment can help in identifying typology, factors of influence, and the intensity of their influence on consumer decision-making procedures. The findings of the global research studies and quantitative online research studies revealed that the promotion of certain products/services through influencers can be relatively more advantageous in comparison to others. Influencers shall exert the biggest influence at the time of purchasing clothes, shoes, and beauty products. On the other hand, consumers highly depend on other factors to purchase food, jewelry, and electronic appliances (Stefan Zak, 2020).
Variety of content
With an increase in the number of influencers, there is certainly an increase in the overall variety of marketing content. This variety draws and holds the attention of diverse audiences who are someway inspired by them. Even if they do not purchase the product/service immediately, they do become aware of the brand, its products/services, and its operations.
People like people and trust them
People tend to like other people, and trust people more than they trust brands and marketers. Again, the best influencers are also real, and honest. They understand and respect their addresses and do not lie about products/services just to earn money. Therefore, they can deliver real value for both companies and the audience and followers they have gained over the years.
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Levin A. (2020). Influencer Marketing for Brands: What YouTube and Instagram Can Teach You About the Future of Digital Advertising. New York: Research Gate
Cobain D. (2020). How Influencer Marketing Affects Consumer Buying Behaviour.
Barker S. (2020). How Social Media Influencers Can Impact Your Customers’ Purchase Decisions
Stefan Zak M. H. (2020). The role of influencers in the consumer decision-making process. Research Gate