Marketers love influencer marketing. And their most influential fans embrace it.
Indeed, more than half of you said that in a recent social media survey for our parent company, Merkle. But as influencer marketing is all the rage, the speed at which everything is moving can make businesses skittish. So to help some brands get ahead of the curve, we’ve created a deep dive into influencer marketing in 10 concepts.
Influencer marketing in our lifetime
Almost half of you believe influencer marketing will be commonplace in the U.S. by the end of this decade. A lot of you are on the influencer bandwagon, too, with 82 percent of you saying that influencer marketing is a priority for your business. So these businesses are increasingly leaning on influencers and their millions of followers to increase reach.
Influencer marketing platforms are exploding
The number of branded channels and services to connect your brand to the fans of some of your most prized influencers is exploding. However, brands are having trouble integrating those connections in a way that best suits their goals. So when choosing a platform, consider platform features and functionality.
There’s a swiss army of intermediaries
Influencer marketing providers have created a cottage industry in finding influencers, while also handling the relationship and providing the technology and services. Brands and marketers usually fill out the various services forms provided to facilitate the relationship. However, many believe that these intermediaries collect additional fees, and that this can be suspicious and confusing.
Social media as a key marketing channel
More than eight in 10 of you use social media channels to connect with your fans. This isn’t a low penetration rate, either. Across all markets around the world, a staggering 85 percent of you are now using social media as a way to connect with your fans.
Crowdsourcing influencer campaigns
As you are tapping into existing communities to grow your business, it can be tempting to give crowdsourcing crowds a chance to generate content for you. However, we found that you are overwhelmed with choices, and that influencers are wondering why they’re getting mixed messages. If you’re engaging influencers, make sure that they’re going to put their time and attention into creating great content for your brand.
Loyalty campaign options are oversaturated
Research shows that almost one in five of us has been let down by a loyalty campaign. More than half of you think the choice of campaigns is overly complex. So here’s a hard truth for marketers: It’s no longer enough to reach the people who show interest. You need to engage the right customers at the right moments. Make sense of those forgotten consumers by giving them interesting content and personalization. This way, customers only care about what matters to them.
The influencer of choice is no longer your brand
Influencer marketing is on the rise, but brands are increasingly spotting a huge, diverse range of different influencers. So the influencer used to be a major brand spokesperson. Now, it’s more likely to be a person of color or a new public figure. As is the case with your local coffee shop, marketers recognize that there’s value in earning the loyalty of a broader, more diverse set of consumers.
Your audience can be any size
Brands everywhere are realizing that audience demographics are shifting from a traditional corporate company to an audience that is shaped by who you are as a brand, what your brand stands for, what your ideal user is like and the stories you love to tell about your brand. Beyond the demographics that have become the “traditional” marketing customer, marketers can find that content for a much broader set of consumers, who may be different than traditional users.
Audience tracking and measurement tools are shrinking
We found that data privacy and ownership are still confusing many brands. Ultimately, marketers want to provide brands with data that will allow them to make informed decisions on how to further personalize their communication to influencers. But today, that sort of personalized communications is still a challenge for many marketers.
The next big thing is social media teams
When we asked brands how they make sure they are ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer marketing, we found that almost 60 percent of businesses employ a social media team. Those teams are figuring out what influencers resonate with their customers and identifying influencers they need to get involved with their brand.
The takeaway: Influencer marketing is a simple, effortless way to reach more customers, and it’s gaining momentum. We hope that you can join us in exploring these concepts as we work to find the right way to apply influencer marketing, and that you’ll enjoy the fun.