Have you ever purchased something because a well-known person you admire used the product or service?
Word-of-mouth advertising has always been powerful, but in this digital era, it has expanded to something called Influencer Marketing. I can guarantee you that you and I, and many others have been targeted by Influencer Marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing employs leading, niche content creators to increase brand awareness, traffic, and drive brand messages to their target audience. These content creators already market to the brands’ ideal audience on various channels, mainly social media, which allows a brand to expand its reach across buyer personas.
Influencer marketing works because it is based on tactics like word-of-mouth marketing. Customers trust their peers, friends, and people they admire more than the companies selling the products and services.
Some interesting stats about Influencer Marketing:
- 49% of consumers today depend on influencer recommendations for their purchase decisions. 60% say they’ve been influenced by a recommendation when shopping in-store.
- Google searches for “influencer marketing” grew 1500% in the last three years.
- Influencer marketing strategies focused on branding or engagements generate 8x ROI.
So how will influencer marketing change in 2020? Influencers are finding new ways to reach audiences and promote products, so much so that it is projected to grow up to $10 million by 2020.
Micro-influencers will reign.
Micro-influencers tend to have smaller followings than, say, celebrity or blog influencers. But this smaller following leads to higher engagement and greater trust. Because of this, micro-influencers will likely have more influence than celebrities in 2020.
Influencers will broaden to other platforms
In 2020, influencer marketing will continue to have a strong presence on Instagram but will grow on Tik Tok, YouTube, Snapchat, and Pinterest, especially if the brands are targeting a younger audience.
#AD – Influencers will become more highly-regulated
In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developed rules around influencer and brand relationships. These guidelines say that “if there is a “material connection” between an endorser and an advertiser that connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed”.
In early November, the FTC released a new set of guidelines to further encourage transparent marketing practices. Influencers now hold the responsibility for being familiar with and following these guidelines.
Influencer Marketing will become more prevalent in B2B space
B2B brands are starting to realize the value of collaborating with influential experts for marketing purposes. 48% of B2C companies are running ongoing influencer marketing programs vs. only 11% of B2B brands. Nearly half of B2B brands are still in the experimentation stage. Working in the B2B space, I can see that this trend is changing. Working with influencers in a business to business context represents a significant opportunity to create more credible content that can be promoted to interested buyers by people they trust.
In conclusion, as target markets get younger and more digitally connected, influencers can help brands connect with consumers where they are: online.