Marketers might mention the phrase “influencer marketing content” and the naysayers out there shake their heads as if it’s just a passing fad. They mumble something about Kim Kardashian and waist trainers and go back to the basics, putting money into ads that consumers may or may not ignore — 47 percent of online consumers nowadays use adblockers. But the tactic of using credible individuals to drive a brand message isn’t going to abdicate the content marketing throne anytime soon. This queen is here to stay.
A recent Yahoo study found that companies that do choose to go with influencers saw a 58 percent increase in engagement and an increase in brand awareness of 54 percent. Over half said they would increase their influencer budgets in the next year.
So, why all the negativity? Some people don’t understand that influencers don’t have to be A-list celebrities to spread product awareness successfully. Influencers can include social media users and popular bloggers who love a brand and have just a few thousand followers. Brands can even create their own influencers by selectively sharing a product with a limited number of people and having them speak or write about it. Instead of reaching target market groups, they’re reaching individuals via admired social media personalities.
There’s a wide range of benefits associated with influencer marketing content that are solidifying its presence. Creating this content is affordable; instead of conceiving a large-scale advertising campaign, brands pay bloggers per post to feature products, and some are willing to share information in exchange for goods alone. The advertising is also integrated seamlessly into influencers’ content. Where paid ads stand out like sore thumbs, sponsored content delivered via influencers — not Google, which probably placed those other ads on the blog — feels authentic instead of disruptive.
Here’s how it might work. A diaper company wants to reach moms. Its marketing team does the research, finds 25 mommy bloggers who have decent followings and sends them samples of the diapers. If a blogger likes the diapers, she writes about them and offers her audience a 25-percent discount on their first purchase of the product. And because 74 percent of consumers use social media when making buying decisions, they’ll trust that mommy’s opinion and pick up a pack.
And that’s why influencer marketing content is the new content marketing queen. The mommy blogger’s audience might even see her as one of their friends, even if they haven’t met, and she’s the first person they’re going to trust when they need an opinion. Marketers are also giving her the opportunity to develop a relationship with the product that has lingering longevity after spreading to her reader base. So, it’s time for brands to bow down to some new royalty, become part of the 59 percent who plan to increase their influencer marketing content budgets this year and appease Her Highness.