Influencer marketing is not a new phrase. The concept of influencer marketing has been around for 200 years. The earliest marketers realized that using influential people in their ads could affect buying decisions of consumers. They started forming partnerships with celebrities to promote their brand. We even witnessed the era bought fictional characters as influencers like Santa Claus for Coca-Cola, Little Mikey for Quaker Oats. After years and years, more brands figured out the power of influencer marketing. There are many creative ideas led by the marketing geniuses like Nike’s Air Jordan or Old Spice’s Man.
Influencer Marketing in 2022
The new millennium gave us a brand-new world to explore, the internet. With the internet revolution, bloggers started to grow from nowhere. These fresh and real voices began to shifting brand recommendations from celebrity endorsements to more relatable people. After the early 2000s, social media has become a mainstream platform for promoting brands. Thanks to the growing popularity of these platforms digital communities rule the world of marketing, and at the top of each community are influencers – these are bloggers, vloggers, content creators we all know, like, share and can relate to. Today, influencer marketing is one of the best methods to connect with the target audience and accomplish brands' marketing goals.
There are many reasons why influencer marketing is important more than ever but these four are the most important ones;
- Increase in adoption of ad-blocking software.
- Tremendous growth in video consumption
- Ability of influencers to gain customer trust and create a brand image.
- Positive impact of AI, ML, big data analytics on influencer marketing
Increase in Adoption of Ad-Blocking Softwares
Marketers have been using various tools to reach their target audience for their time and money. The average population faces 10,000 advertising messages a day. Therefore, people create a certain shield called banner or ad blindness. The competition among digital advertisers is at its peak. Do you like to watch ads that you cannot skip on YouTube? Forcing advertisement strategies have been annoying for customers too. Consumers, therefore, not only have less confidence in classical advertising but have also learned to ignore it or block it directly with tools such as AdBlock. Almost half of the global internet users are active ad-blockers. Approximately 40 billion USD have been lost on advertisements not seen by customers in only one year.
Consumers still take serious recommendations from their family and friends mostly. And thanks to the personal approach of influencers, their followers consider them to be friends. Like people they can relate to. According to the Acumen Report: Constant Content research, people aged 13–24 have described Youtubers as people who are like them. People who understand them, have the best advice for them, so people trust them. Therefore, marketers should move toward influencer marketing which allows products to be visible on the creator’s content and defeat ad-blocking software.
The Tremendous Growth in Video Consumption
As a visual species, humans find videos more engaging, more memorable, and more popular than any other type of content out there. With the improvements on networks and increasing adoption of 4G and 5G, video consumption is increasing enormously. According to Google, 60% of people would rather choose online videos than TV, also YouTube is the second most popular website after Google. Also, any marketers can realize the rise of TikTok and Twitch in recent years. More than 1 billion videos are viewed on TikTok every day. As of February 2020, Twitch had 3 million broadcasters monthly and 15 million daily active users, with 1.4 million average concurrent users. Therefore, organizations are designing marketing strategies for video-based content streaming across digital channels.
But there are some challenges with using video as a marketing tool. Getting the audience is on top of these. Companies have been spending thousands of dollars to create high-quality videos, but half of the videos get less than 500 views. For example, Ritz Carlton has uploaded 14 branded videos in the last four months of 2017 with an average viewership on YouTube of 536 impressions. Also, it is hard to target a decentralized consumer base with traditional marketing techniques. Therefore, companies should use influencer marketing which enables them to target their potential buyers and capture consumers’ interest with the help of influencer who knows how to reach them with high-relatable videos.
Influencers Gain Customer Trust and Create a Brand Image
Trust is the backbone of every relationship, as well as the relationship between the brand and the consumer. To create brand loyalty, a brand should be able to make a genuine, truthful connection with a consumer. However, traditional marketing and advertising techniques are continuously forcing customers to buy products. Therefore, the traditional techniques can create a poor brand image and harm brand loyalty. On the other hand, brands endorsed by celebrities, bloggers, vloggers, and well-known personalities through social media channels create trust in the minds of customers.
As per 2019 Influencer Marketing Report by Rakuten Marketing, 4 out of 5 globally surveyed consumers said that they made a purchase recommended by an influencer through clicking on a link or image that was shared while 88% of consumers surveyed have been inspired to purchase based on what they saw from an influencer. According to “The Values of YouTube” Study 2017, 60% of YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favorite creator over their favorite TV or movie personality.
The Positive Impact of AI, ML, Big Data Analytics on Influencer Marketing
Artificial intelligence affects how companies interact with the data. The technology automatically builds data models in digital forms, collects data from multiple resources, and uses information as a knowledge store, thereby helping in precisely predicting consumers’ needs. Just like other industries, influencer marketing platforms started to leverage the benefits of AI-based applications for improving customer experience. Identifying the most suitable influencers is one of the biggest obstacles for marketers. Artificial intelligence will help in various ways like enabling content-based influencer classification, relevant creator suggestions, detecting fake engagement, predicting/calculating campaign effectiveness.
The concept of influencer marketing has been around for more than two centuries and it is the future of communication. There are millions of creative people out there and as a marketer, you need to discover and partner with them to achieve your ultimate goals. But how? #microglober