As a part of a FMCG brand, I get far too many requests in a day from Bloggers (I won’t call all of them Influencers) who wants to review my products. And at the same time, there is a wave in the industry, where marketers are trying to leverage bloggers to distribute brand’s messages.
Sharing samples, organizing Blogger’s outreach programs, cross promotions etc are some of the common ways. Communities like Indibloggers has taken the level one up by collaborating brands and influencers to create content and spread out.
But this is just the beginning. Influencer marketing is yet to evolve. And its time that all of us include it in our core strategies
Here are some reasons to believe:
Customers trust WOM recommendations & consumer reviews more than any other form of advertising
In a recent survey conducted by Neilson that measures consumer trust in advertising, 84% of the global respondents voted WOM recommendation from family and friends as the most credible source of information. This was followed by Branded websites and Consumer Opinions posted online.
Clearly, consumers lack trust in branded content. Checking reviews has become an integral part of customer’s purchase cycle. Together, these factors will generate a need for Influencer marketing to grow.
Another important point to note is the growth of new influencers. Thanks to the increasing internet penetration and popularity of online communities and channels, users are opening up to the idea of sharing opinions online. In doing so, many individuals cultivate a personal following. It is no more difficult for an individual to have thousands of followers.
The flip side of this theory is that brands are seeding the growth of influencer communities. The scope is increasing day by day with more and more brands trying to build evangelists.
Google’s new ads targeted to Influencers
Google’s Ad-Heat Advertising Patent is a way to help brands get their ad in front of the Influencers. The new model will enable brands to target influencers on Google+. The influencers in turn, would share the ads with their followers and split the revenue with Google.
This new advertising model based on Influencers and not keywords will not only increase the traffic on Google+ but also give rise to a new advertising channel which is considered more credible by viewers.
Inexpensive Marketing Tool
Not only is Influencer Marketing a credible platform, it is also an inexpensive tool for generating awareness. The impact of messages created by a 3rd party is often stronger than the direct effect of advertising.
In one of the articles published by McKinsey, “Word-of-mouth equity”, which is defined as an index of a brand’s power to generate messages that influence the consumer’s decision to purchase, is a great indicator of a brand’s reputation.
Though, it’s not a very common metrics for most brands, there is a potential for it to soon become one of KPIs. Marketers can derive consumer behavior from such a metrics by understanding why a particular message works over others. In today’s time, when Content is being termed as one of the most important factors, knowing what works is battle half-won.