In today’s mega-sharing world, there’s a lot to be said about the power of online opinions. It is now relatively established that the majority of Millennials trust the recommendations of people they follow on social media and online outlets more than what the actual brands are saying. In fact according to a review by Mintel, 82 percent of Millennials consult online reviews before buying something. Brands are catching on to the influence of online opinion, which has spurred an explosion in the adoption of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing capitalizes on the sway that individuals have with their followers to drive buying habits. The proof is in the numbers: 74 percent of marketers are planning to increase their spending on this new form of marketing, as found by a recent Augure report.
Of course, there are varying types of influencers. There are “super” influencers, celebrities like Kim Kardashian who are known for their massive social presence and selfie-filled feeds. Then there are mainstream influencers whose business is first and foremost content creation through blogging and social media. They may have smaller followings in comparison to social titans like the Kardashians, but they have far more content expertise, more engaged followers and a true passion for the brands and services they recommend. There is much for brands to consider when committing their marketing dollars towards influencers. Here are some benefits of a mainstream influencer strategy
Mainstream influencers have deeper relationships with their audience. To these online experts, follower count is not nearly as important as building a strong personal relationship with their audience. A smaller following grants the ability to initiate and respond to conversations with many more online users. A more intimate relationship with their audience means more engagement with your brand name. Reach without engagement is just, well a bunch of empty impressions, and meaningful engagement doesn’t scale without mainstream influencers.
Mainstream influencers are trusted. While an Instagram selfie by a celeb with a product is relatively easy to execute, followers get little value out of it. This is where everyday influencers excel. They heighten their influence by lending their credibility and expertise in subject areas that are believably relevant to their life. Followers are getting tried-and-true information and product tips, rather than just a generic celeb Tweet saying “this product is so cool! Buy it now!” Consumers do not just learn the product benefits, they are able visualize how a brand fits into their lives with the aid of someone they can actually relate to. A celebrity’s job is…being a celebrity. They don’t take the time to make long-form content. Mainstream influencers are in the business of creating content; resulting in well-crafted branded content that has much more lifetime value than that of a celeb’s. Celebs earned their audience. Mainstream influencers earned their trust.
Think about it. Which is more effective: having your brand name flashed in front of a mass of followers of one celeb with little context, or having your brand integrated into engaging stories, created by multiple influencers, read by a loyal legion of followers, at the same scale?
To learn more about how to engage the right type of social influencers for your brand, check out my speaking session, “How To Avoid Playing Influencer Roulette” at the Share.Like.Buy Millennial + Marketing conference on September 29-30th in Napa Valley.