By now, you’ve had to see a blogger pop up on your Instagram explore page or see a post shared on your Facebook timeline. You may have even used a blogger’s sale recommendations to shop, since 80% of all Nordstrom.com’s mobile web visits are referral traffic driven by an influencer. What you may not fully understand, though, is the true value of a blogger to brands, advertisers, and the economy.
The Fall of Traditional Advertising
Once upon a time, the marketing world was ruled by Don Drapers who could come up with a cute jingle and rake in the dough for a client. Those days are long gone. Customers are way less likely to be influenced by traditional advertising – think magazine ads, billboards, and TV spots. Only 14% of people recalled the last display ad they saw and the company or product it promoted in a study conducted by Infolinks.
Is this because of our plunging attention rate? Nope. Traditional advertising methods just do not deliver as they once did. Similarly, 74% of people say word of mouth is the most powerful factor when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands based on a study conducted by Ogilvy, Google and TNS, meaning that the billions of dollars poured into those traditional methods are wasted. The problem may be even more deep seeded; According to research from the 4As, 96% of people believe that the advertising industry does not act with integrity.
The Influence of Millennials
As much as the older generation seems to complain about them, millennials are causing massive shifts in business strategy as companies try to understand and cater to their buying methods. The advertising industry likewise is trying to tap into the millennial market. But how?
Research conducted by Hearst and Fleishman-Hillard found 73% of millennials see it as their responsibility to guide friends, peers, and family toward smart purchase decisions. They
The Turn to Influencer Marketing
If the traditional methods won’t work, and your audience is increasingly showing they rely on the opinion of those close to them when making buying decisions, how do you successfully market your product?! Find someone that your audience is influenced by to guide them toward purchasing your product.
Influencer marketing generates an experience rather than an advertisement. Influencers develop a relationship of trust with their audience. The true value of a blogger is the customers that he or she brings to your company. When they are paid to promote a product, it feels more organic and consumers are more likely to trust their opinion because they trust the influencer. Influencer marketing can cost less than the traditional methods, but are far more effective: Brands earn 11x higher sales ROI with influencer marketing according to research from TapInfluence and Nielsen.
The Proof is in the Numbers
- 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions (Twitter and Annalect)
- 73% of marketers say that they have allocated budget for influencer marketing (Forrester)
- 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference (A List Daily)
- 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube (Twitter and Annalect)
- 86% of women turn to social networks before making a purchase (A List Daily)
- On average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing (Convince & Convert)
Bloggers are truly valuable for advertising in this day and age. Not only do they create content used to market products, they act as an ambassador for the brand itself, leading to more brand loyalty and brand awareness on top of the extra sales. Influencer marketing will only continue to grow, and I am excited to be along for the ride!