Influencer marketing is not a new trend just like digital ads weren’t a game changer (which overcome billboards, print ads and other forms of offline banners much later on).
Brands have been utilizing industry leaders and influencers in order to promote their services and products for quite some time- perhaps even longer than the time digital ads existed.
You can take example of Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with popular brand, Nike. In 2016, he has generated $500M in value for Nike.
"Ronaldo posted 1,703 times overall on social media in 2016. Those posts generated 2.25 billion social interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets and views on videos), per Hookit. Nike was referenced or its logo visible in a photo or video in 347 of the posts, which had 477 million interactions. Hookit’s methodology looks at promotion type and quality, as well as interactions and market-driven rates. The result: $499.6 million for Nike in media value from Ronaldo’s posts."
So, what is the reason that influencer marketing is superior in comparison to digital ads?
Increase in the use of Adblockers
According to IAB, 26% of desktop users use ad blockers to remove ads. So, this limits a quarter of the website’s users from seeing advertisements, which reduce conversion rates.
Online platform Medium, has abandoned ads altogether, even though could have adopted strategies which might have increased conversion rates and decreased dissatisfaction levels of readers stumbling across a tonne of ads.
Focused Customer Targeting
A common approach by big brands is supporting larger outlets which cover various stories of different audiences. This includes magazines that employ plenty of contributors sharing stories for different industries, as well as global ad networks such as Google Adwords.
Utilizing Different Channels
Most publications focused on digital ads which cover only a banner placement within the website itself.
But what about offline events, social networks or other mediums which gather people with various preferences ?
Influencer marketing utilizes the visibility of the influencer in different manners:
- Video marketing on YouTube
- Interviews and other forms of PR
- Live video streaming and interactivity with crowd
- Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook posts
This added exposure has immense value for the promoted brand and can also attract people who don’t follow the flow of traditional buying.
Rise of Micro-to-Middle Influencers
The benefit of Influencer marketing trend is that it develops two different areas which are: willingness of brands to rely on influencers and the purpose of industry leaders to increase their authority and exposure.
This makes it possible for the smaller brands to rely on power-middle and micro influencers who are not famous worldwide but still have decent number of followers and fans willing to listen to what they have to say and rely on their opinions.
One of the drawbacks of digital ads is the lack of dialog. Influencers can be reached out to and can elaborate on their choice of preferred brand that they advertise. You can easily find them at conferences, email them, on Twitter or interact in their blog. You can also ask follow-up questions about the advertised business and see whether the business fits you.
Users trust other users
As a B2B transaction isn’t just a deal between two businesses, but one involving mutual trust, selling services and products to consumers also converts better with a trusted figure.
Digital ads rely on a media outlet promoting one’s services. Influencers on the other hand, tend to promote brands that they are willing to connect to and attach their name to them.
In addition to all the points mentioned above, influencer marketing can be boosted through content marketing and various promotions while also providing better analytics and tracking across different platforms.
If you are eager to learn about influencer marketing then read: The complete Guide: Influencer Marketing.