Take It From A Millennial // Influencer Marketing
This week on Take It From A Millennial, we discover influencer marketing and the grand effect it has on millennial purchase behavior.
Influencer marketing is the organic marketing practice where a marketer hires influencers to spread their brand message to their target audience, rather than communicating their brand message to their target audience themselves. It’s indirect communication. It’s word-of-mouth on steroids.
Now, you might ask yourself why you should go through influencers. Why not just communicate directly to your audience instead? Well, the harsh truth is that millennials are no longer as susceptible to traditional advertising as audiences once were. Millennials are increasingly skeptical of advertisements and even go to great lengths to block ads overall. According to Digital News Report, 47% of online consumers use ad blockers, making it more difficult than ever to reach millennials.
Opposite to traditional advertisements, millennials place a large amount of respect and trust with their beloved influencers. They actually even define themselves through their key influencers. This is why when it comes down to it, millennials don’t hesitate to purchase the same brands that their influencers are using.
A popular analogy used to further explain influencer marketing is the popular girl analogy. Imagine you are back in high school. You are making your way to class, books in hand, when you stop at the water fountain. Suddenly, the most popular girls in school walk by you, and somehow, you over hear what the Kylie Jenner of the group is saying. She says “I love my Fashion Nova jeans.” All of a sudden, you feel as if you have an in. You feel like you have uncovered a well-hidden secret. You now know where to get the coolest jeans, and once you get them, you feel like you are Kylie Jenner, or at least as cool as she is.
This is exactly how influencer marketing works. Kylie Jenner actually made an Instagram post about how much she loves her new Fashion Nova jeans. The post earned 2.7 million likes and boosted Fashion Nova’s instagram follower count to a remarkable 6.8 million.
Still, your brand doesn’t need to hire Kylie Jenner to truly participate in influencer marketing. Influencers range from macro-influencers to micro-influencers. Macro-influencers are icons with millions of followers like Kylie Jenner, and Selena Gomez, the most followed Instagram user with 123 million followers. However, this popularity and promise of high engagement is expensive. According to AdWeek, Selena Gomez charges $550,000 per Instagram post.
On the other hand, micro-influencers have less followers, but are still leaders of niche markets. There are micro-influencers that fit almost any product category imaginable. There are travel influencers, hot yoga influencers, poker influencers, parenting influencers, etc. They cost less, but are just as valuable, or even more valuable when marketing your specific brand. Why? Because by choosing these category leaders, you reach an ultra-targeted audience that is already interested in what you have to offer, and are more likely to pay attention to what their designated influencer has to say. As a brand, creating partnerships with many micro-influencers rather than one macro-influencer is not only cheaper, but also more effective. According to a study by HelloSociety, micro-influencers are 6.7x more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger followings.
Moreover, regardless of the type of influencer you choose for your brand strategy, it is important to note how essential influencers have become to the ever evolving marketing landscape. The Google trends search below proves how this marketing trend is growing at an unprecedented rate.
Tomoson, a company dedicated to studying influencer marketing, conducted a study that proved influencer marketing truly works magic for businesses. The study found that influencer marketing is the fastest growing online channel, beating email, search, and display marketing. It also showed that influencer marketing (tied with email) is the most cost-effective online channel, and that returns from influencer marketing are through the roof. Businesses are making about $6.50 for every $1.00 spent on influencer marketing.
After reviewing the potential that influencer marketing holds for brands, I truly question why every marketer has yet to jump on board. Don’t stay behind. Jump ahead onto the influencer train, and watch as millennials jump in with you and join your brand on its marvellous marketing journey. Take your seat next to the influencer that best matches your brand, and watch how millennials fall in love with your brand just as they have with their favorite influencers.
Written by: Micaela Valderrama
July 28, 2017
Compass Marketing & Consulting