This post comes from Maddie Davis of Enlightened Digital, a digital magazine dedicated to the top tech and business news, updates and analyses. Maddie is the co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from New York City. She lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons and reading anything and everything on The New York Times’ Best Sellers’ list.
Social media has changed the way we do everything—connecting with loved ones, discovering new locales, shopping and, most certainly, marketing. In the past few years social media has proven to be an incredibly useful tool in effectively reaching consumers, particularly through the use of social media influencers. For those unaware, an influencer is a social media user who has established credibility in a specific industry. They have access to a large audience of loyal followers who are potentially persuadable by the influencer’s authenticity and reach.
When you consider the fact that 70 percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends while only 10 percent trust advertising, the concept of influencer marketing seems like a no brainer. Unlike forcing a traditional ad on someone that they may not consider relevant to them, influencers’ followers have chosen to follow them. They want to know what that person is wearing, buying, using and loving.
One of the greatest benefits of social influencers is their flexibility and reach. Whatever channel their followers utilize can serve as a natural marketing platform. As the trend grows in popularity, influencers can be found raising brand awareness and driving sales to e-commerce sites through their own authentic content on everything from blogs and YouTube to Instagram and Snapchat.
At present, the largest platform for influencer marketing is Instagram, projected to feature 32.3 million brand-sponsored influencer posts by 2019. While that may sound like overkill in traditional marketing terms, the beauty of influencers comes from their own unique pitches. Rather than oversaturating your market with the same ads only for them to tune you out, influencers engage with consumers in a way they feel is natural and enjoyable.
Successful influencers know their audience and work hard to maintain a certain level of satisfaction. Because they are viewed as an authority in their field, credibility and authenticity are extremely important. We’ve all seen how celebrities receive backlash on social media should they post something their fans don’t like—the same goes for social influencers.
Consumers trust the bloggers and social influencers they follow to tell them the truth about the products or services they’re using. An honest, positive review to an influencer’s thousand-something followers can have a major pay off. For each dollar spent on influencer marketing, marketers see an average of $7.65 in earned media value returned.
Influencer marketing has certainly proven its effectiveness and will only continue to improve as technology opens more doors for digital communication and engagement. Whether you’re marketing tech devices, automobiles or bathing suits, social influencers should be a part of your strategic plans moving forward.
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