Did you know that only 33% of consumers trust advertising, and that only 3% of millennials are influenced by traditional channels such as radio, television and newspapers when making a purchase? On the other hand, over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from like-minded individuals, and 74% of consumers check social media before making a purchase.

The above shows that a real necessity exists for companies to adapt or expand their traditional marketing activities by approaching their target audience in a different way. How do companies do so in an authentic way and differentiate themselves from the competition?

The answer is simple: influencers. 

What are influencers?

An influencer is, as the name suggests, someone who exercises influence on other people. Modern influencers generally make use of new (online) communication channels such as social media, YouTube and blogs to share their experiences and opinions. They are often closely involved in the product or service they write about, and the same can be said about their followers.

Because influencers often earn money through their social channels or blog, it is important for them to be honest about the products or services they write about. With this in mind, it is key for an influencer to ensure they put their points across in a credible and honest manner. Followers often put great importance on the opinion of the influencer. Authenticity is necessary to be able to guarantee a consistent group of followers.  

Why use influencers as part of the marketing strategy?

Influencers have a lot of power and a wide reach. When they endorse a product or service, this can have profound consequences for a brand.

In 2015, Dutch lingerie and swimwear brand Hunkemöller used a group of twelve bloggers to create brand awareness around their latest swimwear campaign. Each of the bloggers wrote an advertorial about the collection and produced inspirational content for their followers.

In one week, the campaign had over 2.1 million views, combined with a whopping 3250 comments across the twelve blogs. The activity resulted in an increase of traffic to Hunkemöller’s website, and they managed to create a brand new community of followers.

Source: L is for Lois

Influence Marketing is fundamental for building a relationship with your customer. Influencers can tell your brand’s story in an authentic way, with trust forming the basis of major influence in the potential new audience.

The use of influencers should not be a standalone strategy but should sit as part of a complete marketing strategy. It is essential that you understand your target audience and know in which channels they exist. Think carefully about why and how certain influencers will contribute to your brand and your end goal. What do you want to achieve, and how do you think it will add to your brand perception?

The use of influencers can open new doors for businesses; influencers tell the story of your brand in an authentic way and can instil confidence in the follower group. This in turn makes customers feel more valued, and increases the likelihood that they will maintain a longer-lasting relationship with your brand.

It is believed that influencers have an increasingly important part to play in the future product or service selection process that the consumer will go through. At this time, around 33% of millennials indicate that they use blogs before making a purchase. They focus primarily on content written by influencers they trust. Add to this that millennials are very brand loyal, with 60% indicating that they are often or always loyal to brands they currently shop with.

The sooner a relationship and deep connection is established with the millennials, the better, as the value they will bring as their purchasing power and income increases cannot be underestimated.

This blog was co-authored by:

Veronika Snijders

Veronika is a Digital Customer Experience Consultant. She works with businesses to provide the best (online) experience for their customers, through meaning customer understanding. She also advises and assists her clients to undergo digital transformations, tackling the challenges that come with this.