In 2018, marketers are faced with the continual challenge to make their campaigns innovative and effective. Our world today is filled with so many different options to consume content, that the biggest challenge in marketing is no longer what your campaign will consist of, but where it will be seen. Since more and more people have moved away from traditional methods of advertising (newspaper ads, radio spots, or TV commercials), marketers have had to discover new ways of engaging their users while still exposing their content (Ward, 2017).
To solve this issue, the first thing marketers must do is find out where their users spend a majority of their time. In recents years, the amount of time customers spend on social media versus TV or radio has increased drastically (Molla, 2017). Since this is the new normal, companies are now left to do one thing: bring their content directly to users on their social sites.
Within the last year, it has been seen that one of the most effective ways for brands to expose their content on social media is through social media influencers (Jackson, 2018). The term “social media influencer” is a relatively new phrase, however it is highly effective for describing this type of marketing. Essentially it works like this:
- Company determines that their brand will do well with the specific influencer’s following
- Brand partners with a social media personality (usually one with a large following)`
- Brand gives the influencer the product to demonstrate or compensation to post about the item
- Brand receives more business due to the ad (GroupHigh, 2017)
This method of advertising has proven to be very effective for a multitude of reasons, but perhaps the most prominent is that the followers trust who they are following. If someone is already actively following an influencer’s post, they obviously have some sort of interest in their content. If that influencer then tells their followers about a great new product they are using (even if they were paid to do so), their followers will likely trust their opinion and be more inclined to purchase the product (Lee, 2018). Additionally, this method of advertising is often much more cost efficient than traditional methods such as TV commercials (Lee, 2018). While a commercial may run a company millions of dollars to produce and distribute, an influencer ad can be as little as sending the influencer free product, to a few thousand dollars for a post. The rates at which influencers are compensated varies greatly on their following or the product being offered. However in any case, it is much cheaper than the traditional methods of marketing.
While this method is becoming more widely accepted amongst brands, it still has mixed reviews amongst social media users. Many people feel that the ads they consistently see by their favorite instagrammers is disturbing their content. Personally, I don’t mind influencer ads because it gives me a chance to see the product in use and hear from someone who has used it.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this though! How do you feel about social media influencers? Do you find their ads to be effective? Have you ever purchased something because someone you follow posted an ad for it? Let me know!
G. (n.d.). Social Media Influencers – Find and build relationships. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from https://www.grouphigh.com/social-media-influencers/
Jackson, D. (2018, January 31). Top 8 Influencer Marketing Trends for 2018. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/influencer-marketing/
Lee, K. (2018, January 12). 2018: Year of the Influencer or year of the influencer marketing implosion? Retrieved February 03, 2018, from https://marketingland.com/2018-year-influencer-year-influencer-marketing-implosion-231617
Molla, R. (2017, October 09). Americans are spending more time on media thanks to multitasking. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from https://www.recode.net/2017/10/9/16447820/americans-time-spent-media-multitasking-emarketer
Ward, T. (2017, December 02). The Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2018. Retrieved February 03, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomward/2017/12/01/the-influencer-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2018/#4ada36a25398