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Vincent Corneille
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Data-hungry digital-marketer.
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Peer to Peer Persuasion: How Influencer Marketing is Helping Business

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A new advertising trend is evolving behind the scenes. You’ve probably seen it, but perhaps haven’t even realised that it’s advertising. The idea has been around since marketing began, but it is starting to secretly leech into the fabric of our favourite websites and social media platforms, and it is all based on a simple human principal: we like the approval of our peers and are more likely to buy what they recommend.

Word of mouth promotion from our peers is still a big seller. These days, we use the term “peer” pretty loosely, but with the continued growth of social media we can feel connected with complete strangers with whom we share common interests. People share all kinds of things about themselves: the mundane photo of their breakfast, their “unique” travel experiences, or any number of personal moments they feel the world wants to witness and share.

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In this digital world lives a hierarchy of numerical validation – how many followers you have. This number can now deem you worthy of the “influencer” status (i.e. you have enough loyal followers that you can have an influence over the population). So, what is that number? Sure, celebrity endorsement has been around as long as celebrities have existed, and having your brand spruiked on Beyonce’s Instagram account to her 58 million followers is probably worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But how many followers do the rest of us need to be classified as an influencer? The answer is 5000. And the good news is, if you have 5000 or more followers on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you can now cash in on your online fame! Enter “influencer marketing”, the little-known trend in online advertising.

As mentioned before, influencer marketing is not necessarily a new trend. However, the ability to utilise this powerful idea is becoming more accessible thanks to the development of influencer platforms, such as TRIBE, which connects brands with niche influencers. The principal is simple: have an influencer post something about your product/service to their thousands of followers, and the more natural it feels, the better. If they can convince their followers that they are genuinely keen on your brand, then the influencing begins and the end result is greater brand awareness for you and ultimately more traffic to your website.

Now my favourite part: let’s look at a graph! Firstly, Google Trends is pretty self-explanatory. As you can see, the search volume for influencer marketing is skyrocketing!

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The topic is HOT – Google classifies it as a “breakout”, meaning that the searches have grown more than 5000% in recent times. Early adopters to these platforms are reporting similar results to traditional Facebook and Instagram ads for most major metrics, including cost per thousand views, but are seeing greater user engagement results.  A Tapfluence and Influitive report last year announced findings that 92% of consumers still rely on referrals from people they know. McKinsey found that word-of-mouth still generates two times the revenue of paid ads. Most importantly, a Tomoson poll reported that businesses using influencer marketing are seeing an average return of $6.50 for every $1 spent. It’s still early days, but if the influencer marketing buzz continues, we will be seeing a whole lot more of it in 2016.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the performance media team today.

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By Vincent Corneille


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