Our media consumption habits are changing to focus on social media. Brand channel reach has decreased on Facebook. And influencers are helping drive e-commerce and social proof. Influencers have become a key part of marketing and communications in 2018. Here’s how:
OUR MEDIA CONSUMPTION HABITS HAVE CHANGED
Social media, viewing video content and online shopping are where internet users are spending most of their time. Globally, internet users aged 16-64 spent a total of 11:23 hours per day consuming multiple forms of media in 2017, with 60% of this time spent consuming content online. Audiences are moving ever further from traditional media sources like TV and are paying more attention to the content on online and social media sites.
The value of social media influencers becomes clearer when we understand that 10 of the top 20 most subscribed YouTube channels are run by social media influencers. This gives influencers an extremely powerful presence in one of the main internet user activities. On other social media platforms such as Facebook, where internet users are also spending vast amounts of time, influencers can provide marketers with engaged social media audiences interested in specific topics.
BRAND CHANNEL REACH IS DECREASING ON FACEBOOK
Facebook is the most popular social media outlet globally, Cambridge Analytica and current Senate questioning aside, with over 2 billion active users. To prioritise user generated content and increase authenticity, Facebook’s recent algorithm change has made it more difficult for brands and their own content to appear in front of target audiences organically. Social media is pay to play, and a brand message without paid support is a whisper that will be lost in the crowded shouting match that is the Facebook newsfeed.
By placing greater importance on seeing content from friends and family, Facebook has placed greater value on the use of influencers and the social relationships they enjoy with their engaged followers. And with 41% of internet users using social media to research products before buying them, relevant influencers can give brands an authentic voice to specific target audiences and help brands achieve their business objectives.
THE POWER OF SOCIAL PROOF
Many types of marketing can give your brand or product reach or even an emotional connection, but only influencer marketing can give you social proof.
Social proof is an innate part of being human. It is the need to be part of a group and to imitate the behaviour of people around us – especially people we respect. Influencers are unique as they aren’t just a content channel, they are people who have a social connection to their followers and who can help give a brand or a product social proof. Consider the shoe selfie created by FlyNYON, an American-based helicopter journey company, that initially had social media influencers post the “shoe selfie”, an image of their shoes dangling out of a mid-flight helicopter in front above recognisable skylines, which quickly became a must have piece of content for every budding travellers Instagram feed.
INFLUENCERS CAN DRIVE E-COMMERCE
Influencers are in a prime position to drive e-commerce and showcase ROI providing social media e-commerce features are included in strategy. This is clear to see when we understand that 72% of Instagram users make purchasing decisions based on products seen in their feed and 80% of Gen Zers and 74% of millennials report that social media influences their shopping habits.
E-commerce has enjoyed strong growth in 2018 with categories like travel and fashion seeing between 7% and 18% growth in global revenue. While paid and SEO have typically been considered the best methods to drive e-commerce, increased e-commerce capabilities in social media outlets and influencer content, as such as; Instagram’s comment to buy and tap to buy features, tracking pixels, discount codes and trackable links, are helping drive more internet users to research and purchase products via social media.
OTHER MARKETERS AGREE
Don’t just take my opinion for it. Other marketers out there are seeing how effective influencer marketing can be for themselves. 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, 92% of whom found it to be effective.