Word of mouth is easily one of the oldest and most powerful forms of marketing. Think of the first business that sold the first product. That first customer likely walked away and told a friend that they either liked or hated that product. Of course, word of mouth and its utilization as a marketing tool has evolved dramatically since then.
Today, word of mouth has led to the development of a marketing strategy known as social influencer marketing. This is where companies target influencers in a market instead of focusing entirely on the consumers. That influencer then shares reviews, ideas, or opinions on the brand and thus influences others to make a purchase.
For this type of strategy to work, the person targeted as an “influencer” must actually have some form of influence. In this modern digital era, influence is often heavily associated with friends, followers, and subscribers on social media platforms. Therefore, most social influencer marketing takes place on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, where influencers can market a product to hundreds of thousands of followers at once.
What Are The Advantages?
The average cost for a 30-second television ad during prime time television is around $112,000. That number can increase dramatically depending on what is airing on television at the time. During some shows, a 30-second ad can cost more than $350,000. In comparison, a social media influencer can reach hundreds of thousands of people for potentially only the cost of the product they are promoting.
The difference between those two investments is phenomenal, yet their return is very similar. A television ad may reach a larger audience but generally has a much lower return. The ads are not targeted at a specific audience.
A company generally picks a social influencer who has followers that fit their target audience. This means that more of those followers are likely to be influenced and eventually convert to paying customers. It’s also interesting to note that “middle level” influencers like bloggers tend to drive more engagement than paid advertisements or “big influencers” Sometimes as much as 16 times more engagement.
There’s also a significant “trust” factor that comes into play when comparing social influencer marketing to the alternatives. For example, one study found that only 33 percent of consumers trust advertisements. That same study revealed that 90 percent of those consumers trust recommendations from their peers. That means if one company is blasting television advertisements for their product and their competitor is building a reputation with social influencers, the competitor is more likely to have a better turn around.
The Importance Of The Review
Perhaps the most powerful tool in any social influencer strategy is the review. Millennials make up a major part of the purchasing population and they care what people have to say about products. Turn back the clock fifty years and people weren’t reading reviews before making purchases. Things are different now and companies need to adapt.
Consumers want to read reviews and they want those reviews to come from influential sources that they trust. For example, a millennial interested trying to decide if they should purchase the Nectar mattress might read the review found at https://review.org/nectar-mattress. They would do so because the writers at review.org have built a positive reputation and have thus become influencers. Other people share their reviews on social media and thus their influence stretches through countless social networks.
Influencer marketing can also be independent of social media platforms. Companies such as Sugar Wharf Condos use the power of Google and Bing to influence the real estate market.
Companies building a marketing strategy with social influence components would attempt to build relationships with sites like review.org as well as other bloggers known to share reviews, especially those with a significant social following from their target audience.
Of course, it still boils down to have a product worthy of promotion. The reputation of the influencer is on the line and it’s entirely possible to receive a negative review. Consumers may make purchases or may choose not to make purchases based on the opinion of the social influencer.
A Simple And Productive Marketing Strategy
Research has shown that nearly 50 percent of all consumers first seek guidance from influencers on social media sites. Another 20 percent of consumers have stated that a single Tweet from an influencer has encouraged them to share recommendations for their favorite brands, thus generating earned media. The point is that social influencer marketing is easy to implement, extremely affordable, and has the potential for very high returns.