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Influencers: are they actually influential? ????‍♀️

According to Sprout Social’s 2019 whitepaper, 32% of consumers are more likely to research a product or service when celebrities or influencers post about it. Now, it seems that you can’t go onto social media without coming across at least a few influencers talking about different products, but just how successful is influencer marketing?

An influencer for all occasions

From vloggers and beauty gurus, down to actors and musicians, every type of celebrity that you can think of has been used in influencer marketing. Whether it’s Ryan Reynolds and Aviation Gin or Khloe Kardashian and HiSmile, it seems there’s an influencer for every product under the sun – even mouthwash!

But with 63% of brands planning to increase their budget for influencer marketing, it might be important to first know whether all that time, money and effort are worth it. For example, did you know that while 32% of consumers are more likely to look into a product if an influencer is posting about it, 45% of consumers are more likely to research a product or service when employees of the brand post about it?

It is becoming clear that consumers are simply increasingly aware of influencer marketing. That’s not to say that it’s not beneficial, but rather that it should only be used where relevant and applicable. Otherwise, it’s very clear to see that the promotion of the product or service by the influencer is not genuine. This makes the brand less trustworthy to the consumer, and can negatively impact the way that the marketing is perceived on a wider level – as more users see the lack of authenticity.

Are employees the new influencers?

It’s been shown in studies that the reason why consumers are more likely to trust employees who talk about products or services from their place of work on social media is because they are real people, with real opinions. And, let’s be honest, they usually don’t receive the same financial benefit that social media influencers would. The majority of the time when employees post about their company’s product or services it’s because they feel strongly, or are proud enough to actively promote their company on their own personal accounts.

However, if you can find the perfect social media influencers for products, services, and campaigns, that fit within their own brand, it becomes much more believable – and ultimately a lot more successful.

 

 

An example of this would be Diageo (the parent company of Scottish whiskey brands Lagavulin and Oban) who created a viral video that features Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman. The viral video is 44 minutes of Nick Offerman slowly sipping his whiskey by a crackling fire, true to both his character and himself. His character, Ron Swanson, who shares many traits with Offerman himself – including his love for whiskey – almost exclusively drinks Lagavulin 16 throughout the show, with one of the episodes even featuring him visiting the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. Due to just how relevant and fitting the marketing campaign is, it’s no wonder that it was such a hit with social media users.

So ultimately, influencer marketing still has a pretty big impact on consumers and the products that they research and purchase. However, it’s important to recognise just how valuable all versions of influence on social media can be – whether that’s your employees or a well known social media influencer.

 

Want to learn about some of the dos and don’ts of influencer marketing, or how to best utilise the influence that your employees have? Check out our blogs on the Top 10 weirdest examples of Influencer Marketing, or read more on our tips for Using people as your brand.

What are your thoughts? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter, and get in touch with us to find out whether influencer marketing is the next step for your business.

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