Have you ever heard about Influencer Marketing? And especially, how this marketing strategy is changing the way companies sell themselves in the online world?
Influencer marketing is a topic of discussion with marketers and clients. While today we may think of it as a social media marketing tactic, we can trace the history back to 1760. Research has shown that influencer marketing started in the 60s with Josiah Wedgwood. By the late 1800s, Lilie Langtry appeared on “trade cards” for Brown’s Iron Bitters, and in 1905, Fatty Arbuckle was the first recorded celebrity endorsement in support of Murad Cigarettes.
But, what exactly is influencer marketing? Influencers are people with the capacity to cause a shift on another character and its behavior, therefore, influencer marketing is simply the action of promoting and selling products / services through people with a positive effect on others. Even though this marketing tool is not exclusive to social media, this one plays an important role for its popularity since influencer marketing goes hand-in-hand with social media marketing.
Researchers have shown use generated content is 50% more trusted than traditional media, and consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals and, even though this type of marketing can be done in any social platforms, 91% of influencers prefer Instagram as their main workspace due its community and opportunities to connect with brands.
Ok, so, how is done exactly and how brands benefit from it? Let’s look at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale strategy for a minute. Last year they partnered with 22 Instagram Influencers to create 46 sponsored posts on their personal page, and even thought, all of them had a fashion-focused feed, their followers varied from 100.00 thousand to over 5 million. In their captions, they showcased their outfits and mentioned that they were purchased at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. They also used hashtags such as #nsale, #nordygirl, and #nordstrom.
As a result, the campaign has generated 1.1M likes and 10K comments, with a total engagement rate of 6.3%. On YouTube, they partnered up with fashion-related youtubers where, each one of them, showcased their sale picks and shared links in the description box driving traffic to Nordstrom’s site and eventually, increasing sales.
So, why this type of strategy so effective? The main factor to consider is authenticity and proximity. People enjoy the interaction and unlike traditional advertising, influencer marketing allows influencers to be themselves and to be honest, creating a sense of trust that is extremely important to companies.
Besides that, is more cost effective and drive a higher return on investment. The use of influencer increases social media following and brand awareness, attributed to factors such as sharing and eventually, organic digital exposure. This also leads to factors such as creating a real time engagement and providing sharable content.