People don’t like being sold to. In fact, not only do they actively try to ignore it, they simply don’t trust messages that are thrust in their faces. Instead, they seek genuine, impartial opinions and, with consumers being more connected than ever, they invariably look to their online channels to assist any purchasing decisions.
Brands are learning. Rather than marketing messages being broadcast to the masses, brands are creating opportunities to hold conversations and engage across social media platforms with smaller, targeted groups. But the media-savvy consumer still recognises most brand dialogue as selling. What they need is a second voice, one that’s influential and trustworthy, yet loyal to the brand’s values.
Just 3% of the people online generate 90% of the impact.
That is to say, a handful of people are calling the shots on what’s cool and what’s not and the rest of us are agreeing. These are the people dominating your Twitter and Instagram feeds. The self-made celebrities, whose blogs and vlogs are full of content about their favourite brands and have a following of millions. They are the influencers.
Top influencers will have spent years building up their own brand and online following. Their tone of voice, style and carefully curated photos help paint a picture of their lifestyle – far more believable than any brand because these people are actually living this aspirational life. What’s more, every piece of content published is ‘liked’ thousands of times over. Each of their channels is a content-rich platform that, given the opportunity to collaborate, would give brand campaigns a huge, willing audience.
As history dictates, we can look to the fashion industry for predictions in other sectors. There, the top influencers are already earning six-figure sums for collaborations with brands. Gone are the days that consumers would wait for their monthly issue of Vogue magazine for the latest news and looks, social platforms, like Instagram with 70-million photos being uploaded every day, instantly share content with users worldwide. The largest accounts dwarf even the biggest magazine reach – lifestyle vlogger, Zoella has over 7.6 million followers on Instagram, compared to Vogue’s 1.2 million paid subscribers – meaning marketing managers are looking beyond press for coverage.
A simple search online for a product will offer blog reviews, tweets, even whole conversations rating or hating that particular item. A study by Google claims consumers will engage with over 11 pieces of content before making a decision to purchase and only a small percentage of that content comes from the brand. So it’s perfectly clear, having the right influencers on your side will directly affect your revenue.