Don’t Write Off Influencer Marketing YetBusiness House
As so often happens in the internet world, a debate has started. This time, over the effectiveness and value of influencer marketing. Is it worth utilizing? Is it a marketing “shortcut”? Is it a social media fad that will fade just as quickly as it rose to popularity?
Of course only time will truly tell, but the fact of the matter is: it’s working.
A study conducted by Tap Influence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions found that influencer marketing was 11 times more effective than passive online banner ads; and not just in terms of exposure and reach, but in actual sales. In the Tap Influence study, consumers exposed to Silk soy milks via influencer marketing purchased “significantly more” product than those who weren’t exposed. Not only did Silk’s sales increase, but their competitors’ – who weren’t utilizing influencer marketing during the study – sales decreased.
Although such results would be a favorable outcome from any form of marketing, the cost of influencer is minimal when compared to more traditional online marketing efforts – especially when considering influencer marketing doesn’t require the additional content creation costs that things like banner ads would. In addition, businesses are averaging $6.50 in revenue for every $1 they invest in influencer marketing efforts, with the top 13% seeing returns of more than $20 for each $1.
Influencer marketing is also growing faster than any other online customer-acquisition method, especially as millennials grow less and less trusting of traditional media outlets.
While it will undoubtedly continue to grow across social media platforms, influencer marketing also has potential outside of the online space. For example, the recent partnership between YouTube superstars KathleenLights, PatrickStarrr, and Manny Mua (with a combined over 4 million subscribers on just their primary YouTube channels) and Benefit Cosmetics goes far beyond just sponsored videos. The three YouTubers are currently on display with Benefit’s new product line in Sephora stores across the US and participated in meet and greet events hosted in Sephora by Benefit. While there aren’t numbers yet regarding the partnership’s impact (if any) on sales, the display is certainly creating the buzz to get people in the door.
While it undoubtedly works best when paired with other marketing efforts and still requires precise targeting and a defined message strategy, influencer marketing is proving itself with results and becoming more innovative and powerful. Sure, it’s a relatively new, unique concept – but those are the exact reasons marketers should gravitate towards it rather than being scared away.