By: Marra Hoag
There is a growing problem within the advertising industry: people do not like ads. One third of consumers use ad-blocking softwares (PageFair, 2017). Consumers do not want to feel like they are being watched and sold to. With so many ads on YouTube, Instagram and even Snapchat, it is no surprise that consumers may begin to feel annoyed and hounded. With streaming platforms such as Netflix that provide ad-free streaming, consumers are making the switch to avoid watching advertisements. While this is a problem for the advertising industry, it is no surprise that new marketing strategies are being implemented on different media platforms.
Consumers don’t want to see ads anymore– they want to see authentic content from people just like them. Influencers are able to provide exactly that.
Influencer marketing has become the new normal. If you follow any influencers on Instagram, you are bound to see their sponsored posts on your feed. With a mere Instagram shoutout, influencers are not only able to introduce their followers to a company, they can actually pursue them to purchase the products that they are posting about. These posts are not as obvious as ads made by companies. They are disguised into the influencer’s niche and are made directly by the influencer.
However, being an influencer is not as easy as it sounds. The reason influencers are able to have such an impact on a company’s sales is because they have built trust within their followers. Influencers are able to build a relationship with their followers and create a community. Companies understand that consumers trust their friends and family when it comes to product recommendations. However, influencers have been able to build such a trusting and close relationship with their followers, that they feel as though they personally know them. Influencers brand themselves and fall into various niches such as fashion, beauty, family, video games and more. They are viewed as experts in their niche and their recommendations and opinions are taken seriously. This trust is exactly what makes influencer marketing so successful. In fact, in a survey conducted by Local Consumer Business Review, 91% of the millennial participants trust online reviews as much as friends and family.
Brands are able to seek influencers that fall within their niche, whether it be fashion, beauty, houseware and everything in between. From there, influencers can create genuine content that can appease their followers and make sales for the company. Their followers view the post as unbiased which is the complete opposite reaction they would have if they were to see an ad.
To put it simply: a good influencer has influence. Converting their own followers to customers of brands they promote is something that is extremely beneficial to companies. By partnering with influencers, companies are able to almost guarantee that they will have an increase in sales and gain loyal customers.
It is even argued that influencer marketing is more effective than advertising (Formost, 2019). A consumer has already willingly followed the influencer, so the ad is less disruptive than a paid social media ad.
Influencers create their own content, which means there is no need for the creative team to step in. Not only that, influencers know exactly what their audience wants to see, will enjoy and will react to. Brands are able to let the influencer have the power in a quick, effective way.
Influencers have changed the game in the advertising world, and I believe that they are here to stay.
PageFair 2017 Report: The State of the Blocked Web. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from https://blockthrough.com/2017/02/01/adblockreport/
Formost, K. (2019, September 10). Is influencer marketing more effective than advertising? Yes. Here’s why. Retrieve, from https://www.taggermedia.com/blog/advertisingvsinfluencermarketing/
Murphey, R. Local Consumer Review Survey 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey/