Top Brands Are Moving Advertising Dollars to Influencer Marketing

March 2, 2017

8:30 pm

For a strategy once defined by Millennial audiences and consumer-focused brands, influencer marketing has undergone a significant shift in the last year, gaining the trust of marketers across all industries. Recent research has found that 86 percent of marketers used influencer marketing in 2016, and nearly half plan to increase their budgets over the next year.

A number of factors have contributed to this enthusiasm, including consumer distrust of traditional advertising and better tools for measuring influencer marketing ROI. Here are just a few of the reasons we think marketers are right to embrace influencers:

Ad-Blocking Software

According to a study from Reuters, ad-blocking software is on the rise. Nearly 25 percent of American consumers now use it, but that number reaches 44 percent for ages 18-24, suggesting that the future is largely ad-free. Not only will influencer content bypass ad-blockers, but users will most likely be viewing the content because they actively chose to read it, not because it was an interruption.

As ad-free content becomes the norm, advertisers need ways to attract attention in an organic and genuine manner. Influencer marketing allows this.

Authenticity

Influencers often have an authentic voice that resonates with their readers. And because influencers are focused on sharing interesting content rather than selling products, they think editorially even when they’re running sponsored campaigns.

Where marketers can have a difficult time thinking outside “brand language,” influencers offer a fresh perspective on how to translate your brand values in a way that elicits a response from your consumers or clients. This is just one reason that brands across all industries, from fashion to financial services, are drawn to the strategy.

One Campaign, Many Audiences

Traditional marketing campaigns reach a single audience with a single voice — that of your brand. Influencer marketing allows you to reach multiple audiences through influential leaders, strengthening the impact of your message throughout the campaign.

Using this strategy, fashion brands can access consumers in different cities through local influencers who actually live there. Likewise, B2B brands can speak to different types of potential clients through trusted experts.

Measurable ROI

Once viewed as a fuzzy metric, marketers are finding increasingly effective ways to measure their ROI on influencer marketing. While affiliate links have allowed brands to measure immediate sales, metrics like cost-per-engagement have allowed them to measure their impression on potential customers and likelihood of future sales.

By assessing the costs of producing professional-quality imagery in-house, brands can also measure the ROI of the influencer content itself.

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Kim Westwood is the Founder and Managing Director of Shopping Links, a global influencer and content marketplace for Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle brands. Having managed 850+ collaborations since launching in 2014, Shopping Links actively works with Fortune 500 retailers and brands such as MARKS & SPENCER, Macy’s and Folli Follie, with a focus on aligning brands with influencers who share their target audience. Through a personally vetted network of 14,000+ influencers from 103 countries, Kim and her team have worked with 450 bloggers for a single brand. Shopping Links won the Business Services category at the 2016 Governor of Victoria Export Award and has been named to Anthill Magazine’s SMART100 Index of most innovative Australian companies.

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