While one in three consumers trust influencer opinions and recommendations when making purchase decisions, it’s important to note that consumers are not referring to traditional celebrity endorsements. Rather, consumers trust people who are just like them – peers they identify with who have built sizeable social followings based on authentic content and the relationship they’ve built with their audiences – and they trust these individuals over celebrities at a rate of seven to one.
As a result, more than a third of marketers (36%) will integrate influencer content with e-commerce to drive product sales this year. When combined with traditional shopper marketing tactics like free samples or elaborate in-store displays, influencer shopper marketing can deliver concrete business results across every stage of the path to purchase, from awareness and consideration to conversion and purchase.
Whether looking to generate awareness for a product launch or a seasonal push, influencer marketing campaigns can activate hundreds of influencers who create thousands of pieces of original content about a product or brand. The influencers then share the content across multiple social networks, increasing awareness through authentic stories and experiences versus the limited amount of real-estate available in brand-created traditional ads or digital display ads.
84% of consumers say that it’s important to hear about others’ experiences before making a purchase. By nature, influencer marketing is ripe ground for cultivating honest product reviews and other valuable content like tips, recipes, or how-to articles and tutorials. Consumers that are introduced to a product or brand through positive affirmation by a trusted source are more likely to consider purchasing the product for themselves.
Now that you’ve got their attention, how do you convert their likes and shares into clicks to learn more and email newsletter signups? It’s uncommon that consumers take a deeper action during the first introduction to a product or service, so brands turn to influencer marketing to inspire conversions over time. Today, more brands are investing in multi-flight, “always on” influencer marketing campaigns versus individual, one-off initiatives to nurture prospects into customers and drive deeper loyalty.
Performance-based influencer marketing programs that are built to drive lower-funnel goals hold influencers accountable for creating content that inspires their audiences to take action. When structured to perform against specific shopper marketing goals, like in-store or online purchases, influencer marketing programs drive concrete business results that go far beyond short-term vanity metrics like reach.
Reaching your target consumer with a relevant message at the moment they are ready to make a purchase and inspiring them to take action is the ultimate goal for shopper marketing campaigns. From awareness and consideration to conversion and purchase, influencer marketing’s ability to drive consumers down the path to purchase through the trusted opinions of their peers is the hottest new tactic in every shopper marketer’s media mix.
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