The pandemic has created an uptick in social media activity, with 32% of polled social users in the United States reporting an increase in their social media activity. This added activity and attention have put pressure on brands to deliver value to followers. With the need for brand authenticity and the rise in socially conscious spending, brands are trusting the guidance of influencers for their products. In fact, 63% of consumers trust influencer opinions more than testimony from the brand itself and 58% of consumers have purchased products because of an influencer's recommendation.
Influencer marketing is not a trend; rather, a sign of a greater shift in the priorities of consumers and the direction of marketing campaigns. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, this market is expected to grow in size from $9.7 billion in 2020 to $13.8 billion in 2021.
Ideally, the use of an influencer should be symbiotic for companies and consumers. The companies create brand awareness and extend their reach while consumers gain trustworthy and knowledgeable information about a service or product. Utilizing an influencer research tool like Upfluence can identify the saturation of influencers (i.e., how many other brands are actively linked with that individual), as well as other factors like message/imagery engagement.
When assessing successful marketing, the strategies associated with influencer relations and activations cannot be ignored. Recently, Hart Copywriter, Social Media & Content, Caeli Barnes moderated a sit-down with Associate Creative Director Jeff Payden, Senior Account Executive JoAnna Sorosiak and Senior Strategist Sam Williams to discuss and gain perspective into the world of influencers and their role in advertising.
The concept of authenticity is one that has long been debated, from water coolers to chatrooms. In a world where deep fakes are an ever-growing presence, and people believe reality and truth often exist independent of one another, how consumers value authenticity is a matter of increasing importance. In fact, an overwhelming 90% of millennials say brand authenticity is important, with nearly three-quarters of that group suggesting family and friends are the most authentic – that is, trustworthy – sources of social content.
It has not been all that long since I was Director of Marketing at a healthcare organization that sold software and services directly to independent medical providers. Consider that for a second. Our target was an ever-shrinking audience, a community of doctors who essentially understood that their future would be better tied to a large corporation than on their own.
According to an Association of National Advertisers study released in October 2018, advertisers are using in-house agencies more, with 78% of ANA members reporting having some form of in-house agency in 2018, compared to 58% in 2013 and 42% in 2008. Still, many advertisers understand the various benefits of engaging an agency to help with their marketing efforts and pursue a relationship that fits the bill.