Consumers Want Original Content: Enter Market Influencers
From 2015 to 2016, Facebook saw a significant decrease in the number of engagements with posts on its platform, according to a report from Mavrck. Clicks, likes, comments, and shares all decreased. At first glance, this seems disheartening for marketers, but looking deeper at the numbers actually reveals a very exciting opportunity to be leveraged.
Those decreases are calculated by measuring engagements with both sponsored and organic content on Facebook. When one separates those categories, it is clear that customers are going out of their way to avoid sponsored content. This reflects a trend that is seen all across the Internet: people are using ad blockers at an increased rate and avoiding clickbait and other examples of sponsored content. On the other hand, consumers are flocking to organic content. In the past year, user-generated content that discussed a brand generated almost seven times more engagement than sponsored branded content. This remained true even when controlling for the brand being discussed!
It is clear that users find organically generated content that extols a brand to be much more convincing than sponsored content. Organic content is seen as more authentic, honest, and trustworthy. It also allows users to feel as though they are forging a relationship with the creator of the content, rather than simply being fed another advertisement. This sentiment can be seen as being expressed in the increased engagement users demonstrate with posts of this nature.
Smart marketers should look at all of this information and see a prime opportunity to leverage influencer marketing. Influencer marketing allows brands to partner with original content creators in order to spread positive information about the brand. All of the content is generated by the influencer, rather than the brand, making it more authentic and real. The content is also not sponsored: it is simply shared through the audience that the influencer has already cultivated. As the data shows, this makes it much more likely that users will engage with the content.
When looking to establish influencer marketing partnerships, brands should look for influencers with a sufficiently sized audience that has values and goals that align with the brand. As long as marketers are willing to put in their due diligence and find suitable influencers to partner with, it is clear that influencer marketing campaigns can be incredibly successful and valuable for brands.
Edited by Alicia Young