From the Influencers

The Rise of Influencer Marketing Over Print and Video Ads

January 18, 2017

It hasn’t been a secret that in recent years, the influence of print advertising has been strongly on the wane. As more people leave behind printed newspapers and magazines, and direct mail pieces have lost favor, marketers have turned to other channels, such as the Internet and social media. But the Internet is a big place, and digital marketers have had to work on narrowing their target audiences and their goals with a lot more skill. Enter influencer marketing. Last year, Google Trends found that influencer marketing surpassed print marketing for the first time.

In a recent blog post for Acorn, Josephine Hardy wrote that recent statistics on influencer marketing can help marketers decide where to put their marketing dollars. Some of the more interesting statistics include:

  • According to eMarketer, 84 percent of marketers said they would launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months.
  • eConsultancy has found that almost 60 percent of fashion and beauty brands have an influencer marketing strategy in place, while a further 21 percent plan to invest in it over the next 12 months.
  • Nearly 40 percent of Twitter users, according to Twitter, say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.
  • Google has found that 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTubers more than to traditional celebrities
  • 47 percent of online consumers use ad blockers, according to Digital News Report.

The latter statistic is a strong one in favor of influencer marketing. For companies that believed that traditional online ads would be the answer, chances are good that nearly half your customers aren’t even seeing these ads, which underscores the necessity of a good influencer marketing program.

“This number is expected to continue growing as consumers get more savvy about protecting themselves from ads,” wrote Hardy. “Their ineffectiveness on [websites] has been cemented by big companies (like Google) who have now removed side bar ads in favor of white space. Marketers are instead turning to influencers to generate authentic sponsored content.”

It seems that Americans now trust friend, family, social media connections and even strangers over static, traditional ads either in print, in video or on websites. The implications are clear: companies need to become more careful about how they create their marketing content, and present it in a way that’s easily shareable by various social media platforms. It’s also critical to make it easy for customers to buy once they’re swayed by the influence of someone they trust. Many marketers are now enabling customers to purchase directly through social media, with “click to buy” features.

If you’re still trying to chase customers down with methods that worked in the last decade, it’s time to get subtler. Influencer marketing, carefully tailored to each established and new social media channel, is a dynamic process that will require knowledgeable talent and experience. If you don’t have it, it may be time to consult professionals. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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