Everyone has Influence and how to harness the herd
In today’s connected world, it’s easy to discover other people’s experiences with a brand and decide if you want to buy. This is why we believe everyone has influence and if you leverage the power of the herd influencer marketing is a powerful marketing tool.
If a brand can convince and transform the average ‘everyday’ consumers to be their brand ambassadors, it will create authentic, engaging conversations about the brand, further creating a scaled impact for longer term success. I want to investigate the role of social and digital media in maximising the success of brands’ marketing campaigns, and how this will change in the increasingly digital marketing sphere.‘
Everyday’ Brand Ambassadors – Nano Influencers
You may have noticed the recent trend for companies of all sizes to shift away from ‘social celebrity-based’ marketing, towards micro influencer or ‘everyday’ brand ambassadors of what we now call nano influencers. Celebrity endorsement is valuable in terms of generating interest in a product and boosting recognition. However, as far as long-term customers are concerned, they’d much rather gain the opinions of trusted users of that product, for example through YouTube reviews, or through recommendations via social media pages. Modern-day shoppers are placing their trust more and more in these smaller voices, ‘real’ users, or brand ambassadors, by seeking out insights from keen advocates of the brand. We are now able to seek out the opinions of our friends and families and are exposed to their experiences through scrolling our social pages.
Consumers these days will see right through an A-lister’s claims of loving a certain product, and instead, see the value in referrals from friends, and online review forums dedicated to that line of products or brand. Paid celebrity endorsement can amount to little more than awareness based advertising but it certainly doesn’t count as ‘influence’. This ‘earned media’ – the word-of-mouth marketing sphere – can come in many forms, either through a particularly passionate friend, or extensive reviewers on Amazon. The passion ambassadors feel towards their preferred brand or product tends to leave an impression on the consumer, one which is easy to identify with, and directly influences potential buyers. Celebrity social influencers fall behind in this respect; despite their benefits towards brand image, they don’t generate a persuasive argument and lack conviction. People want to tap into real experiences and they are more likely to believe someone who is ‘like’ them.
It would seem illogical for a brand to target their marketing in favour of a smaller audience over, for example, the several million social media followers of a celebrity. However, there’s a very small chance that the majority of those followers are actually interested in the product being advertised. For example, it would be more beneficial if a sportswear company targeted 100 self-proclaimed athletes whose followers are interested in athletics, rather than a social celebrity with keen athletes comprising perhaps just 5% of the following. Additionally, the cost of using a Kardashian, for example, as an endorser is far greater than utilising lower cost influencers with followers who already buy from you and follow your brand. This, and the fact that you’re targeting genuinely interested potential customers maximises return on investment!
"We see micro-and nano influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers""Their content will be organically performing better on the platform due to the inherent superior engagement."
Nano and Micro-Influencers
As described by Gonzalez, nano and micro-influencers are extremely valuable to companies. They can be used to introduce a new product, or even to eliminate any negative conversations about the brand. An example of how micro-influencers have been successfully implemented is the shoe company, Sperry. They’ve taken to Instagram to capitalise on their digital marketing strategy.
With permission from the photographers, Sperry re-distributes the images and has received a huge response. The company’s digital marketing manager, Stacy Goodman, explains how the micro-influencer relationship works on trust, describing how “these are people who really want to work with our brand”. Creating this kind of meaningful connection between brands and people will encourage them to become authentic ambassadors, who really care about the future of the brand. Although only ‘micro’, their collective impact can be mega.
Above all else, companies want their customers to have faith in their brand, and believe in what they’re buying. By curating brand ambassadors from everyday consumers, engaging conversations about the brand can be created, which ultimately leads to longer-term success. Social media and the world of digital provide endless opportunities for amplifying the effects of small brand ambassadors on the media. For influencer marketing to continue to be effective we need to understand the power of the herd and building an ecosystem of influencers at all levels as This ecosystem of influencers will act as powerful cheer squads for brands and amplify the impact of any other marketing activity.