Recently we assembled a panel of influencer marketing experts to discuss some of the big questions and opportunities in the market today. Alongside globally successful influencers Xenia Tchoumi and Lisa Banholzer, we had Peter Wish, digital brand manager at Nike, and Collabary’s very own Stefano Balestra.
Their audience was 160 senior strategic figures from some of the world’s biggest brands – all of them looking to gain insights and share their experiences of reaching customers through influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing goes mainstream
If you’ve ever sat down with anyone from a marketing or brand background, you’ll know that everyone has a question, or an observation, when it comes to influencer marketing.
The simple fact that the term ‘influencer marketing’ has experienced such an astronomical rise in Google search requests helps you realise just how important it has become.
Not only does influencer marketing offer huge reach (often outstripping traditional media such as magazines and TV) but it has a proven track record both in engaging people and earning their trust – with 92% of millenials claiming that they trust influencers more than traditional forms of advertising.
And a direct consequence of utilising these authentic voices can be seen in real brand and commercial results – with over 69% ofmillenials having made purchase decisions based solely on an influencer recommendation.
So if influencer marketing represents an authentic, engaging and persuasive way to reach a new audience – as well as offering more flexibility and lower media spend than traditional channels – what kind of impression is it making on the businesses who have adopted it?
Influencer marketing in action
Asked how many of the attendees at the event used influencer marketing, 45% responded that they used it all the time for their brand. And, tellingly, only 3.5% said they did not use it at all.
But, for those who recognise the strengths of influencer marketing, what challenges are they faced with when using this relatively new method of reaching their customers?
Perhaps unsurprisingly the majority of our audience felt that measuring success remains the biggest challenge, although over 25% felt that finding the right influence for their brand was their most pressing issue.
Indeed finding and choosing the right influencer seems to be a divisive issue. And while 51% of the audience believes that ‘brand fit’ is the most important criteria in selecting an influencer, both engagement and reach still play a part in some brands’ thinking.
From world famous brands reaching new audiences, to the enhanced authenticity of live streaming, our panel discussed all kinds of ways in which influencer marketing would continue to grow, develop and meet unexpected needs for all kinds of businesses.
And with strategic experts like those in our audience continuing to explore, expand and refine their influencer marketing requirements, it seems clear that this new way to tell brand stories has a bigger role to play than ever.