We need to encourage brands to think differently when communicating with audiences - especially since social is causing a massive shift in the way consumers interact with each other, and brands.
More and more people are searching for meaningful and authentic communication with others who they can relate to and trust. Influencers do just this. Whether a Vlogger, Blogger or Instagrammer, these individuals have loyal packs of followers. Their lifestyles are obtainable - unlike celebrities - and their openness to share information about their life makes them all that more relatable, respected and valued among the public.
Often when thinking of the audiences for such influencers, we are all too quick to assume the only followers they obtain are aspiring teens and young adults. But influencer audiences span far beyond these realms. In fact, when doing a little research, you’ll find there is pretty much an influencer with a loyal following in every sector. From financial, to travel, HR, fashion or design, there are at least a handful of influencers with a powerful social following tapping into the audience you wish to target. Why wouldn’t you make the most of this exposure to your market?
Brands should use these influencers - working with them to gain attention of the brand. In doing so, audiences are much more likely to spend time finding out more about the brand being endorsed, which leads to greater interaction and consequently, a higher chance of conversion into a sale - an element of customer interaction that PR professionals are finding themselves increasingly being judged on.
While celebrity endorsement by all means remains an important method of advertising, particularly for high end products or those brands whose audiences don't follow social influencers, it is time for the industry to up their understanding of the power of influencers. Those brands that are willing to think differently and embrace them as a channel to targeting their audiences are guaranteed to reap in a great deal of successes.
The growing power of influencers to connect with brands’ audiences is putting advertisers’ reliance on traditional celebrities for campaigning under the microscope. As it stands, it appears influencers now have more power than traditional celebrities when it comes to promoting products. According to recent research from Takumi, 82% of PR and marketing professionals are using influencers in one form or another. Of these respondents, 38% said they were using "social media influencers" – the highest ranking of the options available (which included musicians, sportspeople, TV actors and film stars). This power shift towards influencers begs the question – what do they have that celebrities don’t?