And how you can ride the wave

Influencer_Marketing_SwellInfluencer marketing has had a triumphant rise into the mainstream as marketers and brands alike embrace social marketing and realize that followers alone are not equivalent to currency. Brands and agencies continue to search for ROI on social media marketing as they notice that their brand messaging alone may not be telling the entire story.

Why is Influencer Marketing on the Rise?

Yep, you guessed it, those pesky millennials again.

Traditional ad buys just aren’t doing the trick. Millennials are streaming their TV online and paying to avoid advertising placements in all of their entertainment. Even if those traditional ad placements can make it through ad-blocking software– recent research from PageFair finds that as many as 22.7% of browsers are using ad blocking software– those messages usually don’t resound with this consumer group. Millennials want depth and authenticity from brands.

So What Does Work?

Peer influence

Millennials trust their friends way more than they trust brand messages. Research finds that millennials are much more likely to trust peer recommendation over brand advertising. And 53% of the Millennials surveyed said that user-generated content has an influence on their purchase decisions.


Millennials want valuable, creative content. They appreciate humor, style, and thoughtfulness in advertising. Native advertising has been growing for this very reason. When advertisers know their consumers and understand the content they are engaging with, they can mimic that content style and implement brand messages into those formats.

Influencer marketing combines these two tenets: find the consumers where they are and provide them with meaningful brand content from a familiar and trusted voice.

How Can I ‘Ride the Wave’ to Benefit My Brand?

  • Feel it out. Try to focus a portion of your social media advertising budget to exploring influencer marketing in 2016. Isolate this marketing to determine how it compares with other strategies and whether it is a good fit for your brand. Learn how to launch an influencer marketing program on Instagram by downloading our free planning guide!
  • Quality and quantity. Unlike traditional media buys, it’s not all about reach. Don’t think that an influencer has to have 100K followers to make an impact. Find your ideal influencer who has a lifestyle fit with your brand, affection for your brand, and a content style that reflects the values of your brand.
  • Get creative. Don’t think that you can just have influencers post the same traditional kinds of ads onto their channels. Those messages won’t resound with your consumers no matter who they are coming from. Make sure you’ve spent some time creating an interesting campaign, hashtag, and creative angle for influencers to interact with your product. Brands like ZTE have done this very well by promoting the launch of their new phone with a combination of humor and tech influencers.