Influencers are impacting consumers’ purchasing decisions more than ever before

In a recent article I read, a woman explained how, after coming across an Instagram post of one of her favourite bloggers, she rushed to the stores in search for the very doormat she saw in the post. After searching high and low she eventually got hold of the doormat and felt compelled to share the news on social media.

So, not only did the blogger influence the woman’s decision to buy the mat but she also got her to talk about it online, further contributing to the digital conversation around the product.

The fact that the influencer got her to get into her car and rush to the stores for something as boring as a doormat is remarkable. Another article discussed how beauty vloggers have become more influential and credible than top makeup artists. By having daily interaction and engagement with their fan base, these vloggers and bloggers have a significant influence on the purchasing decisions of their followers.

A great example would be Zoella, Fashionbi explained how after mentioning a Topshop blusher in one of her blog posts, there was a 40% click through rate to the brand’s site. With vloggers and bloggers providing brands with a significant return on investment there is no doubt that they have helped smart brands embrace the digital potential of Influencer Marketing.

Through influencer marketing, brands are able to connect with the right target audiences in a much more organic way. By using social media, as well as native advertising and influencer marketing, brands are able to take advantage of predominant industry trends – for example the shift from TV to digital, display advertising to sponsored content, and online video traffic. Essentially, influencer marketing is a term that separates successful brands from those being left behind.

While traditional advertising models embrace concepts such as celebrity endorsements, we are living in a digital world where popular vloggers, bloggers and social influencers have more influence on the purchasing decisions of consumers, than celebrities. This could be that a lifestyle similar to that of a blogger or  vlogger seems more attainable than trying to keep up with the lifestyle of a celebrity. We see our favourite vloggers and bloggers as ordinary people, as our peers rather than someone superior to us and our lifestyle.

So how exactly can an influencer really impact the purchasing decisions of consumers?

Consumers use social media to engage and connect with people. When we come across awesome content, hilarious memes or even a touching story we tend to feel compelled to share these posts with our friend’s, commenting on the post and ultimately contributing to the online conversation around the post. Influencers tend to generate a larger online conversation a lot faster than what brands are able to produce.

Less than a week after the launch of Overwatch, tech visionary and influencer Elon Musk decided to share his love of the game and give kudos to the publisher Blizzard in a tweet.

The tweet generated 3851 retweets and more than 12 000 engagements in a matter of minutes.

The tweet was not funny nor witty, it was in-fact relatively bland. However, the power of Elon’s influence insured that his influence immediately sparked conversation around the video game because his followers hang on his every word and hold him in extremely high regard as an inventor and business leader. Sharing his thoughts on a game he may have played for a few minutes in his down time was enough to get one single tweet trending.

Thus the endorsement by Musk has far more impact with the target audience than any billboard because his followers look up to him and aspire to follow his lead in business, technology and life.

The same can be said for a beauty blogger’s influence on the purchasing decisions of his/her followers.

Markets have become so saturated with marketing messages that a brand’s message is often lost amongst the clutter. Influencers have become undeniable assets to brands because they are able to cut through the clutter and deliver a brand’s message to the right target market in a way that does not make consumers feel bombarded by advertisements.

Feature image: Rob Sinclair via Flickr



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