We’ve all heard the stories: YouTube star outsells J.K. Rowling in a day, 16 year old makes $15K a month off of his Instagram, Disney pays a man 5 digit sums to wear a cereal costume and dance around on Snapchat. Ten years ago none of this was possible. It’s almost inconceivable that it is now… Why are brands forking out so much cash to these seemingly ordinary people? In the words of The Shelf, it’s because:
Influencer Marketing is the New King of Content
Just look at the results. When Estée Lauder posted an Instagram video featuring Kendall Jenner and a new product, it received 7,000 likes. The same video posted by Kendall herself received 429K likes—over 61X more. L2inc also reports that Barbara Palvin reposted a video with 4,539 likes from L’Oréal Paris’ timeline and garnered 112K likes.
According to Digiday, for Old Navy’s “White Elephant” Vine game they enlisted 12 influential viners to make videos promoting the game. Old Navy counted 7.6 million Vine loops, over 16K revines, 45K likes, and a 50% increase in followers.
One of our clients, Montana Office of Tourism, leveraged influencers as part of their winter season campaign. Over the course of the campaign their Instagram follower count grew by 60%, and they saw almost a 40% increase in the use of #MontanaMoment. One photo published on Tumblr by the brand had 170% higher engagement than their standard 3 month average.
So yes, influencer marketing drives engagement and follower growth. Plus, influencers are on every platform, in every industry, allowing for precise targeting based on the influencer’s audience.
The question remains: why is influencer marketing so effective? Because it isn’t just about reach.
According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate.
It’s so effective because influencer marketing is perceived as earned media, not paid. Since it comes across as authentic, audiences don’t shrug it off as effortlessly as they do commercial advertising. It’s coming from someone they admire, not someone they perceive as trying to sell them something.
So exactly how much more effective is it? How many brands are doing it? What industries are influencers in? Check out this infographic from theshelf.com for the details: