Influence marketing is an increasingly popular form of marketing based on the concept that people are more likely to buy a product or a service influenced by the recommendation of an influencer. This influencer can be a friend or family member, or a so-called value-added influencer, as a celebrity, journalist or industry expert.
Influence marketing has indeed proved to be a valuable tool for marketers. In the travel and tourism industry, for instance, it was found that owing to influence marketing programs, marketers received, on average, about 19 U.S. dollars of value for every dollar they spent on paid media. The average for all industries stood at 11.2 U.S. dollars for every dollar spent. According to marketing professionals, the use of influence marketing can be highly strategic in promoting and creating content, as well as launching products. About 70 percent of marketing professionals stated having ongoing ambassadorships for their brands is one of the most effective influence marketing methods, while around 67 percent of them believe product reviews are highly effective as well. In light of the potential of influence marketing, in 2015, about 60 percent of marketers in the U.S. stated they expected to increase their budgets devoted to influencer marketing in the next 12 months.
Thanks to the internet penetration and the increasing possibilities in the digital area, the use of digital channels for influence marketing is rather popular. About 70 percent of marketing professionals listed guest posts as one of the top channels for initiating influencer collaboration. Videos and webinars/hangouts were included on the list as well. Social media marketing has become a major part of influence marketing, as the majority of marketers believe social media marketing can increase exposure and drive traffic. Spending in social media marketing in the U.S. is forecast to increase from about 11.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to around 17.3 billion U.S. dollars by 2019. For about 37 percent of marketers, blogs are the most effective online platform for influence marketing in the U.S., whereas about a quarter of them believe Facebook is the most effective platform.
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the most used social networks by brands, as respectively about 78 percent, 75 percent and 65 percent of brands post on these platforms on a daily basis. In order to attract customers to their social media accounts, 78 percent of the brands produce useful content, and about 60 display social media icons in emails and on their website. About 70 percent of social media sharers, those who post about good or bad experiences with brands via their social media, said they follow brands because they wanted to hear about products, offers or news.
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