Influencer Marketing: Overhyped or The Real Deal?

October 21, 2016

Over the last few years, award-winning ad agencies have been employing influencer marketing techniques in order to win market share for brands. But is this approach as effective as marketers believe? Or is its impact overhyped?

Let’s take a closer look.

Influencer Marketing 101

The idea behind influencer marketing is fairly straightforward: Brands leverage the influence of industry thought leaders to deliver their message to a target audience. Instead of a direct marketing appeal, the message is mediated through an influential third party. This often takes the form of blog posts, news articles, branded content and social media messages.

Is it Effective?

Generally speaking, yes. According to a report in AdWeek, marketers who ran an influencer marketing campaign in 2014, generated higher earned media value than those who did not. The numbers were impressive: Influencer marketing campaigns returned more than $6 in earned media value for every $1 of paid media value.

Why it Works

Influencer marketing taps into the power of word of mouth recommendations—one of the most effective messages you can convey. How effective? A McKinsey study revealed that word of mouth marketing delivers roughly twice the sales that paid marketing does.

Consumers tend to view third parties as more neutral observers, and therefore, attribute more weight to their opinions. Moreover, influencers are typically thought leaders in their industry, which makes their words more impactful.

Influencer marketing also breaks through the wall of indifference that sabotages many conventional ad campaigns. Consumers are bombarded with traditional advertising and marketing. Many of them simply tune it out. Influencer marketing breaks through this wall and delivers your message with far greater impact.

Finally, influencer marketing is a definite plus in terms of search engine rankings, which is extremely beneficial to all brands.

The Upshot

There is a reason why so many top brands and award-winning ad agencies choose to implement influencer marketing programs. And that’s because it is a highly effective technique that does not require a huge financial investment. Implement influencer marketing to take your marketing to the next level and win a bigger market share.