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Influencer Marketing Trending Up for 2019

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According to Am Golhar, founder of Abstract PR, there are an estimated 1.5 million influencers in the digital communication world, and approximately 71% of Generation Z’s digital users have a close relationship with at least one influencer. With Instagram leading the influencer journey, many marketers are lamenting the importance of increasing marketing spend on influencing customers via social media platforms.

Launched in 2010, Instagram continues to grow at a remarkable pace. Just a little moret han 7 years of age, the visual social media platform has surpassed 800 million monthly users and is not only attracting individual social conversations but is proving its worthiness to marketers looking to grow brand awareness and showcase products. With 51 percent of users indicating that they visit the site daily and 70 percent using the platform to search brands, influencer marketing is proving itself as an authentic method to connect with potential customers. Influencer marketing content is delivering an 11 times higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional forms of digital marketing.

Generation Z consumers are proving to be much more active and reactive to social media outlets like YouTube and Instagram than former generations. Businesses need to establish an effective and targeted strategy to engage with this new generation of consumers in order to grab their share of the next big consumer market. In the coming year, influencers will continue to increase their impact on marketing efforts for businesses of all sizes. Participants will continue to focus efforts on specific geographical market segments with targeted and quality content.

The trend in 2019 will require an even greater command for authenticity and transparency as the initial exuberance of the new shiny marketing tool meets with the greater reality across all marketing channels.  Consumers say they trust social networks to guide them to purchase decisions, but some of that trust is being worn away by paid influencers who fail to make important financial disclosures that exist between their content and the brands they are reviewing. 52% are expressing distaste for repetitive advertising offers that are being pitched this holiday season by influencers.  With nearly 54% of consumers indicating “reliability” concerns about some current influencer content, User Generated Content (UGC) is set to receive more attention from marketers in the year ahead. Joe Rohrlich, from Bazaarvoice says, “Today’s consumers are looking to corroborate what they see or hear in one place with the information they find elsewhere.”

Social media influencer marketing is a natural technological segue from the long tested and tried method of “word of mouth” advertising. The former one to one approach to connecting with an expanding audience is being amplified by the internet’s “one to many” social media environment. In a global survey of consumers, Nielsen found that ”83% of consumers trust the recommendations of friends and family over other forms of advertising.”  In 2019 successful brands will find a way to utilize this expansive amount of customer content.

To learn how Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) can help refine and improve your influencer marketing strategy, call 678-686-1125 today.

Lost in Translation: The Social Marketing Disconnect

We are well aware of the power of social networks to effectively disseminate a brand message and create real, mutually-beneficial relationships between consumers and brands. But there are two sides to the coin – a great deal of the content brands perceive as engaging to audiences falls short of expectations when the metrics on conversions and ROI come in. Likewise, some communications and activities that consumers find compelling are seen as less worthwhile by marketers. Without consistency and quality, brands can quickly find their audiences leaving for greener pastures.

The kind of brand loyalty generated by social media is certainly unique in the current marketplace. With consumer behavior becoming increasingly personalized, brands have an opportunity to garner eager ambassadors, willing to share experiences with others. This is a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal, but it comes at the cost of the expectation that the consumer will gain something from the relationship, whether a promotion, prize, or even simple recognition. Customers on social media platforms are constantly seeking this “social currency.

Meanwhile, a 2012 study conducted by The CMO Council and social media technology firm Lithium showed that about 60% of CMOs believe their customers interact with social media for the content related to the brand philosophy, new products, and news. Just 33% thought that fans are looking for incentives or rewards, with even fewer operating under the impression that customers are actively seeking rewards or exclusive offers.

Therein lies the disconnect. It’s plain to see that consumers and marketers are speaking two different languages. So, if it’s really about the ‘social’ for the customers, why are brands so focused on the ‘media?’

Businesses must resist the temptation to promote themselves on social media platforms. They are simply a different animal than traditional marketers are accustomed to. Social customers expect to be rewarded for connecting with brands online, and there is no shortage of ways to please them. The more investment made by the brand, the more value contributed by the customer. The people have spoken, and marketers must adapt to bridge the gap and capitalize on the potential of their loyal customers.

Tapping into the TRUST Fund

Tapping into the TRUST Fund

In our modern marketing economy, trust has become paramount in communications, and an integral component of relationships between businesses and consumers. These days, trust is engendered primarily by our peers, with social media serving as a cornerstone in the foundation of those relationships thanks to its rapidly growing influence.

In 2012, social media has come to permeate our lives to a great degree. As an outlet for marketing and advertising, networks like Facebook and Pinterest have become some of the most effective and popular ways to generate business, rivaling or even surpassing the power of the search engines that previously guided the large majority of visibility in the marketplace. A social media advertising campaign fundamentally demands that a brand relinquish control and submit to the power of its followers, but the formula isn’t as simple as just letting go.

Social media is conversational by nature, but it still affords authority to brands. Often times, it is the brand that starts the conversation that disperses through a network of peers. This power entails a new kind of responsibility for brands in terms of creating a consistent, constant, and well-thought out message in order to be effective without being overbearing or burdensome. The power of the network is undeniable; what a brand says will affect its audience to a great degree, so it is crucial to carefully measure communications to ensure a positive impact.

Such is the case in Financial Marketing, an industry presently under the microscope when it comes to issues of trust. The kind of trust that facilitates effective use of social media has been so severely damaged by the actions of financial institutions in the past 5 years that marketers’ main challenge is not to sell a product or service, but rather to simply regain the confidences of its once-loyal audience. Taking the time to ensure that all communications originating from the company on social networks positively reflect the brand will have an exponential effect as the message disseminates across the network from peer to peer.

With social media, the dynamic has changed. People have been appointed with the power to dictate the dialogue that long belonged to the brands. Tap into the trust of this set and leverage their collective voice to generate a stronger message than ever.

Mobility, Productivity, Birds in a Slingshot…

Mobile gaming has certainly gained traction with users since Tetris became the first game to go mobile in 1994. Mobile games are now fully integrated with social platforms, driving unprecedented user engagement. Global revenue from mobile gaming grew from $2.6 billion in 2005 to $5.8 billion in 2008. Assuming the same rate of growth, the industry could be bringing in more than $10 billion in 2011.

One game in particular has been successful in leveraging the power of word of mouth marketing and social media to garner ‘must download’ status.  Introducing Angry Birds, which started as a simple physics game, but has become a social phenomenon and launched a full-blown enterprise.

With more than 300 million downloads to date, Angry Birds has quickly become the single most used application in the world. The concept of the popular game may seem odd; players propel various birds using a slingshot to exact revenge upon green pigs, who have stolen the birds’ eggs.  Asinine as the premise may be, users have become addicted and are joining the global conversation. The game’s social impact includes a Facebook page with more than 5 million fans, as well as the Angry Birds Forum and Angry Birds Nest, dedicated social forums to discuss strategies, tactics, frustrations, and ideas.  Television personalities like Conan O’Brian and John Stewart are talking about the game on their programs. Companies such as Sprint have even licensed Angry Birds for use in advertising.

Angry Birds is the best example of how social gaming, leveraging the advantages of the mobile marketplace, capitalizes on the nature of its users to spread content virally. Other mobile games, like the popular Words with Friends, have exploited social engagement and gone viral, but nothing has come close to the wild popularity of Angry Birds. With licensed merchandise on store shelves and even a possible movie on the horizon, how big will the sphere of influence become? And beyond that, what will be the next big thing to hit social mobile gaming?

Using Twitter to Market Your Wares

Twitter, despite it’s popularity, can be overwhelming to small business owners unfamiliar with the benefits of social media.

Small businesses by nature focus on word-of-mouth marketing to attract new clients as 50% of new customers for small business come through referrals.  The breadth of the network is usually based on geographic location.  No matter how technology advances, businesses will continue to get referrals through their loyal customers.

Now, imagine being able to reach a vast network of potential customers to sell your products to in 140 characters or less, at no cost other than the time spent to write and post the content.  It’s still word-of-mouth only with a larger network.  If you are a business located in a small town, what better way to drive people to your online store or even visit your store as they are passing through.

We would like to hear from our small business readers…Let us know how you are using Twitter.