Friday, 4 December 2015

The Consumer Revolution Has Happened and the Influencers Are Now in Charge

Back in the day, consumers based purchasing decisions on longstanding brand loyalty. social media marketing classes We grew up as a Crest or a Tide family, and that’s what appeared in our households throughout our childhoods. In addition, consumers engaged in on-the-ground exploratory shopping excursions searching for the right product or best deal, and made more frequent impulse purchases based on in-store coupons or promotions.Today, all that’s changed as social media upended traditional shopping habits by sparking an active online recommendation culture. Now, consumers easily research products on blogs or ecommerce reviews. They frequently tap into their online network of trusted advisors for firsthand insights on brands they want to try.We surveyed more than 900 Gen X and millennial mothers, known as "Mom consumers,'' to gain a better understanding of the role of peer influence on their consumer behavior. The study revealed that these online influencers play an increasingly powerful role in driving consumers to make retail purchases.
Paid endorsements by online influencers is now used by 52 percent of online marketers a number that is rapidly closing in on display ads (58 percent) as the top paid avenue for online advertising. social media marketing news The explosion was registered in the 2014 State of Sponsored Social Report conducted by Halverson Group on behalf of influencer marketing firm IZEA. It’s not just the fact that "sponsored social" is second on the list of channels used, it’s how quickly it rose to popularity. When asked how they feel about various marketing channels vs. how they felt a year ago, marketers showed a far greater gap between then and now in sponsored social against any other channel. In fact, sponsored social’s momentum was almost twice that of experiential marketing and more than twice that of online display ads. It destroyed traditional channels. Official sponsorship status in standard TV spots and ads in radio, magazines and newspapers all scored negative momentum from last year (meaning they are less favorable now).
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Influencing purchase decisions through social

As consumers look to their online network when in search of a new product, the recommendations they find influence their purchasing decisions. social media marketing network In fact, 92 percent have purchased a product after learning about it from a blogger, and 69 percent are more likely to make a purchase if the product is recommended by someone they follow on social media. With blogs and e-commerce reviews just a click away, 99 percent of consumers surveyed research products online prior to making a purchase. As a result, consumers now head into stores with specific products in mind. They are steeped in details regarding product features and attributes, and they are ready to make a purchase. When asked about the leap, even the industry’s biggest supporter of sponsored posts IZEA CEO Ted Murphy was surprised.“It floored me, to be honest,” Murphy says. “I think we have been watching the industry and kind of seeing this happen, but I didn’t realize the support would be quite that strong.
Murphy, whose IZEA serves as a platform to connect interested brands with willing social influencers and publishers, marketing through social media says the results surprised the research team at Halverson as well. He says what they think is happening is earned media, paid media and content marketing are beginning to blend. Sponsored social offers so many benefits across channels -- public relations, media and marketing brands get more benefit for the investment, according to Murphy.Murphy started IZEA in 2006 when the industry found sponsored blog posts and social posts largely taboo. Today, the New York Times sells sponsored posts and even the Associated Press offers sponsored tweets.While the study’s impression is that sponsored social is suddenly shifting to be a nearly universal marketing activity, let’s also be fair. The survey was a sampling of a national panel who had some level of accountability or familiarity with sponsored-social marketing.

Understanding the power of authenticity

First-person authenticity is a key reason blogs and other online content resonate with consumers. social media marketing ideas Given the choice of product recommendations from a blogger and traditional media messaging, 83 percent find the blogger more authentic. Moreover, after learning about a product from traditional media, 76 percent will then turn to a blog for more firsthand insight and information. Trust emerges as a key factor for consumers when considering a purchase. They care passionately about trusting the products they bring into their homes. They overwhelmingly (91 percent) trust blogs and social media recommendations (76 percent) for product information before they make a purchase. It didn’t include those not accountable or familiar with the topic, so if that universe is vast, the numbers may not be all that impressive. Despite the bias, however, the numbers are quite interesting and have implication for marketers and business owners, large and small.
Sponsored social ranked first among all other channels for overall effectiveness, scoring 7.27 on a 10-point scale. social media marketing packages It beat out experiential marketing (7.25), celebrity endorsement (6.87) and television advertising (6.54). Based on that list, it’s no surprise that 74 percent would use or recommend sponsored social in the future.Perhaps the most interesting and tactically useful result from the survey was the average dollar amount marketers paid for each type of post. The average video post will run $554 while a blog post comes in at $384. A sponsored tweet runs $331. But the survey does little by way of telling you who charges what, so assume that high-dollar investments were with high-follower-count influencers.The survey showed interesting upward trends for brands investing dollars on social marketing beyond a content and organic-focused program. Of those surveyed, 85 percent were moderately or highly familiar with sponsored social and 53 percent had experience with sponsored-social opportunities in the past year.

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