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article image'Digital influencer' marketing a growing trend on the Internet

By Karen Graham     Sep 3, 2017 in Internet
Social media has become our "prime time" source for information, from news to what we end up purchasing. And as online platforms become cluttered with ads, marketers are rushing to find new ways to connect with their customers, using digital influencers.
Say you want to buy a new printer for your home office. There are so many great products out there, but you just aren't sure which one is the most suitable for your uses and within your price range. If you're like most people, you'll go to social media and ask your friends what they would suggest.
This, in its broadest terms, describes digital influencer marketing. Basically, you are allowing people you trust and feel like you know to give you honest advice without all the glitz and whoop-la seen in many Advertisements. And when you think about it, wouldn't you rather buy a book Oprah Winfrey recommends? They always turn out to be great choices.
A person browsing the Internet on a Windows Phone smartphone
A person browsing the Internet on a Windows Phone smartphone
Photo Mix / Pexels
What does Digital Influence mean?
Digital influence is defined as the ability to create an effect, change opinions and behaviours, and drive measurable outcomes online. It actually is considered a "phenomenon" created by social media, say some experts. Because of the number of ads on social media platforms, individual judgement of a product's worth has given way to group judgements.
Digital influence is the result of three concepts, the 3-Rs cornerstones if you will. They include Reach, Relevance and Resonance. All three of the cornerstones must be in effect to describe digital influence, but more importantly, there has to be some kind of change or effect to, shall we say, make it true digital influence.
As for the influence marketer, they have to be your trusted friend, be well-connected between the product and the consumer, be authoritative and have active minds, because after all, they have become trendsetters. Doing all these things makes them more effective than self-promotion by a company.
Intel plans to use bots to drive the next retail transformation
Intel plans to use bots to drive the next retail transformation
Intel Corporation
Many people will remember the Wheaties promotions. After the company started putting pictures and endorsements from major baseball players on their boxes of breakfast cereal, sales shot up and Wheaties became the "breakfast of champions." Why was that? Kids recognized the ball players and if the cereal was good for them, it must be good for boys and girls, too - It's all about trust.
Consumer attention equals money
This is where data mining is very helpful in reaching the right kind of consumer for a product. They have to have an interest first. Television commercials have become nothing but background noise, a time to go in the kitchen or use the bathroom. And even on the Internet, the number of ads has become so great that ad-blocker usage surged by 30% globally.
Using audience-level analytics, brands can select the right influencers to partner with based on who they reach, audience location, along with the brand's affinity with consumers in the location being targeted. This is also an opportunity to educate the audience.
Only 6.0 percent of ads on websites are ever clicked on. And with the further proliferation of ads on mobile phones, video content, and social media, it has become necessary for digital influencers to become constant companions to get your attention, meaning brands have to work with the people they listen to.
Picture of then Subway pitchman and spokesperson  Jared Fogle  taken during eBay Live in 2007. (Phot...
Picture of then Subway pitchman and spokesperson, Jared Fogle, taken during eBay Live in 2007. (Photo cropped by image owner)
Jared Fogle, "the Subway guy" was a hit endorser for the brand for 15 years until he fell from grace. However, today it isn't enough to hire a spokesperson to endorse a brand, although there is some overlap with celebrity endorsements and influencer marketing campaigns. The big difference is that the influencer marketer is speaking to an existing community of highly engaged followers.
But it all goes back to having that trust, and the ability to communicate in a way that incorporates the brand into the content of the ad without seeming to do so. The consumer will keep coming back because the influencer marketer regularly offers new and creative content for them instead of boring facts that go over our heads.
When a company, regardless of its size, wants to market a product, an old trick used in TV ads still applies — "The more you know..." And with the prevalence of technology in our lives, this saying has proven all the more powerful with today's consumers
The market for mobile device advertising doubled in 2013 to $17.9 billion and is on pace for strong ...
The market for mobile device advertising doubled in 2013 to $17.9 billion and is on pace for strong gains this year, led by Facebook and Google, a market tracker said Wednesday
Justin Sullivan, Getty/AFP/File
According to a study by GE Capital Retail, 81 percent of people look at products online before making a purchase. This is an area where influencer marketing can do a great deal to sell a product. Consumers want to know more about what the product does, and this is where instruction videos work very well.
All in all, it is safe to say that digital influencer strategies have become an effective marketing tool. The platform has grown from simply being a public endorsement of a brand to consumers becoming truly connected through influencers who know them well, thanks to social media.
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