Marketers are experiencing the collision of several extremely disruptive trends, making their jobs harder than ever.
First, research shows that banner advertising simply does not work; some 8% of Internet users account for 85% of all clicks, according to Comscore. Yet digital advertising represents almost 22% of most brands total ad spend. As a result, budgets are shifting to social media, and brands are looking for intelligent, proven and measurable strategies to improve engagement and influence. Brands and agencies looking to partner with key influencers represent the “demand” side of this rapidly emerging influencer marketing marketplace.
The second trend involves the rising importance of content marketing. It’s not enough for brands to just advertise their message and expect consumers to believe it and repeat it. Consumers want compelling, relevant content, developed internally or through a community of key influencers. While they appreciate product information from brands, what influences their purchase decisions the most is opinions from people just like them. New moms want to know what products other new moms prefer and marathon runners want product feedback from people familiar with their pain. Socially savvy influencers represent something a brand cannot—the perspective of another consumer.
In addition to navigating the world of social media, marketers are also under great pressure to become metric-driven analysts. Digital advertising is measureable, which is one of the ways we know its not working. Influencer marketing is equally measureable but only when tools and solutions include detailed reporting. It’s fairly easy for a brand or agency to find 10 bloggers in their space and manually manage them to create and share content on their blogs or social media. But what if they want to work with 50 bloggers or 1,000? Processes that are done manually must now be driven with intelligent software and solutions that let marketers scale efforts and give them the metrics they need to provide ROI.
As influencer-marketing marketplaces emerge and efficiencies are gained through innovation and technology, marketing dollars will follow.
Holly Hamann is co-founder and chief marketing officer at BlogFrog. Follow her on Twitter @hollyhamann.