By Sophie Lowe
New research has indicated how much budget UK PR and marketing professionals intend to spend on influencer marketing over the next 12 months. It reported that 9 per cent of professionals plan to spend over £100,000 on influencers and another 39 per cent of those surveyed plan to spend up to £10,000, whilst only 4 per cent will not allocate any budget for influencer marketing according to PR Week.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is when you focus on using specific individuals who have a large reach of followers who can help you to spread your message. If you align yourself with an influencer whose followers are of the same demographic as your businesses, then your message is exposed to the right kind of consumer via word of mouth. Word of mouth marketing can generate more than double the amount of sales than paid advertising.
Whilst influencer marketing can be costly, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. 26 per cent of marketers believe that influencer marketing can be more effective at targeting consumers than the more traditional method of advertisements on social media. In fact, not unsurprisingly, 92 per cent of consumers trust recommendations from online influencers more than they do brands.
Which influencers should you target?
It is down to the individual business need, when deciding on how to target an influencer. Your product or service may be very niche, or it might be something that appeals to a very large marketplace. The research reflects this diversity and states that two thirds of those who had tried influencer marketing campaigns said that they preferred to work with influencers who had less than 250,000 followers, whilst the rest of those surveyed said they would prefer to work with influencers who had more than this amount of followers.
It is also key to remember that most influencers have a day job and their social media hobby is just that – a labour of love and not full time employment. However, this is not an indication of the quality of content and most influencers are commercially savvy and well versed in business arrangements to promote a brand, such as writing reviews or liking or sharing marketing collateral.
Is it just a fad?
As with anything new, there is the opinion that influencer marketing might not be easily measurable and ROI is difficult to establish, however the results of this latest research validates it as a legitimate marketing channel with genuine benefit to brand awareness and direct impact on sales growth.
The research also shows that businesses are using the channel correctly rather than automatically targeting the influencers with the largest followings.
Organisations are targeting and segmenting the influencers that they feel align with their brand and who have the relevant following, even if it means lower numbers of followers.
For more information on how SCS Marketing & PR can help you to establish an influencer marketing programme as part of a wider PR and Social Media programme, please contact one of our team on +44 (0) 1252 621 293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org