by Esther de Bruin, The Netherlands
The Insiders participated in the first Influencer Marketing Event in The Netherlands. It was a vibrant and educational gathering of marketing leaders. Eventgoers had one aspiration in common, figure it out how to make the most of influencer marketing. Here are 3 takeaways from the event that I want to share with the readers of The Insiders’ blog.
Defining Influencer Marketing
The term influencer marketing is thrown around, and it may mean different things to different people. Most often influencer marketing is confined to digital influencers. In the words of Kirsten Jassies–one of the presenters and author of Instaproof—influencer marketing is about activating "content creators with a strong connection with their followers, because they tell their personal stories in an authentic way”.
In our practice, as brand marketers at The Insiders, however, influencer marketing is about influence. It is not confined to the digital space, although digital media is an important outlet in which Insiders, members of our community, exercise their shopper-to-shopper influence with recommendations to purchase. In addition, we maximize the offline influence of peer-to-peer recommendations, since most of our communication is in real-life conversations. Our influencer marketing activations find the people with the level of influence that delivers on the goals our client brands. Insiders cooperate with brands in a meaningful and authentic way.
Outcomes of Shopper Influencer Marketing
Although The Insiders were proud sponsors, we hope that our main contribution to the event was providing education to marketers about the power of shopper influencer activations. During the seminar I conducted, we had an opportunity to introduce our community of shopper influencers to brand marketers, e-commerce managers, and media agencies in attendance.
I explained the value influential consumers can deliver to brands. Insiders have great persuasion power regarding purchase recommendations they make to the people in their social circles online and offline. Another important asset Insiders produce are the credible content they generate, which is highly valued by shoppers. Combined Insiders’ trusted recommendations online and offline deliver consumers switching from competing brands, heightened purchase intent, sales growth, and effective ROI.
At The Insiders, we focus on shopper-to-shopper influence because in our experience peer influencers deliver higher engagement, and influencers seen as peers have greater power of persuasion. Brands that collaborate with Insiders enjoy tangible benefits like conversion of new consumers, growth in consumer engagement with the brand, and the creation of consumer-generated content at scale.
Influencer Marketing Is Here to Stay
Influencer marketing is not a trend, it is here to stay. In 2020 millennials will be the consumer-segment with the greatest spending power. By default, Millennials do not trust traditional advertising, ignore or skip ads, or block them altogether. Television commercial breaks sound to a millennial as current as typewriters do. Brands need to adapt to build the necessary emotional connections with their consumers to sustain brand equity. Leading marketers understand this and focus on mastering brand advocacy.
Brand advocacy is the most important driver to futureproof successful brands. Listening closely to consumer feedback about their brand experiences, cultivating brand ambassadors, and stimulating the creation of the most valuable stories for the brand in the consumers’ authentic voices are imperatives for marketers in the current consumption ecosystem.
For more next generation marketing insights subscribe to The Insiders Newsletter.