While the goals of shopper marketing have largely remained the same throughout the last decade, recent advances in influencer marketing are redefining how and where we shop.
According to Sprout Social (1), 58% of consumers said trust is the number one reason they’ll choose one brand over another. At the same time, trust in traditional advertising is at an all-time low among many key shopper groups. This is where influencer marketing comes in: influencers are perceived as more authentic and trustworthy than the brand itself (2).
In fact, 1 in 3 consumers trust influencer opinions and recommendations when making purchase decisions. Influencers have the power to impact each phase of the sales funnel and accelerate the path to purchase.
Partnering with influencers broadens reach compared to strictly branded-owned channels. Partnering with influencers also allows for audience specificity and in turn, can help you to better understand key messaging and the right target audience for your brand.
When searching for influencer partners, it is important to consider location, demographics, brand fit, brand goals, and shoppable resources available (i.e. Is the influencer a part of a retailer affiliate program?). You want to reach the audience that is most receptive to your product and message. In other words, the right influencer allows for more refined and effective audience targeting, which is invaluable when raising awareness for your brand.
84% of consumers believe it is important to hear about other’s experiences before making a purchase (4). Influencers offer a personal, genuine, and humanized environment that’s perfect for the right kind of brand messaging (5). Here are three key consideration elements:
- Influencer Authenticity: Influencers should share authentic endorsements, honest product reviews, tips, recipes, and other real-life examples of the product in use.
- Create Mental Links: The right influencer strengthens a brand’s reputation by creating mental links. For example, sharing in-store photography or linking directly to a retailer’s site, help visualize the path to purchase and streamline the customer shopping experience.
- Show the product more than once. We find that campaigns with second and third content flights to be the most effective for raising brand awareness. Consumers rarely act on the first introduction to a brand.
Consumers introduced to a product or brand through positive affirmation by a trusted source are more likely to consider purchasing the product themselves.
We’ve seen that influencers generate a higher CTR (click-through rate) compared to display ads (which are facing increasing restrictions). It is important to task influencers with creating content that includes a compelling offer and drives action.
Many shoppers trust micro-influencers more than celebrities and those with a larger following. Micro-influencers often cultivate smaller, tighter-knit communities. It is estimated that micro-influencers can generate 20X higher conversion rate than other types of influencers, which is why it is important to consider a diversified mix of partners in your strategy. (5)
Influencers offer the ability to foster meaningful, trusted relationships that lead to brand loyalty and advocacy. Affiliate and loyalty programs are a great way to reward behavior and encourage word-of-mouth marketing. The most effective shopper marketing campaigns leverage various tactics to reach shoppers at several points on their path-to-purchase. Influencer marketing has evolved to bring exciting opportunities from influencer-branded product lines to curated storefronts and even “shop with me” live experiences. Let’s talk about how your brand can leverage influencers to reach shoppers in new ways.