In 2019, retailers spent over $8 billion on influencers and by 2022 this number will increase to $15 billion, according to Mediakix data. In this article, we will explore why so much money is being spent on influencers and why they are becoming more important than ever before for the retail industry.
We are all aware by now that due to the epidemic e-commerce is on the rise. The retail business community is endlessly talking about a new retail digital era, as retailers are increasing their online presence.
You might think that entering the digital world is pretty straightforward; a retailer just needs to invest in a good e-commerce website, create social media pages, and pay for some online ads.
In reality – not everyone will google search for a specific product and people are ignoring the ads!
In order to win in the digital playground, one must understand how people seek information about products online and what drives them to buy.
It all Starts with Social Media
Half of the global population, approximately 3.96 billion people, is on social media now, spending over 2 hours a day, according to datareportal. Considering the pandemic and decrease of social contact, these numbers are most likely to rise.
Social media platforms are used by people to feel connected with others, to listen, engage, and build relationships. Social media fulfills our natural need for connectedness, which is why its popularity will only continue to grow as we become more disconnected in the real world.
We connect and follow friends, acquaintances, and people we find interesting. Usually, the people we find interesting, are people who we admire or who can inspire.
Influencers are people who know how to engage and entertain their followers with regular interesting or knowledgeable content, and who have managed to build over time credibility in a specific niche among their followers.
These are the people consumers watch, listen to, and trust for product recommendations and reviews. They are also the people who can help businesses sell their products.
With Trust Comes Power
This marketing strategy of using influential people to promote products, services, or ideas is nothing new, but the type of influencers used has changed. Before major celebrities were used to market products, but research studies have shown that consumers now, especially millennials, have lost trust in them and in brand endorsements.
As our world becomes more saturated with advertisements, people are now turning to individuals who they can trust on social platforms for product advice.
Micro-Influencers are people that have gained a social media following due to their independent hard work in promoting their passion. According to research, 82% of consumers will follow the recommendations from micro-influencers as they seem more trustworthy than celebrities. And trust is everything in sales – once you build trust with an audience, you gain the power of influence.
Better Target Reach and Cost-Effective
Micro-influencer promotion can be more effective and affordable compared to traditional advertising methods – television commercials, billboards, and print ads.
Working with micro-influencers will give you more data on the outcome of your marketing campaign compared to traditional marketing methods. You will know exactly how many views and clicks your campaigns receive across various social media channels that the influencer engages in.
Micro-influencers develop their presence on multiple social media platforms, giving you a chance to reach a larger audience with one campaign. Micro-influencers are also much more affordable than working with macro-influencers or investing in traditional marketing methods. For the same budget, you can work with multiple micro-influencers and reach a larger audience than working with one celebrity or investing in a billboard.
Today there are influencers for every retail category there is- makeup, sports, technology, food, fashion, you name it. It’s up to you to choose the influencer that suits your brand the best and to negotiate a good deal with them, just as you would with your sales staff.
As they have dedicated their entire influencer persona to a certain niche and have already gained a following, by using the power of suggestion they will be more convincing and better in presenting your product than even your sales staff.
Influencer Marketing is Now Essential
When we talk about the digitalization of retail, we are now talking about a completely new way of marketing and selling products.
Influencers are not an option in the online retail business, but a necessity. They are the new online personal shoppers of the 21st century and the future key sales partners of retail businesses. Building a strong collaboration and network with micro-influencers is now the best way to market your brand and increase online sales.
Considering all this, we are sure that more people will jump into the influencer business all over the world, so keep an eye on the rising stars and start marketing your business the new way – the smart way – the cost-effective way – the digital way!