As a follow up on my presentation I wanted to dive a little deeper into why I think influencer marketing is only going to increase in the coming years. We will see brands investing more into online personas who connect at a deeper level with target audiences. “74% of customers say they are most influenced in their purchasing decisions by others’ referrals.” The benefit is that almost everyone has access to social media whether it be vlogs on YouTube or Instagram stories today. 65% of brands planned to increase influencer budgets in 2021. American’s on average people spend about 5.4 hours a day on their mobile devices. As I mentioned in class, it was very interesting to find the micro influencers were getting the most engagement on social platforms- meaning more people were interacting with their posts (liking, commenting, ect). One issue brands discuss is making sure the content seems authentic and non-scripted which is why many brands allow for influencers to to take creative direction in what they post.
This had me thinking more about the overall adoption of influencer marketing we are seeing on social platforms across big name brands. I thought I’d dive deeper into a few large campaigns and how they are utilizing influencer marketing to spread brand awareness/ drive sales with authentic voices:
This brand is doing a great job promoting their brand on social platforms using both celebrities and micro influencers. They have run ad campaigns with people across all areas from TV, to movies, to sports to singers. A few examples of influencers used are Selena Gomez, Lionel Messy, Mesut Özil, Naomi Campbell, Paul Pogba, Mohamed Salah, Javier Chicharito and many more.
They were early to the adoption of this type of marketing and ran a very successful campaign in 2015 which involved the use of the hashtag #MyNeoShoot which was targeted a younger audience. This was a contest that encouraged everyday users to post Adidas inspired Instagram posts using the hashtag. The users who posted the best content were invited to attend a professional photo shoot to promote the brand. This really got a big buzz going online and grew Adidas sales that year by ~25% while Nike shrunk by ~9%. This shows how the free quality content posted by users can save brands money and have a further reach than other types of typical marketing. Adidas’ branded hashtag #MyNeoShoot had over 71,000 mentions and the Adidas Neo Instagram page gained 41,000 new followers as a result of the campaign. Overall this is an early on success story with influencer marketing and we saw many brands follow suit after this and the industry constantly grow year over year since 2015.
Walmart is running a new influencer campaign using micro influencers. They are actually using their employees and encouraging posting on Tik Tok and Instagram. The program is small now but it looking to expand to 1.5M associates. Currently the program is run on an app called spotlight. On the app campaigns are posted that are themes and influencers can post on there own social to promote. The app has a ranking system on number of interactions and the highest ranking posts (based off the algorithm) have set earnings. For example in a recent challenge for the brand Hover-1, the top prize is $1,000.
This is an example of a brand using social media to bring authentic voices to their products.
Walmart has also run a recent influencer campaign in partnership with Feeding America called “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” This enlisted 7 influencers to spread the word that each post and promised to donate $0.90 for every like, share or #FightHunger comment on the posts. This generated a large buzz and had an engagement rate of 23% and over 3 million likes.
This is a brand that utilizes influencer marketing by sponsoring many athletes and sending them free products. They encourage customers to post on social media by spotlighting top influencers on their web page. This allows for free advertisement and increased following for both the influencers themselves as well as the Gym Shark brand. This is what the real driver of the growth of this business which originally was a small company to today a $1B business using this marketing technique.
These are three examples of brands of different sizes really thinking of new ways to use influencer marketing. I think going forward we will see brands taking different approaches discussed such as competitions, social causes, and incentives to inspire customers to create their own content and drive the spread of the word on social platforms.
Are there other brands that you see using influencer marketing differently? Are there other trends that you are beginning to see while using social media that we will see more in 2021? With more brands adopting social influencers for campaigns in order to get recognized brands will need to begin to get creative to get noticed.