It can be difficult to build trusting relationships in a world that is flooded with marketers who are trying to engage consumers on a variety of platforms and channels. And while brand building remains global marketers’ top objective, mass reach channels may not always fit the bill.
Marketing professionals are always looking for new and better ways to build brand awareness. To do this, many are turning to social media—and influencers—to make more personal (and profitable) connections with consumers. In the coming year, global marketers will increase social media spending by 53%. This is more than any other channel. And social media remains global marketers’ most bankable channel, as 64% of of the global marketers surveyed for this year’s Annual Marketing Report say it’s their most effective paid channel.
And it’s easy to see why marketers are putting so much spend behind social media and influencer marketing. SME Scarborough revealed that 42% Americans look for advice on buying decisions from other people. They want it to be relevant and trustworthy. Influencers are more likely to make meaningful connections with their customers if they can be relatable. According to the SME Trust in Advertising 2021 study, 71% consumers trust advertisements, opinions, and product placements by influencers.
It is interesting to note that not all influencer marketing begins with a company. Many influencers serve as inspiration for large-scale brand campaigns. For example, influencer Barbara Kristoffersen’s video featuring a Gap hoodie in a color the company hadn’t manufactured since the early 2000s caused the #brownhoodie hashtag to go viral, generating a collective engagement rate of 188.35% while sparking an influx of the no-longer-made hoodies on resale sites for up to $300.
Gap was quick to take advantage of the organic traffic its brand was getting and collaborated with other influencers to launch the #gaphoodie campaign which received over 6.5 millions views. It also gave back the old shade of brown that was discontinued, and it received so much fanfare that it was quickly put on hold.
This engagement results in brand awareness, affinity, and recall. SME’s Brand Impact service has measured the effectiveness of influencer ads in nearly 200 campaigns. This research found that 80% of the influencer ads viewers could recall the brand being featured in them. Influencer ads also drove an average 9-point rise in brand affinity as well as purchase intent relative consumers who didn’t see them.
Aldo, a shoe company, partnered with influential people to help promote the #StepIntoLove social-media campaign. For a chance to win $5,000, viewers were encouraged to share and create videos with the hashtag #StepIntoLove. The TikTok campaign garnered more than 5 billion views and increased Aldo’s brand awareness by 2.5%, according to SME InfluenceScope data.
Marketers who are able to hit the right mix of content, persona and engagement can use influencers as a way to boost brand awareness. Brands that align themselves with the right influencers can become a trusted source for consumers—and the brand they remember when they want to make a purchase.
Download Building Better Connections: How to Use Influencers to Grow Your Brand for more insights