Some people might be wondering why there are more and more companies like Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex coming out all the time. They might be wondering why there are companies like InNetwork building platforms that allow influencers and marketers to connect for social media campaigns.
It’s pretty simple – Influencer Marketing is becoming a larger industry every year. In North America, the total on-line spend is $40 billion. 10% of that is in social media, and 6% of that is on influencers, which would put a market value of $240 million on Influencer Marketing. And this stat is growing.
The current social media budget is mostly spent on Facebook. YouTube and Twitter each get 13%, and only 6% is spent on online influencers. But enough about budgets and market size, let’s find out why it’s important for you to add influencers to your social media campaign.
Does influencer audience size matter?
Many people jumping in influencer marketing always have this conception that they need to target the “big guys” – the influencers that have massive social media followings, lots of traffic to their blogs, and a fairly recognized personal brand. But why?
There’s this misconception that these bigger bloggers can reach more people, with less effort. But what if you were to take 50 smaller bloggers, that have a smaller reach and pool that audience together? Would the level of influence be greater than choosing one blogger with a larger audience?
According to Technorati, it would. 54% of consumers (yeah, the people buying your products) agree that the smaller the community, the greater the influence. And only 12% disagree with this.
This makes a lot of sense. If you have a smaller community that’s made up of mostly friends, family, and people that you know personally, your “trust” factor goes up. You would never recommend something you don’t believe in to your close ones.
Now that we’ve dealt with the issue of what size audience the influencer should have, let’s move on to why you really need these influencers in your social media campaign.
Why do influencers blog, and why are they considered the most influential medium?
There’s a reason why blogs and influencers are very important for your brand and social media campaign: 29% of consumers trust blogs the most over other digital communications. Even better – blogs are the third online services that are most likely to influence a purchase! Isn’t that music to your ears? 56% of consumers are most influenced by retail sites, 34 % from brand sites, 31.1% from blogs, and 30.8% from Facebook.
Think about this logic – it makes a lot of sense. When people want to make a purchase, what do they do? They most likely go to Google or the brand/retail site first. They compare options on the retail site, and then head back to Google to get reviews. Who writes the reviews? Bloggers. Where does the consumer go afterwards? Probably Facebook, where they can get feedback from friends and family.
Oh, and do you want to hear something awesome? 86% of influencers blog, and more than 50% of them have multiple blogs.
Who influences the influencers?
One very nice thing about influencers is that they are well connected. Bloggers make friends with other bloggers. They create these tribes of common interests, and participate in multiple communities. So when one of these bloggers writes a new post, they have other influencers listening. And sometimes (just sometimes), those influencers who are listening decide to write follow-up posts, influencing their own content.
18% of influencers say that they are influenced by other blogs, 11% say they are influenced by colleagues, and 10% say that they are influenced on Twitter. So having influencers in your social media campaign increases the chances of your message spreading across other influencers.
Where are social media influencers most active?
You might be wondering where are influencers most social? Take a wild guess – you’re right, Facebook and Twitter. 92% of influencers have an active account on Facebook with 83% of them posting more than once per week. 88% of influencers have an active account on Twitter with 71% of them posting more than once per week. They use these networks because that’s where they get the most referrals to their BLOGS!
So if you want to get in touch with an influencer, meet them at their playground – don’t send them an intrusive email (unless they say it’s OK on their website). Engage them on Facebook and Twitter, strike up a conversation, and then try to take it “offline.”
If you’ve never considered doing an influencer outreach campaign, hopefully some of these stats will convince you. It’s an expanding industry, most bloggers make or want to make money from blogging, and outreach is one way of doing it. Plus, it’s one of the most trusted and influential ways to get to your consumers.
*All data comes from the Technorati 2013 Digital Influence Report*
Have you ever done an influencer outreach campaign? Will you do one now? Please leave a comment below!