With the incredible growth of social media, influencer marketing is no longer an optional marketing tactic, but rather a necessary marketing strategy.
90% of people are much more likely to trust a recommended brand, even if the recommendation is from strangers.
Let’s look at how you can make influencer marketing and word-of-mouth work for your business.
Those of us who remember when Dropbox first emerged into the webspace can recall the word-of-mouth campaign that worked like a charm – every time you shared dropbox with a friend and they successfully opened an account, you would get free storage space. People jumped on this because it served two purposes – for one, you were sharing a very useful new tool with friends, and secondly, you got more storage space for your business or personal use, making Dropbox even more functional.
The company which was founded in 2007, attracted its initial users by sharing promotional videos on discussion sites like Reddit and Slashdot in hopes that they could get the attention of technology influencers. Their plan worked, resulting in a waitlist of 5000 users which quickly grew. By November of 2012 Dropbox had 100 million users. Just a year after that, it had doubled its users to 200 million. The simple cloud storage idea had spread to hundreds of millions of people around the globe – that’s the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Word-of-mouth can happen organically or can be achieved through specifically-designed marketing campaigns. These word-of-mouth marketing campaigns count as one of the top traffic sources for small businesses that do affiliate marketing.
On average, word-of-mouth drives $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of all sales. Ensuring a positive experience for consumers is key to drive future sales and to attract new customers. Considering that 26% of people will completely avoid a brand if their friend or family tells them about a negative experience, it’s crucial to focus on the customer experience and address any customer complaints in the most timely and positive manner.
With 4.63 billion people now on social media, more than half the world is using the social platforms.
Online creators have amassed large niche followings that brands can tap into when partnering with these influencers. These endorsements and product placements can lead to new audiences for brands – and an audience that is highly engaged and already trusts the influencer, which is a significant step above the audience they would reach with paid advertising campaigns.
As Werner Geyser stated in his Influencer Marketing Hub article, “Influencer Marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign. The main differentiator in the case of influencer marketing is that the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers.”
In 2021, approximately 3.7 billion U.S. dollars were forecast to be spent on influencer marketing in the United States. This is an increase of 33% from the previous year - making influencer marketing one of the most popular and effective forms of social media marketing.
Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing worldwide, according to a 2020 survey. 89% of marketers selected the social platform as their first choice, followed by 70% selecting YouTube as the second option. And with TikTok’s explosive growth in recent years, there were over 106 thousand TikTok influencers worldwide in 2020, up from 35.5 thousand in 2019, and 16.4 thousand in 2018.
This powerful approach to reaching new customers can impact the purchase decisions of potential customers. Utilizing it effectively is key, which means knowing your prime audience, partnering with influencers whose audience aligns with your target customer, creating exclusive experiences that get people talking, incentivize sharing, and measuring results.
With social commerce expected to reach $958 billion in sales for 2022, influencer marketing will only become more and more prevalent and a key strategy for growth.