Impact of Influencer Marketing on consumers
It is 7 in the morning, the excruciating sounds of the alarm jars you awake from your deep slumber. With half opened eyes, you muster up the energy, reaching out to switch off that annoying alarm on your phone. What quickly follows is a quick look of everything you have missed while you were sleeping. Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin.
A study by IDC research found that 80% of smartphone users check their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up each. From the moment we wake up, our minds are exposed to the happenings on social media – we find out what others are eating, doing and liking, and are subconsciously influenced by these newfound knowledge.
The above is just a simple example of how influencer marketing is part of our daily lives. This article serves to break down the many hidden impacts of influencer marketing on consumers.
Influencer marketing refers to the use of influencers for marketing purposes on social media. Influencers refer to social media users who have the ability to shape the perceptions and decisions of others.
Influencer Marketing impact #1: Brand Exposure / Product exposure
With 3 billion active social media users worldwide, social media becomes an ideal platform to raise brand or product awareness. (In Singapore alone, there are 4.8 million active social media users.) Influencer marketing not only reaches out to a large amount of people, but also solves the problem of adblockers. Macro influencers are the most ideal for brand exposure. This is because they tend to have a wide following. Therefore, their posting are able to reach a wider audience.
Take the example of Colourpop. Despite being a relatively new cosmetics brand, they have amassed 7.7 million followers on Instagram. This is largely due to their influencer marketing strategies. They have collaborated with macro influencers like KathleenLights and Makeupbyshayla to come up with new collections. With 4.1 million subscribers on YouTube, KathleenLight’s collaboration with Colourpop has helped the brand gain recognition across a broader audience.
Influencer Marketing impact #2: Taps on Herd Mentality
Many of you might have heard of the ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out) phenomenon. As suggested by its name, it refers to anxiety of missing out on an event/trend happening elsewhere. Influencer marketing taps exactly into this.
Social media has revolutionized the networking scene by allowing us to look at the lives of many with a simple click. However, the constant updates we receive about the lives of others are actually subconsciously influencing our decisions.
Take the example of the opening of Jewel Changi. Anyone with a social media account would have come across postings about the airport’s opening. Be it pictures of the food at Jewel or the very famous indoor rain vortex. To date, the hashtag #jewelchangiairport has had more than 40,000 posts despite the airport opening recently. Upon registering the plethora of pictures, videos taken by the influencers we follow, FOMO pushes us to experience the airport for ourselves.
Therefore, Influencer marketing establishes a trend / activity everyone else is doing. Hence, it plays on our innate desire to be part of the majority, edging us to try out that particular experience everyone else is doing.
Influencer Marketing impact #3: Shapes perception
Influencers act as a bridge connecting brand to consumers. The influencers chosen by brands act as representatives for brands. Their content has the ability to shape the perceptions of others regarding a brand and their products.
As explained by Influencer, positive associations can be transferred to the brands influencers are working with. People often assume that if an appealing influencer is promoting a brand, the brand is also appealing. “This is a subconscious process driven by priming; a technique whereby exposure to one thing influences a response to a subsequent object, without conscious guidance or intention.”
Therefore, brand like Adidas have used influencer marketing to brand themselves. By getting influencers who are deemed as ‘cool’ to be part of the ‘Adidas Neo’ campaign, the brand is associated with the cool image these influencers have.
Influencer Marketing impact #4: Sparks curiosity
Influencer marketing can also be used to create hype, or spark curiosity.
Take the example of CirclesLife’s influencer marketing campaign. They got influencers to test out a cash dispensing machine that provides 50SGD for every 3SGD put in. These influencers then posted about their experiences online, with no context about who was behind the whole scheme.
When it was finally revealed that the people behind this was the telco company, the incident had already gained significant attention from curious netizens.
Influencer Marketing impact #5: Builds trust
Influencer marketing helps builds trust between consumers and a brand mainly because of two reasons.
Firstly, influencers are often perceived as experts in a particular field. For example, it is common to assume that fashion influencers are experts in fashion. Therefore, we are more likely to listen to their recommendations about fashion brands and pieces to wear.
Secondly, influencer marketing taps on word of mouth marketing. Influencers put a lot of time and effort into cultivating and maintaining a relationship with their audience. Therefore followers are more likely to trust what their favourite influencers say about a brand.
Take the example of Zara, who launched the #iamdenim campaign, a collaborative design project in which the brand worked with “real people” to produce clothing for “real people.” (Shane Barker)
In Conclusion, influencer marketing works in many ways. Even if it does not drive immediate purchases, we are subconsciously influenced by what we see and hear online. Ultimately it shapes the we think without us even realizing it.