Are you seeing email open rates decline? Possibly higher cost-per-clicks in social advertising? Are website visitors spending less and less time on your site? If so, you’re not alone.
Businesses are struggling to stay relevant and to get in front of the right customer, at the right time, with the right call to action. This decline in relevance could be contributed to the ever-growing world of influencer-based marketing.
Individuals who are experts within their respective fields – be it an Instagram swimsuit model or an incredible athlete – are able to engage with their followers in a more intimate and connected way than individual brands can achieve via direct marketing efforts such as email or SMS.
The reason? Those direct messaging and direct marketing outlets have become so frequently used that consumers are almost immune to their effect. As a result, the outlets no longer have the strong impact that they once had. The text messages come in and consumers immediately ignore them or request for them to stop, whereas the emails go straight to junk or promotions folders.
On the other hand, as consumers, we extend trust to influencers that we recognise and admire. We award them credibility. These internet stars now have more ability to influence than ever before, due to the increasing popularity and prevalence of social media.
Direct messaging and direct marketing outlets have become so frequently used that consumers are almost immune to their effect
In a recent study conducted by Vamp Brands, 61% of people reported that they have interacted with an influencer on social media in some capacity, at least once a day. It was also reported that 87% of shoppers were inspired by an influencer to make a purchase.
However, in many cases, the best “influencer” is a customer, regardless of what their Instagram following may be. Why? Because a customer isn’t doing a mass promotion, they are selecting those of their friends who would be most likely buy. It’s a much more personal approach.
Right now, most e-commerce sites are not taking advantage of the most opportune time to convert existing customers into promoters. The best moment to ask a customer to share a promotion or product with friends is immediately post-checkout – no sooner – in order to avoid any disruption of the checkout conversion flow.
Furthermore, the customer is most excited and engaged just after buying, presenting the ideal opportunity to ask them to share the purchase with friends, or to encourage them to share coupon codes, offering rewards for the recruitment of any new customers.
In many cases, the best “influencer” is a customer, regardless of what their Instagram following may be
Therefore, when brands market to that customer – or to the people they recommended – they are going to convert a lot higher percentage than standard, direct marketing efforts, that go out to an audience of people without any basis of trust.
This is the foundation of influencer marketing and the reason why it works so much more effectively. Referral marketing tools are getting more advanced as machine learning algorithms become more refined, meaning that overall effectiveness and conversions will only continue to improve.
Essentially, influencer marketing is word-of-mouth marketing and, in the future, influencer and peer-to-peer marketing efforts are going to merge even more closely. As direct marketing becomes less and less effective, these modern kinds of marketing are only going to have more room to grow.
It’s time to make sure that, as a brand, you are properly enabled with the right tools and campaigns to support this shift.
Mark Miller is the co-founder and chief executive of TicketSocket, a white label ticketing and registration service for venues and events.