Why Influencer Marketing Is More Effective Than Digital Ads

Original article from BrandSnob Spotlight July 26th 2017

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing advertising channels for brands and with marketers saying their spend on influencer marketing is going to double per program next year, there is no slow down in sight.

But why is influencer marketing taking market share from traditional digital advertising, particularly when the display platform of choice (aka Facebook and Instagram) hasn’t changed. Well the answer is surprisingly simple…it’s all about the content!

Dan Conn with over 320K followers on instagram @dan_dc_conn

To understand what this means it’s first important to understand the similarities between digital advertising and influencer marketing. With traditional digital advertising a brand pays for ad impressions and ultimately clicks. Influencer marketing delivers impressions in a similar albeit slightly different way, with the influencer’s follower count determining the maximum ad impressions possible. Ultimately at this level it is a cost per impression ‘shoot out’ between the two to determine which one is more effective. However this is where the similarities end and the differences start to emerge.

Where a sponsored ad is created by the brand and appears in your feed as an unwanted interruption, content produced by influencers comes across more organically as a ‘word of mouth’ recommendation making it much more powerful. This is supported by a consumer survey showing 88% of customers trust online reviews by strangers as much as they would recommendations from friends.

Equally important, influencers produce content with their own unique perspective and creative flare making it look much less like an ad and more like original content you actually want to view. After all it’s the influencers talent at creating content that made them an influencer in the first place…they are great content creators.

Ultimately this is what makes influencer marketing so much more effective than digital advertising. Brands get unique high quality content delivered as word of mouth recommendations…at scale. Rather than buying 10 million digital ad impressions on the one piece of brand produced content, brands can instead pay a group of influencers to create original content ‘tailor made’ for their audiences that reach a similar number of people. It is the nature of this content and the way it is delivered that makes it so much more powerful.

It is this difference that is making influencer marketing the popular choice for marketers with 94% of those who used influencer marketing believe the tactic to be successful.

Final thoughts

With traditional digital advertising becoming stale and consumers becoming immune to banner and sponsored ads, influencer marketing will continue to take a more significant piece of a brands marketing spend. For most brands the strategy will be to continue to increasingly augment their digital advertising with influencer created content.

One of the challenges for brands will be how to best manage their influencer outreach and create enough content with influencers to make it an effective advertising channel. Influencer Marketplaces and Influencer Agencies will be the best option for brands looking to ramp up their influencer marketing strategy in a fast and effective way.

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