Commentary

Trust In WOM Fosters Influencers

With consumers continuing to trust word of mouth over all other forms of marketing, brands are increasingly turning to influencers to help get their message across with more passion, creativity and authenticity. Increasingly, they’re helping drive sales.

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According to a new study, The 2017 Influencer Marketer Report, from the HASHOFF Team, social media is a channel that’s always-on for consumers. It’s perhaps no surprise then, says the report, that influencers are rarely off the clock, either. The study found that 56% of influencers surveyed spend at least four hours per day on social media, and more than 20% spend 7-8 hours or more. 

Time Spent On Social Media Each Day

Time Spent

% of Respondents

4–7H

32.1%

2–4H

33.1%

1–2H

9.9%

7–8H

9.9%

8–10H

7.2%

10+H

6.5%

0–1H

1.4%

Source: Hashoff, April 2017

Only 12% of respondents said being an influencer is their only form of employment. 60%, however, have a full-time or part-time job in addition to working as an influencer.  Influencers are a for contract workforce that tends to do this work “on the side,” in addition to their other commitments.

Full Or Part Time Gig

Focus

% of Respondents

Part-time job

22.2%

Full-time job

35.2%

Student

25.3%

Only form of employment

12.3%

Homemaker

5.1%

Source: Hashoff, April 2017

Even though they have other commitments, being an influencer is a time-intensive gig. While there is a widespread perception that influencers are merely “taking photos” or posting to their feeds carelessly or as an afterthought, the data tells a different, more creative story, says the report.

 52% of influencers spend between 30 minutes and 3 hours on their posts, and 15% spend even more time than that. The real-time nature of social media lets influencers engage and react in the moment, organically or with sponsored posts. While a few hours spent crafting high-quality content may seem like a lot, says the report, it is miniscule when compared to the time it takes to develop and distribute creative assets on TV, print or display channels.

Time Spent By Influencers To Create Best Posts? (From Ideation To Publishing)

Time Spent

% of Responses

0–10 min

5.8%

10–30 min

26.2%

3–5 hrs

10.5%

5–7 hrs

3.4%

7+ hrs

2.4%

30–60 min

25.9%

1–3 hrs

25.9%

Source: Hashoff, April 2017

While most respondents work across multiple platforms, nearly 92% of all respondents selected Instagram as their #1 platform of focus, followed by Facebook. Most influencer respondents said they favor Instagram for the sense of immediacy and community it creates. The platforms most serviced by Influencers are: 

  • Instagram… 99.3% 
  • Facebook… 67.1% 
  • Snapchat… 50.8% 
  • Twitter… 43.1% 
  • YouTube… 29.8% 
  • Pinterest… 27.8% 
  • Vine/Periscope…  2%

While celebrities are still leveraged by brands to reach large followings en masse, brands are also ushering in the rise of “micro-influencers,” defined as highly creative individuals with expertise in a specific topic area, and a highly engaged audience of between 10,000 and 1,000,000 followers.

One anonymous respondent commented, says the report, “Influencer marketing is effective because the influencer has established credibility and has built trust with an audience specific to the interest. Advertising through influencer marketing lets an advertiser target a specific niche already interested in related things… the little guys don’t come off as advertising, just sharing product information.”

The top metric by which influencers measure success remains the number of “likes” their posts receive, but the gap between likes and other success metrics is shrinking, says the report. The broader view of measuring success beyond vanity metrics (e.g., likes, follower counts) helps create a more robust picture of engagement for posts, both organic and branded. The new range of trackable metrics also lets brands have a more comprehensive view on the potential ROI of an influencer prior to engaging that influencer. 

Success Measured This Year

Measurement

% of Respondents

Shares/Regrams

8.2%

Views/Reach

26.2%

Overall Engagement

22.1

Follows

36.7%

Likes

88.1%

Comments

46.6%

Source: Hashoff, April 2017

As marketers continue to set and refine their social media and influencer marketing strategies, there are a number of key concepts and trends, concludes the report. When influencers were asked “What’s the one thing brands don’t understand about influencer marketing?” these are the top themes that emerged:

  • No marketing plan is complete without an influencer strategy.
  • It’s a Facebook/Instagram world.
  • It’s increasingly about quality, not quantity.
  • Influencers want creative freedom.
  • They want to be compensated proportional to their efforts.
  • Measure real ROI, not vanity metrics.

For more information from The 2017 Influencer Marketer Report, please visit here.

 

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