Lest one forget, social influencers have their designation for a reason.
According to a survey of more than 4,000 consumers in various markets around the world, nearly a third (31%) said they have purchased a product or service based on social influencer content. Additionally, nearly a quarter said they have made a recommendation based on a post.
“Even though [consumers] know influencers have commercial relationships with brands, they still believe in what the influencers are creating in significant numbers,” says Pau Sabria, co-founder, Olapic, which commissioned the survey (conducted by CITE Research). “They recognize they’re being influenced, even though the person [on the other end] is being paid to influence you.”
Though there is some geographic discrepancy among consumers about what makes an “influencer,” there is some consensus that they’re generally someone who has more than 10,000 followers on social media (as cited by 54% of all consumers surveyed). They are also not traditionally famous, but rather have gained a following through their online personas.
“As influencer marketing is nascent, everyone is going to have a different opinion on what an influencer is,” Sabria tells Marketing Daily. “Broadly speaking, it’s someone who can speak to an audience using their own voice.”
Influencers also behave differently than the average social media user. According to the respondents, 42% said influencers share more information. They also tend to be appreciated for having higher quality posts.
At the same time, however, 42% said “authenticity” was a top reason for trusting an influencer, a factor that might trip up brands that want to maintain control of the message. Yet, that authenticity is what brands are paying for when they enlist influencers for marketing.
“You’re not just buying page views and eyeballs; you’re buying something that’s very effective,” Sabria says. “Generally speaking, you need to give some of the voice to the influencer.”