When you want to generate buzz about your company or services what you do in the social media space can have a huge impact on your results. The word “influencer” seems a lot more potent than the old term “blogger” doesn’t it? Well, reaching out and recruiting influencers to sing the praises of your company’s work, is a huge part of social/digital marketing these days. Sure, buying ads on Facebook may deliver a ton of clicks, but the real power of digital marketing comes when others begin to talk about your company in a positive light.
Example: Buying a banner on an influential site might generate a cost-per-click number of $1 – $10 per click, depending on the site. Getting a positive review of your product on that same site, will cost you nothing, and will deliver much more informed and activated visitors to your site.
As an online marketer, I can’t tell you anything about my company or product that doesn’t look, feel, and sound like marketing. When an influencer (aka: blogger) writes about my product or company and says they think you should give it a go, well, that my friends is what all the social media hubbub is about.
Technorati once created an annual report called State of the Blogosphere. But in 2010 they rebranded their research The Digital Influence Report. Here are some highlights from the 2013 edition.
- Sixty percent of brand marketers predict an average increase of 40 percent in social spend for 2013.
- Overall digital spend goes to display advertising, search and video
- Spending on social, including influencer outreach, making up only 10 percent of their total digital spend
- Over 50% of that budget goes to Facebook, followed by YouTube and Twitter, with the remaining 11 percent of their social spend going to blogs and influencers
I’ve reported on the reality of the small budget social media campaign issue, and how the expected results are often not as clear cut as say a $5,000 spend on a Facebook mobile ad.
Here’s a bit more about how influencers are now getting their recognition for driving sales numbers.
- When making overall purchase decisions, for consumers, blogs trail only behind retail and brand sites.
- Blogs rank among the top five “most trustworthy” sources. (As an example, according to consumers, blogs are more influential in shaping opinion than Twitter, and when it comes to affecting purchase decisions, more important than Facebook.)
The problem with influencers is they are hard to reach and manage. There are several companies emerging to help with that issue, but in previous experience running several 50+ blogger programs, herding cats might be easier.
Here’s the big ah-ha of the report.
- Spending in digital marketing is not aligned with the most effective channels
- A lack of metrics and the fragmentation that leads to their complexity of using influencers as a purchasable medium.
If you could tap into a blogger/influencer network for baby clothes as simply as you could place a $10,000 ad buy on Babies-R-Us, we’d have a growth model that could bring influence into the digital marketers toolbox. As it is, setting sail into influencer marketing without a plan or a platform is risky at best and terrifying to most business. The examples of social gone wrong, outweigh the examples of winners.
Get the The Digital Influence Report from Technorati and see what you think. And if you want some help learning how to start or manage an online marketing program, give me a call.
Ref:Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report