Customer Analytics

The Influencer Impact on Instagram

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I think we can all admit to spending endless amounts of time scrolling away during the workday – err, I mean on the weekends – following celebrities, friends, family, etc., on various social outlets. Social media, specifically Instagram, offers a highly refined search engine for whatever topic you may be interested in at that moment.  It has transformed the way consumers communicate and share information, enhancing our overall ability to learn. According to an Instagram user survey, 60% of people learn about products and services on Instagram. Additionally, 75% of people take action after being inspired by a post.

Influencer marketing leverages branded content promoted by real people (think: celebrities, bloggers, and industry experts) with the intent to broadcast a message to a specific audience. What does this mean for marketing in 2016? Influencers are playing a vital role in the customer journey.

This marketing strategy has proven to be quite effective in the fashion industry in particular. Last year, Lord & Taylor delivered a campaign to debut their Design Lab collection by having 50 social media influencers post a photo of themselves on Instagram…all wearing the exact same dress. The end result: the dress sold out that weekend.

Instances like this are becoming more common – opening up a new platform for omni-channel customer engagement. American consumers are presented with over 5K ads per day. Yet, it has been said that paid media advertising is ineffective 99.9% of the time. As a cost efficient, resource saving alternative, influencer marketing is the next big thing.

Getting started strategy

Number of Engagements: The general rules of Instagram still apply with influencer marketing. The goal is not to overflow the newsfeed of your followers so that your brand is always top of mind. However, the posts that you do share should aim to be engaging enough to keep followers wanting more with an explicit call to action. While Lord & Taylor’s campaign involved 50 individuals – that isn’t always effective based on your business goal. Less is more!

Eclectic Fusion of Influencers: It’s easy to select individuals who check all the boxes for the product or service you are marketing. Think OUTSIDE of that box. Sometimes the least likely of ambassadors can have the biggest impact. Whether you decide to participate in an Instagram takeover (a way for brands and influencers to collaborate and grow their audience by cross-promoting content.) or simply leveraging the influencer’s account directly – authenticity is essential. Instagram consumers want to feel a connection to those they choose to follow.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Research shows that when people hear information, they will remember only 10% of that information when asked to repeat it 3 days later. When that same information is coupled with an image, people retain 65% of the information 3 days later. Snapping an eye-catching image is half the battle in attracting the target audience of Instagrammers. Let the photo do the ‘selling.’ While a strong accompanying message is vital, the visual message is the moneymaker.

Influencer marketing platform Tomoson surveyed 125 marketers and found that on average, businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent. The main focus of their influencer marketing budget can be broken down as follows:

  • 50% – Sales and leads
  • 40% – Brand exposure
  • 6% – Content promotion
  • 4% – Other

Influencer marketing is yet another outlet of outreach to consider when designing customer journeys. IBM Customer Experience Analytics allows you to understand and visualize the ever-changing ways your customers engage with your brand across channel, time and device in order to quickly take action to deliver personalized, timely experiences that will drive conversions and sales.

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