Rebekah Mackay Miller
Rebekah Mackay Miller 24 August 2016

Harnessing the Power of Everyday Influencers to Drive Sales

There continues to be a real buzz around brands collaborating with major influencers – such as popular personalities on YouTube or Instagram – but this is only one piece of the influencer puzzle.

For brands that want exposure to a wider audience, these social media stars can form a key part of their social marketing strategy. But while major influencers have the reach (sometimes millions), there’s often no direct correlation to real influence and a tangible sales impact. 

Everyday influencers aren’t widely known. They’re not celebrated, yet it’s in this sphere that the true potential of engagement and collaboration lies. We’re talking about real, ordinary everyday people, like you and I, who are passionate about brands. They are considered experts within their groups of friends and as such their opinions are trusted. They also have a predisposition to share their expertise. We call them brand advocates, or ambassadors, and we define them by their likelihood to recommend products to their friends.

The fame trap

Working with the internet famous does have its place and has arguably redefined how brands distribute content to their consumers. But it’s crucial that brands are clear on their role, and also recognise that the objective of the influencer will differ hugely from their own.

Ultimately, influencers have their own agenda – they want to grow their audience and build their profile. Consumers are savvy and recognise that, much like celebrities, influencers are paid to endorse products. With a recent study from influencer marketing and media platform SheSpeaks revealing that 1 in 4 influencers have been asked not to disclose when they’ve been paid by a brand to promote it, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that only 18% of consumers trust influencers.

There is also the question of authenticity – is an influencer genuinely passionate about your brand? Maybe. What about a brand advocate or everyday influencer? Absolutely. The proof of this is in the reward – influencers will demand a fee for promoting a product – real consumers do it out of a genuine love for ‘their’ brand, and recipients of their recommendations see this. 

Authenticity breeds impact

According to Nielsen, 81% of UK consumers still trust recommendations from friends over any other form of advertising. Womma tells us that one offline recommendation drives 5x (up to 100x) more sales than a paid media impression. This is where influence meets impact. 

The gap in consumer trust of influencers versus everyday influencers is significant. While working with high profile bloggers and vloggers is far sexier and will deliver awareness and reach, everyday influencers with a much smaller following will deliver greater impact – because a much bigger proportion of recipients will trust their influence.

Best of both

To benefit from reach and impact, brands should adopt a holistic approach to an influencer programme to deliver at both ends of the spectrum: from the social star with a huge following, to the everyday influencer whose recommendation drives sales. The strongest strategies will integrate the best of both.

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