It shouldn’t come as a surprise how effective word-of-mouth marketing is, but when combined with the power of social media, small business owners can enjoy improved campaign success, while spending significantly less money.
Social media users often make judgments or form opinions about services and products based on the opinions of those they follow, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
A recent study confirmed those numbers, as researchers discovered that 92 percent of consumers turn to people they know for referrals far more than any other source. Since you can find referrals 81 percent of the time online, word-of-mouth and social media combine to create highly effective marketing strategies.
The joint study, conducted by the marketing firms Influitive and Tapfluence, identified two types of strategies that marketers can utilize to boost their brands online: “influencer marketing,” where people with a large following on social media platforms partner with brand managers, and “advocate marketing,” which taps the power and ideas of a business’ partners, employees and consumers.
While marketers have already started to focus on their partners, employees and consumers with their social media efforts, there are a variety of untapped photographers, blogger and additional social media influences that can contribute to the success of a marketing campaign.
The 20 most watched brand savvy style and beauty YouTube channels receive between 1.5 and 41 million views each month. That type of large viewership benefits marketers, who can maximize the reach and effectiveness of their marketing dollars by advertising on these channels.
Advocate and influencer marketing techniques aren’t limited to the fashion and beauty industries, either: Skift reported marketing efforts with hospitality and travel clients are working more with consumer audiences to tell their stories.
If your still on the fence regarding how effective advocate and influencer marketing strategies can be, the recent success stores of Silk and Kraft may finally convince you otherwise.
Kraft requested fans to create and share recipes on social media platforms, which generated over 760,000 blog post views, 178,000 pins and 16,000 product coupon clicks for the company.
Silk’s use of consumer passion for their product on social media as part of a cashew milk campaign generated over $1 million worth of media exposure and expanded the company’s reach to a potential 24 million new customers.
This type of marketing hasn’t just changed the way businesses are developing messages and campaigns; it also helps them determine which social media outlets to use. Instagram has seen more brands posting to their site than Facebook now because of the opportunity of audience participation on mobile and visual social media platforms.
However, developing these new partnerships isn’t easy.
Over half of communications professionals reported that identifying the best influencers with the biggest followings for their campaign was challenging, according to a Augure Marketing + Communications study. The study also reported problems in developing and maintaining profitable relationships with influencers, as well. Nearly half of the communication professionals surveyed reported that measuring ROI in these types of campaigns also proved problematic.
Despite the difficulties, the results of these studies show that advocate and influencer marketing strategies need to be part of every business’ marketing plan in 2015 and beyond.