Influencer marketing: uncovering the truth on effectiveness

At Trinity McQueen we’re always excited about new trends in marketing and consumer behaviour, and it hasn’t escaped our notice over the past few years just how prevalent influencer marketing has become.  We wanted to bust a few myths and more about this topic and so set about a new research study of our own into the effectiveness of influencer marketing. 

Nowadays, more and more brands are forging collaborations with rising social media stars so as to reach their audiences and, by association, capture the zeitgeist.   

Obviously using ‘influencers’ for marketing gain is itself nothing new – after all, celebrities and famous people have featured in brands’ advertising for decades.  The difference nowadays, however, is that these social media stars are a new breed – everyday people who happen to be digitally savvy and have a point of view.

They boast more viewers than some TV channels.  Brands can chuck £10k at them for posting a few Instagram snaps. And they all do this from their living room, bedroom or garden shed.

They gain followers online because of their perceived ‘realness’ and the fact they are seemingly just like you or me.  They post content that is entertaining and honest and are thereby seen as authentic.  This is important in a world where there is growing mistrust of ‘institutions’.  It’s easy to see why brands want a piece of this action given how important brand authenticity is.  

A big hypothesis, of course, is that ‘influencers’ are merely appealing to millennials or even younger generations.  Ask most over 35s if they’ve heard of Tanya Burr, Zoella or Alfie Deyes and you’ll probably be met with a blank stare. 

There is also a feeling that some influencers have ‘sold out’ and have lost their authentic edge e.g. by doing too much paid for product endorsement – often which is hard to distinguish from non-paid for endorsements.  In addition, we are seeing a growing trend towards micro-influencers e.g. brands using lots of influencers with smaller, more engaged audiences in their campaigns rather than just 1 or 2 more mainstream influencers with much larger audiences.

We’re looking forward to sharing our insights so do get in touch if you’d like to book a free presentation with us: hello@trinitymcqueen.com

Laura Morris

Director

ThinkingChris Handford