Why Your Brand Needs An Influencer Marketing Plan For 2016

Any­one with pas­sion, ded­i­ca­tion, and influ­ence on an engaged audi­ence can pro­vide val­ue to your brand.

Adam Hendle By Adam Hendle from FameBit. Join the discussion » 0 comments

In 2016, the ques­tion won’t be if your com­pa­ny needs to allo­cate bud­get for influ­encer mar­ket­ing, it will be how much. In 2015 we saw brands of all sizes tru­ly start to embrace and under­stand the pow­er of influ­encer mar­ket­ing, and this is just the begin­ning.

As you look to 2016, here are the rea­sons why you need to have an influ­encer mar­ket­ing cam­paign in place to help your busi­ness and mar­ket­ing goals.

Traditional Media Is Dying

We’ve all heard of the num­ber of peo­ple ditch­ing cable providers and sta­tis­tics show that this is the most evi­dent with the mil­len­ni­al age demo­graph­ic. In Q3 of 2015 alone, over 190,000 cut the cord up from 155,000 in Q3 of 2014.

Look­ing at Gen­er­a­tion Y (13–24 year olds) this only becomes more preva­lent with 96 per­cent of their gen­er­a­tion con­sum­ing online video on YouTube and oth­er social media at a clip of 11.6 hours per week. This is com­pared to 81 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als watch­ing broad­cast TV at 8.3 hours a week.

Mil­len­ni­als want high-qual­i­ty con­tent, they want it acces­si­ble any­time and any­place and at the cheap­est price pos­si­ble. Put sim­ply, this means less eyes on tra­di­tion­al media and more eyes on cre­ator-gen­er­at­ed con­tent and social media.

In turn, this makes YouTube a real­ly valu­able tool for brands. Not only is YouTube the third most traf­ficked site in the world, it is also the sec­ond largest search engine behind Google. Some would argue it is the first place mil­len­ni­als go to research or dis­cov­er new prod­ucts.

If your brand con­tin­ues to ignore this, I can guar­an­tee your com­pe­ti­tion won’t. I can also guar­an­tee that there are influ­encers on YouTube that are per­fect­ly suit­ed for your brand, no mat­ter what type of prod­uct or ser­vice you pro­duce.

Display Ads Are Becoming Invisible

Con­sump­tion of adver­tis­ing has also changed. Today, cus­tomers care not only about the brand mes­sage itself but also about how it is being deliv­ered and by whom. Cus­tomers want con­tent deliv­ered in a way that feels inti­mate and per­son­al to them.

Due to this evo­lu­tion, we can expect the effec­tive­ness of dis­play ads to con­tin­ue to decline. With free ser­vices like Adblock Plus, it only takes a few clicks before a con­sumer can block almost any ad you are try­ing to serve them, includ­ing YouTube pre-roll ads.

Com­pound­ing this issue fur­ther are the recent iOS 9 updates and YouTube Red, which removes ads on videos for a fee. For exam­ple, just one day after iOS 9 allowed for ad block­ing app, they dom­i­nat­ed the top of the App Store down­load charts.

Accord­ing to Page­Fair, the use of ad block­ers grew 41 per­cent from 2014 to 2015. You can bet your bot­tom dol­lar that this num­ber is going to steeply increase over the next year with these tech­no­log­i­cal changes. In short, you can now remove dis­play ads from your life for free (or for a min­i­mal fee).

Influencers Are The New Celebrities

One of the most pow­er­ful aspects of influ­encer mar­ket­ing is its organ­ic nature, which gar­ners more trust than tra­di­tion­al adver­tise­ments that mar­keters employ. Accord­ing to the Acu­men Report, 62 per­cent of 18- to 24-year-olds would buy a prod­uct endorsed by a YouTu­ber, while only 49 per­cent would buy one pro­mot­ed through tra­di­tion­al TV or movies. This comes from the fact that YouTube audi­ences view cre­ators and social influ­encers as trust­wor­thy and relat­able peers instead of unat­tain­able celebri­ties.

Any­one with Inter­net access and a smart­phone can start a YouTube chan­nel or join a social net­work; this acces­si­bil­i­ty is part of why audi­ence mem­bers feel like they can do it as well. And relata­bil­i­ty equals trust – the most impor­tant key in mak­ing pur­chase deci­sions.

As Gen­er­a­tion Y grows old­er and starts mak­ing more pur­chas­es, the gap between pur­chas­es made through prod­uct endorse­ments from influ­encers and those through tra­di­tion­al adver­tis­ing will only become larg­er. The fact is that social influ­encers are here to stay. Much like dis­cov­er­ing a new band, con­sumers feel attached and a sense of close­ness to their paid prod­uct and ser­vice endorsers, even as they grow larg­er and more pop­u­lar.

What Are Marketers to Do? The Answer Is Branded Content

With brand­ed con­tent, you can close­ly tar­get the audi­ence you want to reach and work with influ­encers who already have more trust and relata­bil­i­ty with their audi­ence. This trust is the true pow­er in influ­encer mar­ket­ing over cre­at­ing your own in-house brand­ed con­tent.

With that said, in order for brand­ed con­tent to work, the con­tent needs to be matched to the right audi­ence and be exe­cut­ed well. A beau­ty influ­encer talk­ing about the lat­est sports app just isn’t going to cut it.

The good news is that with the right plat­form, find­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing with influ­encers of any type is not only sim­ple, it’s effi­cient. In a mat­ter of min­utes, you can post a cam­paign and receive pro­pos­als from the right influ­encers look­ing to pro­mote your brand to their engaged audi­ences.

If you’re ready to get start­ed on cre­at­ing your influ­encer mar­ket­ing plan for 2016, we’d rec­om­mend defin­ing your audi­ence first. Think about who your tar­get cus­tomers are and what their lifestyles are like.

Then, iden­ti­fy influ­encers that embody your brand image – they most like­ly are a part of your tar­get demo­graph­ic or have many fol­low­ers who are. Take a look at the type of con­tent they post, par­tic­u­lar­ly when they’re men­tion­ing brands to get a feel for how your prod­uct or com­pa­ny might fit in.

It’s a new world for mar­keters and adver­tis­ers – a world where mar­keters have the option to part­ner with influ­encers, every­day peo­ple that have built and cul­ti­vat­ed their own audi­ences and per­son­al brands. A world where any­one with a pas­sion, ded­i­ca­tion and a cam­era can pro­vide val­ue to all types of brands.

Adam Hendle

Written by Adam Hendle

General Manager, FameBit

Adam Hendle is the General Manager of FameBit, a platform connecting brands with social influencers for branded content. Adam Hendle is the General Manager of FameBit, a platform connecting brands with social influencers for branded content.

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