Influence Marketing in Retail: The Effect of the “Little Guys”
Most valuable customers, brand advocates, brand loyalists, micro-influencers, and even advocate influencers – there’s a myriad of names given to those consumers who hold some degree of influence to cause others to take an action or make a deeper connection with a brand. Influence marketing has been receiving a greater focus these days as many believe this is the future of social marketing – effectively engaging with the few to capture the attention of many.
No matter what label they are given, these influencers generally fall within the same defined guidelines: they are passionate about a brand and they will talk about it even without an incentive. Their general platform and social communities may be much smaller than a super influencer, but their effect is no doubt substantial. Because they are highly motivated to be considered an intelligent brand resource, these influencers are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information by people around them (MC). In fact the conversion rate is four to ten times higher when they share brand offers as opposed to when offers are sent directly by the brand (Zuberance).
Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella, authors of Influence Marketing, view these “micro-influencers” as a crucial market to be cultivated. Because their interest in a brand is real (unlike some paid super influencers), their message is genuine and therefore believable. As the market increasingly becomes saturated with meaningless noise from keyword optimized blogging, micro-influencers are the work horses that draw the attention of those in both their online and offline communities. Some believe that it is these micro-influencers who are responsible for the viral nature of ideas, but they are only able to effect change within their immediate networks for up to three levels. However, like a web, these ideas can continue to expand out if others are converted and start carrying the torch.
Because of their influence, brands are determined it’s worth the effort to invest in these fans and become engaged in their communities to help win over new customers. But there can be many diverging views when trying to establish the most effective ways to do so. However, most agree that it always comes back to knowing who your customer is and what they need. ShopperTrak knows that data is knowledge, and through our unique in-store analytics we supply intelligent business metrics that helps retailers make the right decisions to reach the right customers. Our people counting system is an essential element for retailers to drive the growth they need.