For over 15 years, CEO & CMO Cynthia Srednicki of Dreamweaver Brand Communications has been at the forefront of celebrity and influencer marketing for national and international clients.
Vision PR, the predecessor of Dreamweaver Brand Communications, Cynthia oversaw the influencer and celebrity marketing agency division in addtion to her other marketing and public relations duties as CEO & CMO.
With the rise and dominance of social media marketing consumers now look to social media to inform and confirm their purchasing decisions are on trend, in style, and of the moment. The purchasing decsions that are influenced range from hospitality, technology, to cars, airlines, the influencer list goes on and on. Consumers no longer look to brands or companies for inspiration as they had done for decades, they are now looking at their circle of friends on their social media networks of choice and now they turn to their favorite celebrity, sports star, or social media personality for purchasing guidance. For example, hospitality marketing has seen an upswing in influencer campaigns as the United States enters the winter season.
Savvy social media influencers and well managed celebrities continue to consolidate and grow massive followings on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and for good reason. According to available survey data, most marketing agencies spent between $25,000 and $50,000 per influencer marketing campaign on behalf of their clients. The same agency respondents reported they are doubling their influencer marketing programs spend to between $50,000 – $100,000 per influencer campaign for 2017. With the shift in consumer purchasing and decision makings habits and longstanding utilization of relevant social media networks, there is no surprise that influencer marketing budgets for 2017 have increased, many marketing professionals believe influencer marketing to be the next revolution in social media and advertising despite its relative infancy.
For marketers and consumers alike, the dominance and mainstream acceptance of social media across a wide variety of demographics open up an array of opportunities for the continued ascent of the social media influencer. Social media allow brands and even luxury brands to connect organically with consumers on their terms, directly, and intimately via influencer marketing. In addtion, these online communities around a social media influencers enables brands to listen to what consumers are saying through “social listening” and obtain invaluable consumer insight. Remember, consumer dont want to be just spoken to they want to be part of the conversation or dare I say action. Visionary marketer’s like Cynthia Srednicki saw this opportunity over 15 years ago when she leveraged and worked with celebrity influencers like Zoe Saldana, Katherine Heigel, and Hillary Swank with her marketing agency influencer division in NYC to revitalize and reintroduce an established fashion house to a new and younger demographic. When an influencer marketing agency connects a brand with the appropriate celebrity or social media influencer marketers’ can work with the social or celebrity influencer to create branded content to seduce the brand’s target audience while simultaneously amplifying their brand message, sometimes even on a viral scale across multuple channels.
For many of consumers, they have become accustomed to and expect celebrity and influencer marketing from their favorite brands. However, for many CEOs, and those in the c-level suite, influencer and celebrity marketing is very new and almost foreign to them. Marketers’ and brands alike are still reluctant to embrace the influencer marketing trend. As a result of their reluctance, their brands are at the risk of being left behind by progressive brands who are embracing and reaping the benefits of celebrity and influencer marketing. In this two-part series, Dreamweaver Brand Communications outlines the first five reasons why your brand needs an influencer marketing agency to launch a celebrity or influencer marketing campaign today.
1) Influencer Marketing is Powerful
Word of mouth recommendations is one of the best sales driving vehicles. McKinsey & Company completed a study, A New Way to Measure Word-of-Mouth Marketing and determined “marketing-induced consumer to consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.” Of those consumers who were acquired through word of mouth, had a 37% increase in retention “word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. Word of mouth is greatest when consumers are buying a product for the first time.”
Influencer marketing is an opportunity for brands to leverage and control the power of word-of-mouth advertising through celebrity influencers or social media influencers they already follow, know, trust, and admire.
2) It is Sexy
Back in March 2015, struggling brick and mortar store Lord & Taylor leveraged the power of social media fashion influencers with a single Instagram campaign. Lord & Taylor partnered with 50 influential fashion influencers all wearing the same dress just in a different pose. The Instagram blitz campaign worked, the dress sold out the following weekend because it targeted fashion-conscious consumers on a social media platform that they use to find current trends.
Working with social media influencers, celebrity influencers, or athlete influencers will communicate to the market space, consumers, and competitors that your brand may be or already is the next big thing. Another significant aspect of influencer content is that your brand can repurpose it to impress existing customers. It is vital that your brand work with an experienced influencer marketing agency to get the best contract for your brand that will maximize measurable exposure over the long-term and secure use of the influencer content on multiple platforms for multiple audiences. Influencer and celebrity marketing is big business now, so it is important not to reach out to your favorite influencer without being agency represented.
3) Influencer Marketing is Social
It is time to accept that the world has embraced and engages with social media. If your business hasn’t already, it is time to follow suit. A new report from Hootsuite found that social media budgets have doubled worldwide over the past two years. In addition, analysts predict a 26.3% increase on social media ad spend in 2017. If we narrow the scope just to the United States, it is expected that social media spending will increase to 17.34 billion dollars by 2019. Finally, according to Salesforce, 70% of brands are increasing their social media spend for next year.
Social media is here to stay and revolutionized the consumer – brand experience. Historically, consumers deliberated and made purchasing decisions based on advertisements on television, radio, or print media or through word of mouth referrals from their circle of friends or family in person or on the phone. Now, these same spheres of influence have moved online to platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. Today, brands have a much easier time connecting with new and existing consumers via social media. For consumers, they are able to make better purchasing decisions about a service or product by engaging with a brand or service online. Consumers haven’t wanted to be sold to for quite some time. Consumers are looking for brands to engage them and entertain them through social media influencers. Working with an experienced influencer marketing agency, brands are vetted then strategically partnered with the right social media or celebrity personalities to spark conversations, engage new and existing customers, drive brand awareness, and lastly, seduce their loyal followers because lets face it, influencer and celebrity marketing is sexy!
4) Everyone and Their Brother Is Talking About Influencer and Celebrity Marketing
From 60 Minutes expose called The Influencers, to Forbes article 25 Influencers to Watch in 2017 from reporters to CEOs influencer marketing is on their minds and social media feed worldwide. A quick glance at Google Trends over the past 5 years illustrates influencer marketing metoric rise.
Google considers “influencer marketing” a Breakout query meaning this keyword is experiencing a growth rate in excess of 5000 percent.
5) Consumers Are Not Interested In Paid Advertisements
The average American is exposed to over 5,000 advertisements a day according to research firm Yankelovich. While there is much debate if this scientifically proven, it proves the point; consumers are bombarded with ads on every device they use ranging from their smartphone to smart televisions to tablets. Consumers see so many ads that many of them consciously tune out the ads or hit skip. With so many ads across so many platforms, it is no shocker that Netflix, Spotify Premium, and Adblocker software continue to dominate the news.
In the second Part 2 of Influencer & Celebrity Marketing Expectations for 2017, we are going to cover
- Influencer FTC Regulations
- Brands gain more control over their influencer marketing relationships
- Influencer Marketing is a Form of Native Advertising
- Skyrocket SEO
- Influnecer platforms that solve business problems will surive in 2017
For over 15 years, Cynthia Srednicki has been pairing brands with celebrities before it became known as influencer marketing. Social media has replaced family and friends as the first group of people individual looks to for affirmation about what they are about to purchase or already have purchased. Consumers now turn to their favorite celebrity or social media influencer first, then their family friends. Stay tuned for Influencer & Celebrity Marketing Expectations for 2017, Part 2 if your brand is ready to turn to a social media influencer or celebrity matching agency and take their marketing efforts to the next level.
Do you have an influencer in mind and are ready to take the next step?