A new approach to intelligence in influence

Peer recommendations and ratings drive the digital economy - according to McKinsey, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth can generate more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and those customers have a 37% higher retention rate.  It’s in this context that Influencer Marketing has emerged, as marketers seek to align their brands with those we regard as “people like me”.

At the heart of the issue is the fact that, to date, nobody has answered the deceptively simple question “who influences who to do what exactly?”

In partnership with Google and Nielsen, we set out to identify a more intelligent approach and critically, to help marketers establish a clearer link between decisions around Influencer Marketing and business outcomes.    

In the first bespoke study of its kind, our analysis helps us understand whether, why and how Influencers drive brand impact and what kind of impact.

Based on interviews with 12,000 people in the US and UK that included teens, millennials and parents, over 500 videos were tested across over 20 categories, delivering new insights across the full range of Influencer content formats and brand integrations.  Three major insights emerged.


Celebrities drive recall, Influencers build understanding
Many a headline-writer has announced Influencers as the new, global superstars.  But Influencer marketing should not be confused with celebrity endorsement.  They play different roles.

Beyond intuition – how Influencers work across audiences, categories and attributes
Deciding on an Influencer partnership can often come down to gut-feel or a perceived ‘affinity’ with the target audience.  But across audiences, categories and attributes, our pre-conceptions about Influencers are not always borne out in the data and there is significant scope for marketers to apply a more informed, intelligent approach.

It’s not just the ‘who’ it’s the ‘how’
It’s not just the choice of Influencer type that will impact different brand goals, the choice of content and format also matters, with three types of content consistently working best – and effectiveness being particularly marked in specific categories: Custom integration, Brand integration, Advertiser.

Click HERE for the full report.

And if you want to test yourself on your knowledge of Influencer Marketing, take the quiz HERE.

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