In offline context, children, family, friends and colleagues - all are big influencers in the consumers' decision to buy something. In online context, influencers are individuals who have a persuasive voice, authenticity and an audience on the web. Brands can leverage these social influencers to gain voice in user content and feedback surrounding their products. This is what influencer marketing is.
In other words, one can define influencer marketing as a way of digital marketing, where a company/brand focuses on enrolling people who have an established credibility and audience on the social media platform to spread good word about its brand.
Influencer marketing is a significant tool and plays an important role in a brand's social media strategy. But what makes this tool so important? Well, the consumers are listening to people online before, while and after making their purchase decision and traditional ads are becoming less important and less credible to consumers.
74% consumers make their purchasing decisions on the basis of what is said on social media, reports a study conducted by digital marketing agency ODM Group. 78% respondents of this study said that the companies' posts on social media impact their purchases, while 90% of them trust peer recommendations, and ads are trusted only by 33%. As per the data shared by Mindshift Interactive, information by brand advocates is 70% more likelier to be seen as good and credible, and social media referrals are 71% more likelier to result in a purchase decision.
A nielsen study suggests that influencers on social media help grab those audiences who have begun tuning out of traditional ads, banners etc, and become more active on social media.