Long gone are the days when we’d rush downstairs in the morning to turn on the TV. Nowadays we don’t get out of bed until we have scrolled through all our social media accounts and are fully updated with everyone’s lives. It’s the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you fall asleep.
Today checking our social media accounts has become habitual, instinctive and addictive. But without realizing, we are being bombarded by adverts, and promotional messages from our favorite social media personalities, slowly transforming us from mere bystanders to buyers. Purchasing products based on what we see on a daily basis on our social media feeds.
That’s why brands are now shifting their marketing budgets from television ads to invest in social advertising strategies. Currently, using social media as a marketing tool, is 11 times more effective than banner ads. In fact, according to eMarketer, spending on social media marketing and in particular, influencer marketing, is predicted to surpass television ad spending for the first time in 2017. Brands are creating branded content which speaks directly to their audience, by collaborating with social media’s popular users; bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers, Snapchatters, Facebookers and Viners.
Why the shift is happening?
Whilst television ads target broad demographics, influencer marketing on social media targets niche markets. A brand’s target audience may be women aged between 25 and 35 who are into healthy eating. No doubt does a television ad have the potential to reach a larger audience and a broader demographic. But most of its viewers will be unable to connect with the brand, knowing that the brand isn’t targeted to them.
Social media ads and influencer marketing are beneficial, for the brands, the influencer and the audience. Audiences aren't being bombarded with unwanted ads whilst brands are reaching an audience which actually reflects their target market.
There’s no way to measure the number of viewers who mute their TV during an ad, walk away or switch the channel. With social media a brand can, not only speak to a specific target audience but also show who is and how many people are engaged with the ad from the number of likes, comments and views it gets.
The actual effectiveness of a post from an influencer is easily tracked. Most influencers who feature a specific product, offer a discount code, specific to their name. That way companies can successfully and precisely track how many sales come from each of them.
Unlike TV ads, on social media brands are able to foster an instant communication with their consumers. Social media influencers who are considered thought leaders and a source of inspiration within those niche markets, also engage and interact personally with thousands of engaged followers, or interested consumers. Building a personal relationship with their followers over the years. forming a sense of trust, easily luring them into becoming consumers.
Social media particularly targets today’s millennials, the most prized marketing demographic. Today’s young consumers spend up to 9 hours a day on social media, and only four hours watching TV, of which less than three quarters is live TV, whilst the rest is by using a TV-connected device, which does not include ads (Nielsen). It’s no brainer that brands would advertise where it will be visible to their most likely consumers.
Time and money
Writing, editing, shooting and running TV commercials is time consuming and quite expensive. So rather than spending thousands on running commercials, influencer marketing is only a fraction of the cost.
Not an obvious ad
Branded content on social media doesn’t come across as an obvious ad. This makes consumers more susceptible to purchasing a product, especially when it comes from a trusted source, which is the case of influencer marketing.