Social Chain & Crimson Hexagon @Cannes Lions: Power of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a product of the social and digital revolution, and that has allowed people, normal people, to become hugely influential without being a celebrity”
I’ve always been so deeply obsessed with human psychology – the only thing that really exists in our world is other humans. Marketing is essentially a competition of ‘who understands humans the best’, and this is why I’ve been naturally drawn to the game of human psychology.
At the very heart of much of our marketing activity at Social Chain is one simple desire: to influence and persuade an audience to feel something, so that they do something.
And influencer marketing is one of the most powerful ways to persuade. Influencer marketing is immeasurably important for businesses because it creates engagement that’s far more meaningful than traditional advertising. Influencers have incredibly trusted voices – they are real people that appear to be unbiased and neutral. While a traditional advert or a post directly from a brand will often be ignored, an endorsement from an influencer is like your friend, brother, sister or parent having your back and telling you about something that you absolutely need to check out. And an eMarketer study found that advertisers who executed an influencer marketing campaign earned $6.85 in media value on average for every $1 they spent.
The renowned Lord & Taylor dress is case in point. 50 influencers posted an Instagram picture of themselves wearing the same Lord & Taylor dress, all on the same day. The dress became a must-have, and consequently sold out the following weekend.
People look to the actions of others in order to help to determine their own. The field of social psychology is rife with experiments that beautifully illustrate the unavoidable, human phenomenon of social proofing and conformity. Exposing someone to the opinions or actions of the majority, or those seen to be important, will drastically increase the chances of them following suit.
This is what influencer marketing provides. But finding influencers that resonate with your brand is crucial. While consumers are exponentially open to influencer marketing, they’ll know a silly, uncharacteristic pairing when they see one. Don’t take your audience for fools – find influencers that suit your brand and its ethos.
But hey, here’s a plot twist: bigger celebrities don’t mean better results. With big name celebrities you’re often paying for the name and the association, and therefore paying a premium for meaningful engagements, sales, downloads, registrations etc. But household names lack believability when it comes to sponsored messaging, as it’s well known that big stars are paid to promote brands / products.
Influencer marketing is a force that’s breaking down and rebuilding the rules of endorsements. It’s powerful, it’s social, it’s native, and it’s targetable. People are done with brands shouting at them – they want conversations and interchanges, and influencers are the all important mutual friend connecting brands with consumers.
Steven Bartlett, CEO at Social Chain and author of this blog post, is joining Crimson Hexagon at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this year! On Tuesday, 21st June, at 5 PM, Steven will be giving a live talk at our cabana on influencer marketing and its impact on marketing strategy. Headed to Cannes Lions and interested in attending our session with Social Chain? Register today to save your seat!

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