The past several years have seen the meteoric rise of influencers across nearly all social media platforms. This rise to prominence wouldn’t have been possible if users didn’t value influencers’ posts and opinions — especially when it comes to purchasing decisions. Even if you aren’t aware of it, your buying behavior has probably been influenced by someone you follow. In fact, a study by Olapic found that 44% of respondents have considered purchasing a product or service based on an influencer’s post.
If that statistic isn’t enough to convince you, don’t worry — there’s way more where that came from! Here are four particularly interesting ways that influencers have changed consumer buying behavior:
1. Recommendations Reign
According to Hubspot, 71% of people are more likely to make an online purchase if the product or service is recommended by others. In other words, recommendations have a major impact on consumer buying behavior. Here’s where influencers really come into play: McKinsey found that 5% of influencers offering product recommendations were responsible for driving 45% of social influence. By building a community and establishing trust within their unique niches, influencers — and especially power middle influencers — have positioned themselves as a great resource for consumers looking for product recommendations.
2. Engagement Over Promotion
As you scroll through your Instagram, what’s more likely to stand out: a post promoted by a razor company, or a post by an influencer about a new shaving product that revolutionized their morning routine? If you’re like most people, you’ll be more interested in commenting on the influencer’s post and learning about the product. According to WWD, 62% of millennial consumers are more interested in sincere engagement than promotion — a statistic that influencers helped make possible. Using influencers as a way of creating organic content is a great way to tap into this desire for sincerity!
3. Emphasis on Expertise
We’ve established that consumers place a lot of weight on the recommendations of influencers — but why? Influencers are able to establish trust with their community of followers because they are viewed as experts. In fact, a study by Olapic found that 39% of consumers rely on an influencer’s expertise when weighing the value of their endorsements. Expertise on the internet isn’t anything new, but influencers have turned their expertise into a way to impact consumer buying behavior.
One influencing niche that capitalizes on expertise is that of mommy bloggers! These accounts candidly share their pregnancy and parenting experiences with followers and, in doing so, establish themselves as a trustworthy source of tips and recommendations. Brands like DockATot then capitalize on this trust by partnering with them to create original content centered around their product.
4. The Power of UGC
User-generated content has always played a major role in social media marketing, but did you know it also has a huge influence on purchasing decisions? Gartner found that 84% of millennials attribute at least some of the influence on what they buy to user-generated content from strangers. Given the high-quality content that they create based on their preferred products and services, it’s no surprise that influencers have a major impact on consumer buying behavior. Another way your brand can benefit from this development is with a brand ambassador program to take your user-generated content to the next level!
Whether it be through their expertise or their creation of high-quality content, influencers have certainly made an impact on consumer buying behavior — and that’s something your brand can take advantage of. If you’re looking to jump-start an influencer or brand ambassador campaign, Statusphere’s team of influencer marketing specialists can help you! Click here to learn more about our process and chat with a member of our team.