As we move into 2019, many people are starting to turn a critical eye towards influencer marketing in Toronto and how much staying power it actually has in the world of marketing.
In a post-Fyre festival world, consumers and brands alike are perhaps a little more wary of this emerging marketing tool. There have certainly been some growing pains in the industry, such as outrageous costs, murky results tracking, and growing legal pressures for sponsorship disclosure.
So can influencer marketing stand the test of time?
While there are plenty of doubters out there, we have put together a list of reasons why influencer marketing in Toronto is here to stay. Read on to find out why it should be a key component of your marketing strategy in the twenty first century.
A Tale As Old As Time
While the term “influencer marketing” is a relatively new expression, the concept is about as old as marketing itself.
Even as far back as ancient Egypt, the power of influencer marketing could be felt. Should a noble or socially powerful individual choose to use a particular carpenter or cloth weaver for their own use, those “brands” became highly sought after. Similarly, moving into the era of the silver screen and product placement, celebrities would form partnerships with brands in order to promote their product.
This essentially monetizes the influence that a particular personality has on the public and allows a brand to piggyback off their associated characteristics. For example, the Chinese basketballer Yao Ming is considered one of the most trusted celebrities in the world, especially in the Asian market. Should be promote a brand, this would transfer some of the trust people have in him personally to the brand he is promoting, potentially leading to increased sales and a positive brand association.
Influencer marketing in Toronto is simply the evolution of this age old symbiotic relationship. With social media now being the most widely consumed platform for brands and news, it only makes sense that influential personalities take advantage of this and capitalise on their personal brand to generate an income.
Influencer marketing essentially doesn’t need to prove it will stand the test of time because it already has.
Consumers are getting more ad aware
Something that has been happening for a long time is the increasing awareness and technological savviness of consumers in avoiding traditional advertising.
In the age of the internet, streaming services, and ad blockers, consumers have a wealth of options available to them to avoid being marketed to in the traditional sense. Netflix offers endless hours of content ad-free, satellite radio doesn’t rely on ad revenue to sell its services, and ad blocking browser extensions are readily and freely available.
Even Americans, the most TV-loving people on the planet, have started to watch less tv; the average American now watches an hour less tv than they did in 2010. All of this combines to mean that the traditional advertising avenues are beginning to dry up.
Influencer marketing in Toronto allows brands to continue to advertise in a more subtle, natural way, compared to an overt ad on the radio, tv, or a website. By having a trusted online personality create naturalised content involving your brand, you are able to reach their entire audience in a way that appears more like user-generated content, than commercially branded content.
Consumers are less aware and less wary of this kind of advertising, and are more likely to be receptive to marketing messages delivered in this way.
Trust is crucial
Another problematic trend emerging in marketing is the rising lack of trust consumers have in brands and advertising in general.
When word travels at the speed of light, and bad news is shared three times more than good news, consumers become aware of a brand scandal almost instantly. With privacy leaks, opaque advertising disclosures, and Fyre Festival level failures, trust in brands and traditional advertising is at an all time low.
Influencer marketing in Toronto presents a way to get around this inherent distrust and present marketing campaigns that are approached with significantly more trust than traditional advertising. By co-opting an influencer’s goodwill and online connection they have developed with their followers, brands are able to get their names into the minds of consumers without the attached wariness or distrust.
With an effective campaign, the right influencer, and quality content, brands can avoid the negatives associated with advertising while enjoying more of the benefits.
(User-generated) Content is King
While in the past brand-generated content was the pinnacle on an online marketing campaign, the focus has shifted to user-generated content.
Going hand in hand with the growing distrust and aversion to obvious advertising and branded content, user-generated content has emerged as much more valuable in terms of a marketing strategy. Countless studies have shown that content created by consumers consistently gets up to 700 percent more engagement than content created by brands. With social signals becoming an increasingly important part of Google’s algorithm and best practice SEO in Toronto, it is clear that posting content with high engagement rates is key in online marketing.
Influencers are seen by many of their followers to almost be close friends and will take what they say with the same consideration as people they interact with in real life. This phenomenon, known as parasocialisation, allows online personas to put their thoughts, ideas, and recommendations out into the digital world, and have them readily absorbed and taken into consideration by their fans.
Influencers marketing involves capitalising on their kind of relationship. Influencers create content that suits their own personal style and image, but it includes branded elements that encourage their followers to go and try these products. Followers will then take that recommendation as if it had been given to them by a close personal friend, leading to significantly higher chances of making a successful conversion.
Analytics are Advancing
After an adjustment period, influencer marketing analytics are finally getting ready for prime time.
One of the biggest issues facing this fledgling industry has been the lack of clarity and immense difficulty in accurately gauging the success of a Toronto influencer marketing campaign. Social media platforms have struggled to integrate effectively with standard tracking techniques such as Google Analytics, which has made it difficult to assess where a lead might have come from. Additionally, accurately analysing an influencer’s following and determining whether they are a target audience your brand wants to engage with has been tricky and full of guesswork.
Recently, many new platforms and reporting standards have become available, turning influencer marketing in Toronto into an easily trackable marketing tool. Follower analysis tools can quickly and accurately determine influencer fan demographics to ensure you partner with the right personalities. Referral source tracking from social media platforms now come baked into standard reporting analytics, allowing you to determine exactly where sales have come from. Combined with personalised discount codes and call tracking metrics, an influencer marketing campaign can now be reported on with the same level of detail and accuracy as any other paid social media activity.
Despite the recent drama and backlash against influencer marketing from consumers and governments alike, this marketing platform shows no signs of disappearing. With social media going from strength to strength, traditional media continuing to die off, and influencers evolving into micro influencers and macro influencers, no business can afford to ignore influencer marketing in Toronto if they want to remain truly competitive in their industry.
Are you looking to take your brand’s digital marketing to the next level? The Influence Agency is the leading agency for highly effective influencer marketing in Toronto. We specialise in connecting brands with verified influencers, managing their campaigns, and reporting on their progress. Our commitment to measurable results and an unparalleled client experience has lead us to become the most trusted name in Toronto influencer marketing. Contact us today and let us help connect your brand with a new world of consumers.