One of the first things business owners learn about is the power of word of mouth marketing. We can tell our customers we’re fantastic all day long, but those messages just don’t have as much weight as an endorsement from a friend or family member. Customers don’t only listen to people they actually know: purchasing decisions can be swayed by public personalities like athletes, actors, and media figures. Here are three things you need to know about these influencers:
Influencers Can Be Famous – But They Don’t Have to Be
Celebrity endorsements are nothing new, but some of today’s most influential voices are people you’ve never heard of. This is especially true when you consider who’s influencing Generation Z, the young shoppers who are between the ages of 7 to 21. YouTube bloggers who share their passions for everything from artwork to makeup to video gamers are considered more relatable and real by Gen Z shoppers.
Scott Lachut, PSFK Director of Consulting, says there’s a problematic gray area that exists where it’s unclear if influencers are spontaneously endorsing a product they use and enjoy versus one they are paid to represent. For this reason, it’s important for brands to seek out influencers who would legitimately enjoy and benefit from the product. Money will still change hands, but the messaging will be more palpable to your customers.
Do Your Due Diligence & Keep an Eye on Your Influencers
Before you decide to work with an influencer, whether they’re an A-list celebrity or a local blogger, you want to do your due diligence and be sure this individual doesn’t also indulge in behaviors or endorse causes your customers would be offended by. Once you’ve begun working with an influencer, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their creative output to make sure their messaging and yours stays in alignment.