More than a third of Australian marketers are using campaigns to target specific people, or influencers, rather than the market as a whole, according to a new survey of 137 local advertisers.
The report, by Hotwire PR, reveals 42% of early adopter influencer marketers are using direct outreach and face-to-face conversations to engage their celebrity and citizen influencers, compared to only 17% using traditional advertising to reach key personalities.
Advertisers are increasingly embracing influencer marketing as customers become over-exposed to paid ads and are using social media to guide purchases, often with the influence of favourite personalities.
Managing director of Hotwire Australia, Alexis Wilson, says the drop off in use of mass communication shows marketing has shifted from “telling to listening.”
“By listening to your influencers, you can learn so much from the conversations that are taking place online and on the multiscreen ecosystem we now live in,” Wilson says. “Even the most highly-digital marketers haven’t forgotten the power of a face-to-face lunch, conversation, or event.”
The research found other tactics used to communicate to influencers include special loyalty events and discounts (36%) and customised events and content (35%). These tactics include bespoke reports, one-on-one briefings, gifts, and demonstrations.
But the the survey also revealed that many marketers are still slow to leverage the power of personalities, with more than half of marketers are unaware of who their influencers are, and about 22% currently using social media and web analytics to try and identify them.
About 21% don't know who their influencers are and are uninterested in connecting with them.
“Marketers want help in finding out who their influencers actually are, and they’re not always journalists or industry analysts,” Wilson says.
Earlier this year, radio presenter and social startup founder Jules Lund said influencer marketing is set to become the industry's golden child, largely because of the threat of ad blocking, which has seen billions of dollars worth of ads blocked globally.
“Brands and marketers are going to look to integrate their marketing messages into content that can't be blocked. They'll be collaborating with collaborators that an audience actually welcomes into their lives because they trust what they have to say.”
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