The Milennials represent the consumers most brands are interested in nowadays. Nevertheless, they also represent the generation that started asking “why?” or the Y Generation. They do not trust traditional advertising as they have been excessively exposed to it, and they are in a constant need for feedback. Thus, they are more likely to turn to someone’s review rather than to advertisements, making way for one of the latest marketing trends: Social Influencer Marketing.
The Y Generation is exposed to more than 20000 advertisements in one decade. Therefore, they are less inclined to be influenced by the traditional marketing methods; they are more skeptical and difficult to approach. As I have mentioned before, they are the ones in need of constant communication and connection, not acting on instinct but researching their options, looking for peer recommendations, rendering social media platforms a high level of trust. The Millennials look to engage with brands on a more meaningful and personal level and they are constantly looking for new experiences. The vast majority prefers personal recommendations to promotional content as they regard them as being more trustworthy than the corporate messages. This is where social influencers make their entrance. In a world where people influence each other online, there ought to be opinion leaders as well; and not famous ones. “Everyday” people, who are regarded as trustworthy, have constant, loyal followers can influence the consumer behaviour, leading eventually to massive trends.
However, there are various levels of influencers depending on the reach and influence they assert. We have our friends at the bottom of the pyramid, celebrities at the top, while the bloggers and fans take the middle positions. While celebrities can have a higher reach, our friends will always have more influence on our decisions. The Millennials however, are inclined to build relationships, and if they can feel like they can do that with a certain brand they will remain loyal to it. By identifying the right influencer, and associating one’s corporate values to theirs, companies can gain credibility and transparency. Consumer engagement plays a key role in identifying the target audience’s preferences and habits, and Social Influencers are the new way to achieve this.
In conclusion, Social Media presence is not enough anymore, and as technology keeps evolving, the Millennials become more and more suspicious about the traditional marketing methods. Influencers aren’t only the key to gaining popularity but also to achieving brand loyalty. Besides communicating their general messages, brands should allow influencers to speak on behalf of them, in their own voice, as it is a more suitable and non-aggressive way to reach the consumer.
Larisa Hladiuc is a freelance writer and PR enthusiast, currently located in Stockholm.