As the digital age continues to evolve the face of marketing is undergoing massive change as well. The term "Digital Influencer" is no longer a foreign concept and brands are swiftly jumping on the bandwagon to align with creators who have millions of social followers, ready to buy what they are selling.
The statistics reflect this, too: A social media influencer's endorsement drives engagement and customer response, better than traditional paid routes such as print or search engine optimization. Shoes of Prey for instance reported a permanent 300% uplift in sales when 16-year-old Vlogger Blair Fowler published a video announcing a contest where the viewer could win a custom-made pair of shoes.
92% of consumers trust recommendations from others, even people they don't know, over branded content. Brands agree, and are jumping on this trend in their marketing efforts: In a recent report by Tomson, 84% of marketing professionals worldwide have plans to start influencer marketing in 2016.
Crave, a tech startup from Tel Aviv, is pioneering technology to capitalize on this industry, by focusing their business model on tapping into this market. Crave - Powered by Creators, builds branded apps for digital influencers, creating a revenue structure for them to cash in on their status.
Crave combined forces with country singer and songwriter Annie Bosko who partnered with Crave to be the face of the brand on launch. Influencer marketing is leading now in marketing strategies for companies who want to be at the forefront of Millennial buying power.
It's important for brands to really understand their audience and choose the right Influencers that not only have a strong fan base but also represents their brand appropriately. Companies like Crave are providing a platform that will allow marketers and Influencers alike to join forces and capitalize on the benefits of having millions of excited followers, ready, willing and eager.
Many companies are still apprehensive to jump on board with Influencer marketing, but that apprehension may just leave them falling short when it comes to maximizing their brand visibility and ROI. There are many major benefits when it comes to partnering with relevant Digital Influencers. Firstly, it models the modern way of word-of-mouth marketing.
Everyone knows that word-of-mouth referrals are one of the strongest ways to gain brand loyalty and new customers. Having a person vouch for your product that isn't tied to your company is a sure fire way to gain additional supporters. In addition to that Digital Influencers have a way with making whatever they do look and feel sexy and fun. They will always be "on brand" and represent your product with their own flare attached, the same vibe that their fans love and gravitate towards.
Right now partnering with a Digital Influencer is more cost effective than traditional digital ads, and it's a native way to engage an attentive audience without trying to compete with a ton of other advertisers out there vying for the same spot on Google or Facebook.
According to MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency, 70 percent of internet users want to learn about a product through content rather than through traditional advertising. Another study by Dedicated Media found that purchase intent is 53 percent higher for native ads.
The way people want to learn about new products is changing. They want to be educated and impressed rather than have to constantly be pitched to through commercials and billboards. It's a new era and brands need to jump on board to stay relevant.
Companies like Crave are well on their way to disrupting the status quo. They recognize the power digital creators hold when it comes to marketing for brands and businesses. By partnering with them and giving them the tools to enhance their business, they are providing increased solutions for Influencers and Advertisers to succeed in the digital space.
Sari Gabbay - CEO, U2R1 Media, A Creative Agency.