In the early days of influencer marketing, moms were the influencers everyone wanted to reach for several reasons. For one, she made or influenced purchase decisions for the household across nearly every product category. She was the “darling” of the marketing world due to her tremendous spending power. She also had a higher average usage of social channels. In fact, a Pew Research study found that of the 59 percent of social media-using parents who have discovered useful parenting information via social media, 66 percent of that number were mothers.
Today, moms are still an important audience, but the world of influencer marketing has changed dramatically; mom no longer holds all the power. Now Hispanics, Gen X influencers, men and more are nipping at her heels. With this change in demographics, the doors have opened up for influencer content to impact sales of products and services well beyond the typical food, beauty and fashion categories you usually see harnessing the power of influencers.
The banking, insurance and pharmaceutical industries are starting to leverage influencers. Typically, these categories aren’t approachable to the average person; language in marketing materials tends to be dense and technical. Influencers, however, are able to create engaging stories that make these categories more digestible and relevant to consumers. Even alcoholic beverages are now tapping into influencer content as part of overall marketing strategies. Of course, the content must include disclosures such as “The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older” in lieu of an age gate.
Influencers are sharing and talking about personal products and hygiene more openly than ever. My mom would never have talked about half of the things that are now openly discussed on blogs and forums. Influencers can bring light to topics by leveraging their personality with a touch of humor to educate their peers and make sensitive subjects not quite so intimidating.
In the early days, tech companies sought the “ultimate geek” influencers who spoke about tech products using mainly technical jargon that very few understood. Today, advertisers seek more approachable, “everyday” influencers whose content is easily understandable and brings more practical context to tech products like smartphones or tablets that are used by consumers daily.
Influencers have already changed the beauty and fashion industry. Women no longer look for inspiration and guidance solely from runways or popular fashion magazines. Well-shot selfies on Instagram or haul and unboxing YouTube videos taken by beauty influencers have changed the way consumers shop for the latest fashion trends.
We’ve used influencer content to extend the life of in-store demos, save items from being de-listed, support product launches and creatively add more usage occasions for brands. As long as influencer content stays authentic and is created with the consumer in mind, it will continue to have a measurable impact on audiences, trends and purchase decisions for generations to come.