The average cost of producing a U.S. television commercial in 2016 during prime viewing hours can rack up to $62.4k, according to statistics on Statista. On the other hand, the cost to have a YouTube influencer review your product could range from $250 per post to absolutely nothing. While traditional marketing via radio, television and billboards are expecting grim futures, some of today’s leading ecommerce stores, like Reebok and Differio, are reshaping digital marketing with a medium that’s building a more trustworthy reputation: influencers.
According to statistics released by ION, approximately 71% of customers are more likely to purchase an item based solely on recommendations or reviews on social media. Consumers are now getting the pros and cons of merchandise by watching influencers on YouTube and Instagram. You can even subscribe to YouTube channels dedicated to only reviewing products, like Ryan Toysreview reportedly raking in $11 million annually.
However, being a successful influencer isn’t only about relaying the integrity of a brand or merchandise. Recently, Reebok increased online sales by partnering with avid running influencers to revive their image as a reliable store for dedicated, long-distance runners. Today’s influencer marketing techniques can sway consumers towards a certain lifestyle or fashion choice by simply making it look trendy with a single, aesthetically cool Instagram post.
As much as brand exposure is crucial, it’s not only a numbers game solely on finding influencers with a massive following. Ecommerce businesses are actually finding it more effective to use micro influencers (accounts with 10k – 100k followers) versus mega influencers (accounts with over 100k to millions of followers).
This seemingly new method of adopting micro influencers is a marketing strategy Differio has been using since they launched in 2014. As an online menswear store that sells fashion-forward men’s clothing, their customer base is geared towards modern men that follow trends in fashion, grooming and fitness. With that said, their website is dominated with micro-influencing models that advocate the same lifestyle as their followers.
While you won’t catch million-follower men, like Mariano DiVaio, donning their skinny jeans, their small-scale influencers have the advantage of targeting a specific group of men that’ll actually become return customers at Differio. Promoting merchandise to millions of men is like shooting at a target that’s the size of a football field. You might spread brand exposure, but you won’t necessarily engage with people that are genuinely interested in stylish menswear. It’s a clever way to implement reverse marketing without the need of slapping a brand on a billboard.
From marketing to clothing styles, this isn’t the first time Differio disrupted the men’s fashion industry by going against the grain. They’re creating engagement by branching outside the four walls of stylish men’s clothing, like updating their Spotify brand playlist and weekly Instagram stories.
It’s becoming trendy for ecommerce companies to emulate lifestyle blogs, like a comforting escape for like-minded people to engage and gain inspiration. Some companies are going so far as establishing nationwide organizations for their customers, like Victoria’s Secret’s glitzed-up campus ambassador program.
Simply put, stores can’t rely on being just stores anymore. Marketing research shows that in 2017 the average person sees up to 5,000 ads in one day, which is only expected to increase over time. Businesses are already prepping ahead to accommodate Gen Zers, the next age group that’s expected to be even more fast-paced and tech-savvy than millennials.