New Research Shows Influencer Marketing Is A Powerful Purchase Driver

Word of mouth marketing is significantly more effective when it comes from an expert influencer, according to a new report sponsored by Experticity. In research conducted by the Dr. Jonah Berger, Wharton School professor and author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and the Keller Fay Group, 82 percent of consumers are highly likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer.

“Many marketers today try to use celebrities as their influencer marketing solution, but they are missing out on a much bigger opportunity,” said Brad Fay, cofounder, COO and lead researcher of the Keller Fay Group.

The study’s findings validate that influencers who are genuinely knowledgeable, passionate and authentic are seen as trusted resources when it comes to buying recommendations. While the study has some key statistics about the effectiveness of face-to-face influencers, such as the revelation that influencers have 22.2 times as many conversations about recommendations as the average person each week, the results have social media application. While traditional celebrities have name recognition, they do not build the kind of trust with their audience that influencers command. Social media influencers inhabit a place between traditional celebrities and the recommendations of friends since influencers are seen as both aspirational and someone the consumer has gotten to know.

Berger, who has studied the effects of social influence on purchasing and trends for the last fifteen years, noted the changing perception of typical word of mouth marketing and the advent of influencer marketing, “The growing importance of influencer marketing has led marketers to openly question exactly how impactful word of mouth is when coming from different types of consumers.”

Tom Stockham, CEO of Experticity, points out that influencers are also more likely to be heard, “In the democratized world of the Internet, everyone has a forum to give their opinion on just about anything. When anyone can give an opinion, regardless of how much they know about the subject, the real question becomes whose recommendation is authentic and credible? Marketers must understand this in order to figure out how to cut through the noise.”

Dr. Berger added, “This study has helped illuminate who has the greatest impact and why, which is a great tool for marketers as they try to harness the power of influencer marketing.”

Article Written By: Eric Burgess