Can You Buy Influence? Yes, Say Marketers Who Pair Up with People for Content creation, Promotion

Can You Buy Influence Yes, Say Marketers Who Pair Up with People for Content creation, PromotionPeople influence other people.

That’s not exactly a new revelation. But recent analysis does show that it’s still working — even in the digital age — and quite well, as a matter of fact.

“Teva, ShopStyle, and Dr. Pepper are recent examples of brands and companies leveraging influencers to drive engagement and awareness, and usage isn’t slowing,” notes eMarketer in a new report.

Evidence is available via the May, 2015 study by Schlesinger Associates for Augure showing that 84 percent of marketing and communications professionals worldwide expected to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer in the next 12 months.

What about those who have already done so? A whopping 81 percent said influencer engagement was effective.

“Content was a driving force of influencer campaigns,” reports eMarketer. “More than two-thirds of marketing and communications professionals cited content promotion as a tactic for which they engaged with influencers—the No. 1 response—and nearly six in 10 said the same about content creation. This put content creation in second place alongside product launches, which fell from the No. 1 spot they grabbed in 2014.”

The biggest challenge, apparently, is in identifying the right influencers. About 75 percent of marketers cited this issue.

And how do those influencers — usually bloggers or celebrities — feel about the current situation?

“Responses indicated that brands weren’t necessarily reaching out to bloggers the way they wanted them to,” explains eMarketer. “Agencies representing brands were the most likely to contact bloggers, followed by third-party networks and then brands. However, bloggers overwhelmingly wanted to be contacted by the brands themselves, cited by 79 percent of respondents. In comparison, just 26 percent wanted to hear from agencies and 4 percent from third parties.”

Measurement is mostly gauged by page views, which ranked as the most-used data point, cited by 85 percent of respondents.