For the first time in a number of years, millennials represent the largest demographic of the UK population. This presents a huge opportunity for brands as they will make up the largest proportion of the consumer and employee force simultaneously, so engaging with millennials has never been more important for brands looking to develop long-lasting, quality relationships with consumers and build a family of genuine advocates.
Here are our top three reasons why you should be using influencers as part of your student campaigns:
Their reputation and sway is often unrivalled
Influencers, and the practice of influencer marketing, have become an integrated part of marketing strategies worldwide. Brands are increasingly turning to the support and clout of influencers to not only help further their marketing endeavours, but also to help build a brand story, raise awareness and connect with consumers in an engaging, meaningful way.
Twitter recently reported that social media users tend to trust influencers more than their friends, with 47% of people purchasing products based on an influencer’s recommendation. Brands such as HP and Burt’s Bees have also reported seeing tangible ROI by using social influencers in their campaigns, so it’s clear that working with influencers through brand advocacy is highly valuable to brands.
Millennials can be influenced by multiple factors
Before brands go in all guns blazing, paying £15k for a single tweet (yes, really, £15k) it’s important to understand what influences their target market – in this case, millennials – as it might not be who or what you first assumed.
Students can be influenced by a number of factors, people or organisations, for example – student unions, their peers, word of mouth, brand culture/ethos, celebrities, bloggers, Fresher’s Fairs, and social media influencers, to name some. In other words, you don’t need to be a mass media star or household name to be influential. A thorough analysis of the demographic’s behaviour, interests and activity is crucial to execute an effective influencer strategy, so this should be the first place brands start.
All brands are becoming content creators
Wired recently detailed that Instagram’s photo cache grows by 80m each day; YouTube sees 400 hours of video content uploaded each minute, and there are more than 250k status updates posted on Facebook in the same timespan. It’s clear that brands are increasingly becoming content creators in a bid to reach consumers more effectively, therefore building stronger relationships.
However, not all brands are getting the content right and often struggle to cut through the noise down to the sheer amount of content shared each day. This is where influencers come into play. In our opinion, people follow influencers because they trust them, enjoy their content and feel a lot ‘safer’ in their presence (i.e. they’re not having sales messages forced down their throats). For example, Adweek reported that users who were exposed to a tweet from a brand as well as content from an influencer were five times more likely to purchase a product (compared to three times from simply a brand tweet).
Influencers, and brands hoping to work with them, can create successful, long-term relationships, but many approaches can go horribly wrong – so when you’re investing time getting to know your target market, also spend time getting to know influencers you potentially want to partner with.
If you’d like to find out more about influencer partnerships or speak to a member of the team about your upcoming student campaigns get in touch!