The Influencer Effect

Did you know, 3% of people yield over 90% of impact online? Digital Natives highlights that when a trusted person speaks on their social platforms, others listen, and react.

For decades, consumer purchases were driven by brand loyalty, from what their parents used, or what has the strongest promotion available. Yet, recent times have seen consumers not only embrace digital technology and social media platforms, but rely on it through the power of online recommendation culture, brought to you by influential digital players and aptly named, influencers.

You have probably noticed by now the large amount of people that tune out, skip, or even fast-forward through ads on television and in magazines. They are acutely aware of the fact that they are being advertised to, and switch off.

However, social media stars, including public figures like Kylie Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid, and YouTubers such as Zoella, Lauren Curtis, Nikkie Tutorials and Manny MUA, among millions of beautiful and personable models and bloggers, have created their own respected businesses built upon their social following and ability to drive millions towards (or away from) one product in the industry.

Consumers as young as 10 and as old as 85 turn to a trusted network of online influencers - who have become business owners in their own right - to make decisions based on their firsthand perspective and experiences. They are not exactly valued for their fame, but for their personality and ability to connect with the people who follow their every move, with their opinions resonating much more effectively than conventional ads do.

Brands are becoming less obsessed with ‘household names’ and more focused on ‘handheld names’.

Any given influencer can have reach up to millions and beyond, while your trusty beauty magazine may only have a readership of 40,000, with influencer marketing becoming 11 times more effective than banner ads. This strong hold on the public only works to highlight why the digital arena is where your salon marketing is heading, with genuine, trusted recommendations from their favourite influencer being proven to be the most powerful way to influence consumer behaviour.

But how?

Online recommendations from anyone other than the brand themselves generates trust. Twitter studies have reported that people now trust influencers nearly as much as they trust their friends and neighbours. These trendsetters can drive a conversation about a brand or product faster than it takes to design a print ad, and receive double the attention. The relatability, expertise and relevance to their audience drives SEO, engagement and a genuine wave of interest from their authentic followings.

Back in the day, consumers took top-down marketing and ran with it, as it was the only form available essentially. But now we operate in a time where consumers have grown distrustful of brand messaging and brand partnerships that feel inauthentic. Consumers are smart; they are able to identify when a message is forged by the brand itself. Bloggers and vloggers have insights into their audience and are able to not only navigate channels but inspire their followers in ways brands cannot.

Why not capitalise on that? Influencers go into your salons too, and you may not even know. With 92% of women considering online reviews extremely important when making a purchase, it is time to do your research on who you need to know and develop relationships with to create authentic, meaningful content to a wide audience of millions.