The greatest marketing comes from those that you know. When you’re looking for your next purchase, friends and family that you trust, telling you about something they love, will always be more convincing than an impersonal ad. In fact, word of mouth recommendations from family and friends is the second highest driver of discovery of new brands and products (GWI, UK and US, 2022). Unfortunately the authenticity of word-of-mouth advertising from friends and family can’t be done at scale, but influencer marketing provides a close and scalable alternative.
Creators now sit in social feeds side-by-side with friends and family, and the lines between friend, family and creator are increasingly blurred. This authenticity that creators have with their audiences means that influencer marketing can generate True Human Influence.
True Human Influence is what we achieve when we build meaningful relationships between brands, creators and audiences. And crucially, it’s about going beyond likes and impressions. Maybe you can’t remember the last post you liked on Instagram but you can remember the TikTok creator review your friends were talking about, or the product you bought after seeing your favourite creator recommend it? True Human Influence looks at this human impact of creator content, whether that’s audience reaction, improved brand metrics, or higher sales and ROI.
When brands work with creators, True Human Influence propels them into spaces where audiences are more receptive to them. Creators have generated genuine trust and real influence within the communities and consumers that they connect with online. 85% of Gen Z report that social media impacts their purchase decisions (ICSC) and influencers are one of the biggest drivers of purchase decisions amongst Gen Alpha, second only to their friends (Wunderman Thompson Report). True Human Influence spotlights this impact of influencer marketing, and shows that the role of creators in the consumer purchase journey is becoming increasingly important.
Moreover, the collaboration between creators and brands is expanding beyond organic social media posts, as creators increasingly appear in content across traditional channels like TV and out of home. Working with influencers is no longer a short term test or experiment but a key creative and marketing tactic in its own right, and it’s becoming critical to long-term strategy.
Unsurprisingly, investment in influencer marketing is set to grow and grow. In 2022, influencer marketing was a $16.4B industry, and is predicted to increase by 29% in 2023 to $21.1B (The State Of Influencer Marketing: Benchmark Report 2023). As the category takes up more of the global marketing spend, brands are demanding more from the measurement of their influencer marketing investment. While consumers have built a clear trust in creators, brands still need evidence of the True Human Influence that their campaigns are delivering.
Social media metrics, such as likes and views, can provide indications of overall campaign performance, but they only go so far. To measure True Human Influence, existing measurement techniques around audience response and conversion need to be adopted more widely, and more traditional methodologies such as brand lift and creative effectiveness must be adapted to measure creator content as well.
These new approaches are providing us with a clear understanding of the creator-consumer relationship and the impact of True Human Influence throughout the marketing funnel, whether it’s increasing brand awareness and changing brand perceptions, or driving conversions, sales, and ROI. By measuring True Human Influence, we’re able to provide brands with an accurate understanding of how their creator campaigns are impacting consumers, and the impact of the relationships that creators are forming within communities around their brand.
It’s crucial that measurement of True Human Influence is made a foundational practice in building creator campaigns and partnerships, providing brands with full visibility of the impact of those campaigns, and generating a wider picture of the scale, impact and success of influencer marketing in the wider market. The power of measuring the True Human Influence of creator campaigns is pivotal for the future of marketing, and the brands that successfully achieve it will reap long-term success.