Do online consumers prefer to follow brands directly or do they prefer to do so with influencers? The question could be the basis of marketers’ nightmares if second-ranked winners. Be that as it may, it must be something analyzed and valued when establishing the social media marketing strategy and, more generally, digital marketing.
Of course, any brand would prefer to be in complete control of the message and be who consumers listen to. But if your attention is elsewhere, the brand has no choice but to adjust its strategy.
The conclusions of a study with a global scope by GWI, collected by Warc, make it clear that things change across generations. Depending on the demographic group the consumer belongs to, the more separation – or less – there will be between direct brand follow-up and influencers.
For Gen Z, it’s almost a matter of equals. That is, practically the same number of people who follow brands also follow influencers. Thus, 33% of those surveyed follow brands from which they have bought products or intend to do so, and 28% follow influencers and other expert sources.
In millennials there is already a wider separation, which will become much deeper in other generations. 36% of millennials follow brands, compared to 23% who follow influencers. In Generation X, the distribution is 31% compared to 16%. Among boomers it is 22% as brand followers and 9% as influencers followers.
As the Warc points out, the gap between one and the other percentages is almost three times more in these groups than it is among members of Generation Z.
An opportunity for SMEs
The interesting thing is not only, remember, that the Z follow influencers and brands almost in the same way, but it is also important to visualize how Z and millennials seem very receptive to following brands or receiving content linked to them in one way or another. . For SMEs, this can be very good news, since it allows them to connect with them via social networks (although it also forces them to think about using influencers to reach that niche audience).
As they add data from Warc’s own research, both millennials and members of Generation Z say they are now more open to trying new brands and smaller brands.
Therefore, these small companies must use these tools to position their brands, publicize their products and encourage conversions. They are the element that will facilitate a first discovery.
The importance of your own strategy
And, finally, no matter how much consumers follow both the brand itself and the influencers, and no matter how much the latter have become the fashionable element of recent years, the great obsession in marketing, companies should not forget the own strategy.
That is, taking care of your own messages and profiles is essential, because they are the ones that will function as direct ambassadors of your brand and the spaces in which it will also have direct and absolute control over what is said and how.