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Influencer marketing vs online ad campaigns

| 5 min  Read

Influencer marketing has seen an upward growth curve ever since social media became an integral part of our lives. With a lot of brands and agencies turning to influencers for their promotional needs, influencer marketing has become more and more popular and effective over the past few years. Especially due to the pandemic quarantine, many brands and companies were forced to shift their entire promotion online and especially through social media means. This has resulted in a massive influx of new members in the community of influencer marketing resulting in a few statistics that I will be talking about. Due to this, the previously dominant online advertisement campaigns have seen a major dip in their resources and popularity.

Based on studies, here are a few statistics observed in the purchasing pattern on consumers:

  • 69% of consumers say that their preferred shopping channel is through social media and social networks
  • 74% cite peer recommendation as the key influence on their purchase decision
  • 82% of people use recommendations from people they know to decide what to buy
  • 58% of consumers say they are ready to share their experiences of a company or brand
  • Influencer marketing now generates the highest return on investment of all marketing activity with up to 6 times return for every dollar spent.

These particular statistics only project how consumer behaviour over the last few years have become dependent on influencers and their reviews. The aesthetically pleasing content of the influencers happen to attract more audience to them hence increasing views and brand awareness then what advertisements generally generate. These statistics and studies have further helped brands become more comfortable with the idea of influencer marketing and embrace it in a much more willing way. This particular pattern has been on a rise ever since it’s popularisation and even more since the pandemic forced the major mainstream channels of advertisements to suspend.

While online ad campaigns still is an option, here is another set of statistics to reflect why it is not an ideal choice over influencer marketing:

  • The number of people using ad blockers is now estimated at 200M, meaning that about 20% of all the online advertising never even gets seen. This trend has been encouraged by the likes of companies like Apple who allow third-party developers to sell ad-blocking apps on its AppStore.
  • The costs of online advertising for example have increased substantially over the past 5 years further reducing its return on investment. Advertising is now dominated by the duopoly of Google and Facebook who take 65% of all online ad-spend (with Google having the majority of that). That duopoly has led to a substantial increase in advertising costs, estimated to have risen 300% in the past 5 years, with e.g. Google cost /branded click costing up to 61% more in the past 12 months.
  • Programmatic advertising which is intended to increase reach and frequency at cost-effective rates is often now resulting in sub-prime, less effective ad space which realistically few of the target audience will see. In addition, this automated approach to advertising has resulted in some ads being put in the wrong place e.g. alongside improper or indecent content, forcing some brands to withdraw from this type of advertising approach.

With these tools in hand, influencer marketing holds a much higher benefit pyramid for brands and companies as compared to online ads. While online ads do tend to be dominant in android or Google dominant devices alongside Facebook apps, with the increasing number of irrelevant ads shown to us, many users have started opting to buy ad-blockers for smooth functioning and hence hindering the online ad views. Whilst online advertisements face this setback, influencer marketing is at equal advantage at any operating system device, furthermore adding to the fact that the particular audience has chosen to follow a particular influencer who endorses or promotes a niche of brands.

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