How influencers and advocates could be the new marketing trick or treat

It’s Halloween today and soon it will be Christmas. In the search for fresh new ideas maybe it’s time to turn to the rising stars of digital marketing – influencers and advocates. Andrew Hennigan reports

Beyond putting a few pumpkins on the company Instagram account, some marketers struggle to find fresh ideas at the end of October. A few leverage their unique advantages such as when Airbnb organised a 2015 competition for a free weekend in a unique property underground in the Paris catacombs.

Others focus on suitably scary destinations, like Visit Scotland’s 2013 Vine campaign promoting the region’s spooky ancient castles.

This year, however, perhaps it’s time to take a look at the use of influencers and advocate marketing, a rapidly maturing approach that helps to cut through the noise of marketing messages by building on trusted relationships. Both rely on exploiting independent sources who speak for a brand. These people fall into two categories namely:

  • Influencers: those who impact opinions outside of their own circle.
  • Advocates: those people influence friends and family.

In a recent report titled The State of Influencer and Advocate Marketing 2016, Cube Media outlines some reasons why this shouldn’t be ignored. Here are three.

1. Consumers are overwhelmed:
Today engaging audiences is increasingly difficult with consumers finding it difficult to keep up with content on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other channels. Poor attention means that a conversation is more effective than this type of one-way communication.

2. Consumers seek authenticity:
With so much brand content looking obviously bought consumers rely more on influencers and advocates to identify new products and services from what they perceive as unbiased sources.

3. A source of new customers:
At the critical first evaluation of a brand, the impact of influencer marketing is at its strongest, making this a key tool for customer acquisition. You will stick with existing brands by default but it might take the recommendation of an advocate-friend to change.

Cube Media’s report also presents some case studies highlighting some successful and not-so-successful influencer campaigns in the travel space.

Read rest of the article at Eye for Travel