Research from Texas A&M Center for Retail Studies found that a new and highly influential segment of shoppers has the ability to sway consumer opinion and motivate purchase decisions. The study—across 1,300 consumers—found that “Brand Mavens” are the most loyal and visible consumers who drive the brand’s conversation and influence purchasing decisions through social media, brand-specific mobile apps, and engagement on brand websites. As mobile shopping becomes more pervasive, Brand Mavens, bloggers, and other respected social influencers will be core to the success of every consumer-facing brand.
Is Your Company Taking Full Advantage of Influencer Marketing?
First, it’s essential for brands to identify these consumers and understand how to retain their loyalty. “Sixty percent of these Brand Mavens are women. They have huge purchasing power and influence to generate significant increases in revenue and loyalty,” explains Andrea Van Dam, CEO of Women’s Marketing. “They have influence across all major verticals and are omni-channel shoppers. Understanding when and where to reach them when they are receptive to a brand’s message is essential to capturing their loyalty and voice,” Van Dam continues.
How can you effectively engage advocates for your brand? Women’s Marketing took a dive into the study and found three methods of connecting with these influencers in marketing who are transforming retail.
Gift cards, loyalty rewards, coupons, and other branded currency are remarkably desirable to Brand Mavens. According to the study, the average Brand Maven spends approximately $1,100 annually on gift cards for others and personally redeems an average of $700 in cards—that’s $1,800 in direct revenue from just one social influencer. Further, 47% of these brand ambassadors encourage friends and family to join retail loyalty programs, which is significant because 90% of consumers trust peers when making purchase decisions.
While 90% of Brand Mavens make their purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores, 79% use the retail brand’s website, as well as mobile devices (37%). Developing a media strategy that reaches women at all their multi-media touchpoints throughout the day provides brands with an opportunity to continuously re-inforce their message, entice consumers with new products, and, most importantly, encourage influencers to engage with the brand and share their enthusiasm with their followers on social media.
Bloggers have the potential to reach thousands through their broad presence and social influence. “Brands can no longer ignore these powerful influencers,” explains Van Dam. “Developing a relationship with a well-established blogger network can raise your brand profile exponentially,” she says. Opinion leaders, such as Brand Mavens and bloggers, have a broad presence on social media and the ability to inform, educate, and advise. “Forward-facing marketers recognize the power of these tremendous influencers. It would be a mistake to ignore them,” advises Van Dam.
Reap the Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Women’s Marketing understands the importance of influencer marketing and provides brands with the opportunity to connect with bloggers through a variety of platforms, including our iFabbo network. iFabbo creates an environment where bloggers and brands work together to provide credible sources of information for consumers so they can confidently navigate the blogosphere and get the most reliable news on their favorite or newly discovered blogs and products. Contact us to learn how your brand can immediately garner a stronger online presence and start building a loyal influencer following.