Influencers can help Australian small to medium businesses get more out their marketing strategies, according to new research.
B2B software search website Capterra has revealed the results of a study on the global trend of live shopping, and how influencers can become a key ingredient for SMEs in their marketing strategy.
Capterra interviewed 1,015 Australians who regularly use social media to find out whether brand influencers really do impact the behaviours of online consumers, and results show that no matter the size of the company, many tools still exist so that a product or service can receive the attention it deserves.
With our world becoming digitised and ever-online, familiarity with the concept of ‘influencers’ is high; 89% of respondents indicated they knew the term, and over two-thirds (69%) of this group also said they follow them. Additionally, survey-takers most frequently rated 'five to seven' and '11 or more' as the number of influencers they follow across all their social media accounts (both at 30%), indicating that once a consumer has chosen to follow one influencer, they are very likely to follow many more.
Stigma against influencers continues, however; the most frequently selected reason for refusing to follow an influencer was the use of a ‘false image’ (48%). Other reasons include ‘influencers can sometimes sell products they don’t really use or believe in’ (42%) and ‘the life they show on social media is unrealistic and unattainable’ (41%). Despite how widespread they have become in the eCommerce industry, trust issues still remain for some consumers when dealing with influencers.
Crucially, 64% of those who do follow influencers said they are more likely to buy a product or service showcased by them, while just a quarter of respondents said an influencer working with a specific brand does not affect their purchase decision. This shows that SMEs looking to engage with their audience more, or attract new buyers, should consider the support of influencers as a viable eCommerce option.
Having said that, 52% of survey-takers who had made a purchase tied to an influencer said they had been disappointed with the product or service. The most selected reason for this was due to 'quality issues' (41%) as the product was damaged or looked dissimilar to what had been shown. Companies should avoid making false claims, as misleading advertising is not worth the headache in the long run.
"Survey results show that most Aussie online consumers follow social media influencers, and over half of them trust in their favourite influencers advertising a brand,” says Laura Burgess, Content Analyst for Capterra Australia.
“Influencers can help SMEs with brand awareness and build on customer loyalty. This is key for impacting consumer purchase decisions, particularly during times of economic uncertainty and for small businesses with a low marketing budget.”