Why Has Influencer Marketing Become a Significant Marketing Tool?

Influencer Marketing is big news. But why?

To answer that question, first let’s take a quick look at Google Trends, where the growing popularity of Influencer Marketing is clearly apparent:

So why is Influencer Marketing becoming so popular?

1 Audiences are spending more and more time online

As the years go by, online media consumption continues to increase. By 2016, according to Roy Morgan Research, we Kiwis were spending nearly half of our media consumption time hooked into the Internet.

In itself, that statistic isn’t too surprising. We only have to look around us to see people constantly on their smart phones. It’s when we examine consumers’ expectations when they are always-connected that we start to see the real implications:

In other words, people go online to interact, have their say, investigate new stuff and to transact at their own pace.

That’s all very well — but the trend represents both Good News and Bad News:

If you go to Google and search for a topic, your search results will be shaped by a wide range of contextual signals (around 700, according to the most recent data we’ve seen), including your location, the thousands of past searches that you have made and the search results on which you have previously chosen to click.

Similarly, the items that Facebook gives priority to in your newsfeed are curated and displayed in accordance with past items with which you have interacted. Posts by individuals are upweighted, posts by Facebook pages are minimised (unless the owner of the page pays to advertise).

It’s all very familiar, cosy and convenient for the consumer — but there is a downside.

If, for example, your target consumer is a single woman in her 20s, she may have consciously avoided anything to do with parenting and raising a baby — and the algorithms have deliberately ignored serving such content.

If, however, her circumstances change and she acquires a partner and a baby, her information needs can change dramatically. In such an instance, especially when major life changes are involved, the algorithms may not serve their intended purpose.

Until the consumer starts giving the Facebooks and Googles of this world enough new, different datapoints, they’ll keep on serving up same old, same old.

The loss of serendipity — the chance encounter with unfamiliar thoughts and concepts — is of particular concern to the advertising industry.

Well, you can probably see where we’re heading here. One way to break through the filters and firewalls and reach these consumers with your commercial messages is to talk to the people (“influencers”) who talk to them.

2 Consumers have gone mobile

Again, not a shock — although the extent to which Kiwis have adopted the smartphone may surprise you:

In other words, smartphone usage is virtually universal for anyone Under 55.

That’s in keeping with global trends:

The biggest implication of this switch to mobile (in the context of Influencer Marketing): consumers have instant, always-connected access to information, advice and resources. So if, for example, an Influencer recommends a particular perfume, the consumer can receive a notification on his/her smartphone, read or watch the endorsement and then immediately find the nearest outlet, visit, sample and purchase (or simply complete the whole transaction online).

Why might they take such actions? Because, if the consumer trusts the Influencer, it’s like a recommendation from a trusted friend — which can break through any resistance which might arise if, for example, the recommendation came by way of an advertisement.

3 Advertisers have migrated online as well

Where eyeballs go, can the advertising industry be far behind?

Well, sometimes it takes a while.

This is what NZ online advertising expenditure looked like a decade ago (in an environment of around 2 billion dollars a year of total adspend):

The medium enjoyed dramatic growth over the six years from 2003 to 2008, but even at $193 million represented less than 10% of New Zealand’s total advertising budgets.

Fast forward a decade and see how dominant online (‘digital’) advertising has now become, representing approximately 36% of New Zealand’s annual 2.5 million dollar total advertising expenditure:

Source: NZ Advertising Standards Authority

The money is being spent, but the ads are not always being noticed …

4 There are a lot of distractions

Yes, consumers are online — but they’re mostly not looking for advertising messages. Instead they’re rather busy with the myriad wonders of the Internet. Here’s what happens in an Internet minute (the compilation is a couple of years old, so no doubt we’ve managed to squeeze even more into those 60 seconds now):

5 Younger Audiences in particular are watching more video content online …

A 2016 study by NZ On Air found that audiences under 40 watch more TV online than they watch traditional television.

… but they don’t like ads

Unfortunately, those younger audiences would sooner skip than watch.

On YouTube, with TrueView ads, you have the option of skipping most ads after the first six seconds.

A 2016 study by LaunchLeap found that 59% of millennials opt for skipping, once the six seconds are up. Those tens of thousands of dollars you spent on that super-professional production are wasted if you can’t catch their attention in the first six seconds.

Meanwhile, endless hours of poorly-shot cat and dog videos are consumed instead. Unfair, much?

Thanks to decades of interruption marketing, of mad men standing up and shouting at consumers, advertisers have well and truly worn out their welcome. As a result, consumers have retreated inside their shells. Their mailboxes are plastered with “no junk mail” signs, they MySky their way quickly through seemingly-endless TV commercial breaks, they loudly tweet their displeasure at Hyundai ads placed between hakas and live rugby and they hand out fake email addresses and erect filter fortresses to protect their real email inboxes.

Oh, and then there’s banner blindness, where consumers don’t even notice most online display advertising.

Now, AdBlocking is becoming a fact of life.

Even Google is getting in on the act, adding an ad blocker to its Chrome browser in early 2018. The Independent notes:

“It’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web – like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page,” wrote Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce, in a blog post.

“These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads – taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation.”

Google’s answer is to provide adblocking technology to screen out the unworthy ads.

Our answer is even simpler: influencer marketing.

7 Influencer Marketing is Social

Influencer Marketing typically takes place on the social channels (especially Instagram and YouTube) — which is good, because that’s where the audiences are.

8. It’s powerful

Probably the key reason why so many advertisers are moving to Influencer Marketing is a simple one: done properly, it works. As AdWeek points out:

There are few things that drive a sale more effectively than a warm word-of-mouth recommendation. A study by McKinsey found that “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.” And of those that were acquired through word-of-mouth had a 37 percent higher retention rate.

Influencer Marketing is proven to work in New Zealand as well. Here’s a local case study showing Influencer Marketing in action:

Sealord Frozen Salmon Launch

Bloggers Club worked with Sealord to drive awareness of their new salmon products – Salmon Fillets and Salmon Pieces.

Because Sealord needed shoppers to head to their supermarket’s frozen department, not the fresh fish section, Sealord needed to introduce shoppers to this new product at the point of meal inspiration, not point of purchase. Since today’s leading source of meal inspiration is food bloggers and online sources, we used five food bloggers to create delicious yet amazingly easy and convenient meals featuring the product to tempt viewers to stock up their freezers.

After 1 week of digital activity, the unit target for Fillets was exceeded by 504% and 756% for Pieces. By week 2 the distribution targets were exceeded by 134% for Fillets and 142% for Pieces. Targets continued to be exceeded every week for the 13 week build. BC bloggers produced 19 social mentions across Facebook which were each seen on average by 15k New Zealand household shoppers.

Sealord showcased the influencer creations across their own social channels, gaining higher reach and engagement than the brands own content. This social activity led to the highest coupon conversion rate of 7.1% for the Sealord brand.

Influencer Marketing in New Zealand

You can find out a whole lot more about Influencer Marketing (for the New Zealand market) in our Influencer Marketing online training course:

In this course, we consider the importance of Influencer Marketing, determine the smartest and most effective strategies — and explore how to identify effective Kiwi micro-influencers who will be good ambassadors for your brand.

Lesson One: Why Use Influencer Marketing

In this lesson, we talk about exactly what Influencer Marketing is, why it matters to you and when and how you should tap into the power of Influencer Marketing. Allow TapInfluence to explain:

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay Influencers to get out the word for you.

Influencer Marketing has evolved from humble origins to end up as the preferred buzzword to describe the current iteration of a well-established and familiar marketing tool: using “celebrities” to promote your products.

There’s a bit more to Influencer Marketing than just plunking a few celebrities into a TV commercial, however. Today’s definition of “celebrities” (Influencers) has broadened to encompass those who are, in the words of Andy Warhol, “famous for 15 minutes”.

Lesson Two: Most Effective Influencer Marketing Strategies

As it turns out, there’s a bit more to Influencer Marketing than simply tracking down people who seem to have a lot of followers in social media. We share proven strategies which will help lessen potential heartache.

We also examine:

  • the top Power Words to use
  • creative ways to incentivize influencers
  • the four Rs of effective Influencer Marketing
  • how to run successful Influencer Marketing campaigns
  • what Google’s purchase of Famebit tells us about the future of Influencer Marketing
  • why major players are now signing up Influencers
  • twenty trends that will shape Influencer Marketing in the next year

Lesson Three: Choosing Influencers

Not all Influencers are created equal (and there are more than a few pretenders to the throne out there). We discuss what to look for (and what to avoid) — and why you should proceed slowly as you assemble your Influencer team.

Lesson Four: Connecting With Influencers

Once you’ve determined the most appropriate Influencers for your brand, it’s time to reach out and connect. If you’re not careful though, and haven’t thought through the right approach, you might be turned down — or end up paying too much. We share lessons from others that will help ease the way.

And we also also help you to brief your chosen influencers, identifying the key information you should provide to Influencers to ensure that they will promote your brand safely, legally and effectively.

Lesson Five: Finding Kiwi Influencers

There are surprising numbers of influential New Zealanders who have attracted a wide following through their efforts on YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and elsewhere.

In this lesson, we take a look at some of New Zealand’s most-followed influencers on the social networks, including (just one example) the NZ-based YouTube channels with most subscribers:

  • Shaaanxo
  • Wacky Wednesday
  • Jamie’s World
  • Rainbow Learning
  • AzzMan

(and we rate them in terms of whose following is growing — and whose is not).

We also draw on our extensive databases of NZ users on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to identify potential Influencer partners (and tell you how to find them — and how to evaluate them properly):

An in-depth look at NZ’s top consumer YouTubers, their overall performance, their most recent videos, what categories they cover and how to contact them

An in-depth look at NZ’s top consumer Instagrammers, their overall performance, their most recent images posted, what topics they talk about and how to contact them

An in-depth look at NZ’s top consumer Tweeters, their overall performance, their most recent tweets, what topics they talk about and how to contact them

Lesson Six: Influencer Marketing Measurement & ROI

In this section we explore exactly what you can and should measure in order to ensure that your Influencer Marketing campaigns are as effective as they should be.

Lesson Seven: Influencer Marketing Cautions

We discuss the reality of fake influencers – those with fake followers who will happily take your money – and how you can identify them. We then concern ourselves with the importance of Disclosure (ensuring that your chosen Influencers are transparent about the fact that they are being rewarded for their participation).

And we discuss:

  • why Influencer campaigns fail
  • the fastest way to destroy your Influencer Marketing efforts

Lesson Eight: Influencer Marketing Tools & Resources

No need to reinvent the wheel. We tell you what you need to know to create and manage Influencer Marketing campaigns, including suggested formats, frameworks and processes. And we share plenty of case studies to inform and inspire.

Lesson Nine: Influencer Marketing Trends

Finally, we discuss twenty emerging Influencer Marketing Trends and how they might impact on your activities going forward.

Any Kiwi marketer, or anyone who is responsible for marketing for their organisation, who is considering using influencers to promote their products/services will benefit from this carefully-structured approach to Influencer Marketing.



Here’s a sampling of the feedback we’ve received from those who’ve taken our courses:

  • Thanks for an informative and interesting [Facebook Accelerator] course. Your presentation held a good balance of theoretical and practical information and was clear and simple enough for a non IT Facebook novice like me to follow. There are many ideas that I have gained that I will attempt to incorporate in the overall marketing plan my team is currently developing for our brand. Facebook can offer so much more than I thought as a medium for communicating with our current and prospective customers. Julie D
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