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Influencer Marketing and Consumer Behavior

The marketing world is evolving, and so are methods for capturing an audience’s attention. Today, most people ignore traditional marketing methods like commercials and billboards. So more and more people are spending time on social media and influencer marketing is rising steadily. As a result, brands are realizing the true potential of this marketing style and how it’s affecting consumer behavior.

What is an Influencer?

Influencer marketing has been around forever, but it became popular a decade ago through social media. The modern definition of an influencer is someone who works in a specific niche and has a strong impact on the purchase decisions of others. They’re typically hailed as “experts” in topics like health, fashion, yoga, or food.

Macro and Mega Influencers

Macro and Mega influencers include celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande. Large brands use macro influencers for more visibility and awareness. In this scenario, companies have a lot of control over what is posted and said about their product.

Micro Influencers 

Micro influencers are smaller, more approachable accounts that still have a considerable number of followers. Lately, brands are reaching out to micro influencers more because they’re seem to be more authentic. Also, they have proved to have better audience engagement and a fairly high ROI.

Nano Influencers

These individuals usually have less than 1,000 followers and have strong influence within their community. They’re the most relatable of the bunch and, like micro influencers, also have a high level of engagement with their followers.

Making Brands Appear Human

Companies must relinquish some creative direction when they rely on micro and nano influencers. These individuals use their own voices and personalities to make brands appear “human.” This contributes to the honesty and relatable factors that influencer marketing is all about.

However, this industry may turn out to be more misleading than genuine. Accounts must to put #ad or #sponsored in the captions of their posts if they’re promoting certain products. If they’re not careful, influencers could lose some loyal followers that feel like they’re being excessively advertised to.

Influencer Marketing and Consumer Behavior

According to the latest Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, Millennials have different values than other generations. They prioritize experiences like travel over traditional ideas of success, are spending their money with companies that align with their values, and are untrustworthy of blatant advertising. Also, they’re very aware that celebrity endorsements are hardly, if ever, authentic. More and more businesses are investing in this industry to skyrocket their engagement and reach audiences they never would have been able to reach on their own. 

Below are some successful campaigns that benefitted from influencer marketing.

nike-ad

Nike

Nike is one of the top performing brands in the industry. In 2018, they used the Colin Kaepernick controversy to their advantage and weren’t afraid to show the less polished side of the brand. In their case, the backlash helped them stay relevant. 

Apple

Apple capitalized on FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) by partnering with YouTube to create “unboxing videos,” which gave influencers that were fans of the brand access to products before they even came out. This drove a huge wave of attention to the latest product as soon as it came out.

Dunkin’ Donuts

DD launched a campaign on National Donut Day and allowed eight different users to take over their Snapchat account and post their own content. This way, they expanded their audience and gained thousands of followers that they wouldn’t have been able to reach organically on their own. 

Embracing the Shift

According to Business Insider Intelligence, influencer marketing ad spend will reach $10 billion by 2022. There’s no doubt that as this industry progresses, it will become more and more difficult to appear “authentic.” Brands have to continually rework their strategies to stand out in the crowd and work with the values of their audience.

At energyhill, we know how important it is to tell your story, not just your mission statement. We’ll help you discover what makes your brand unique and do the research so that you better understand your audience and their wants. Contact us to start your campaign today and experience organic growth.

IHOP Name Change – Marketing Stunt, Campaign, or Just Luck?

Remember that brief time in pancake history when IHOP changed its name to IHOb? Yes, it was a change that left the entire nation puzzled and somewhat feeling betrayed. However, this new identity was all too swift, as they went back to their old roots. And now, this change got us questioning, was this a brilliant IHOP marketing stunt or just luck?IHOP Name Change - Marketing Stunt, Campaign, or Just Luck?

Return on Investment for the IHOP Campaign

IHOP received great exposure that put it on the spotlight. Otherwise, how else would they bring attention to their new menu addition – burgers? We can speculate that this IHOP campaign to bring attention to their burgers worked. It got people lining outside their doors, including Food and Wine. Whatever the reason for this IHOP name change was, we sure are happy to see that the beloved International House of Pancakes would never turn their backs on pancakes – as they captioned on Instagram.

IHOP Backlinks

Getting these types of backlinks (e.g. Food & Wine) is ridiculously good for IHOP. When, if ever, would IHOP get this type of exposure? They wouldn’t. This clever IHOP marketing stunt was a success that gave the chain restaurant online prominence.

IHOP Campaign Media Coverage

With any major news comes major media coverage. And of course, this IHOP campaign was no exception. The media coverage for the IHOP name change illustrated their surprise as well as that of consumers. Fox News and NBC Right Now are some of the TV news stations that commented on this change. Sure enough people took this matter to Twitter where IHOP held a poll for users to guess the meaning of their new acronym.

Brilliant IHOP Marketing Stunt

We must admit that it was the best marketing stunt ever by a chain restaurant. Why? It’s simple. Not only did this unexpected name change shake consumers to their core, it also brought plenty of press to the chain restaurants. The fine dining magazine Food & Wine, equally as surprised as the rest of us, featured the IHOP name change in an article about the restaurant’s identity. This reflects the genius behind their marketing strategy because, again, when would IHOP get this type of exposure? It got people talking everywhere, on social media, on news channels, at work. Also, curious consumers and regulars now felt they had to go and try their burgers.

https://twitter.com/AntoniaMireles_/status/1012402427587416065

Faux Outrage?

Twitter is the platform of choice for people to take their opinions to. And surely consumers gave the world a piece of their mind, but did they take it too far? Did this new name call for a boycott?

IHOP Campaign or Mere Luck

We should also consider that luck played a role in the campaign. IHOP, a stamp for pancakes, has been around for decades. What better way to make national noise than to tease a brand change, while adding new menu items and increasing foot traffic to their restaurants? But how much more creative can one get to push a campaign for a menu item? Does that mean that other chain restaurants should pull the same strategy in exchange of exposure? I dare say no, this was just a one-time thing for IHOP and I do not think it will work for other restaurants. Think cry wolf. Our digital culture is quick to realize and adapt … and even filter out future attempts. So, yes, maybe the stars aligned just right to bring them the luck IHOP needed to pull this off. However, with smart campaigns, is luck even planned for?

Well done IHOP! You kept us entertained, confused, and intrigued for a while, all to present your newest menu item and tease that you were changing your brand. At Energyhill we were fascinated by this IHOP marketing stunt and think it was a smart move for the chain. As a marketing and advertising company, we understand strategies and always devise tactics to help businesses grow. Now, don’t worry, we will not use this card of name change, but we will use business strategies to push your business forward. Contact us to get more information and get the conversation started.

Engage with us on social and give us your thoughts on this brilliant campaign. It was a campaign right IHOP?

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