Fri, 22 Nov 2019 10:39:37 GMT
We all seek validation on things we want to try before we try them out, whether it’s from your close friends or family members or a bunch of reviews from strangers online. It’s because we trust the opinion of others to influence our decisions.
You know that brunch spot you checked out because your friend swears they have the best pancakes? Or that online shop you purchased from because your friend did too, so you know it’s legit? Would you have spent your money on those places without hearing (or reading) about how good it was first? Probably not.
In this digital age, it’s quite the norm to see a different type of validation by the name of influencer marketing. I’ve seen people use up their entire budget on just influencer marketing and at the end see little to no return. There are a lot of factors that come in to play here; things such as (real) follower count, (real) comments, (real) likes, and of course, (real) engagement. While gaining exposure to a large audience is all well and great, there is a real challenge in knowing whether this audience consists of actual people or just bots.
It still holds as quite the strategy, as brands continue to throw their marketing budget onto these influencers. But, are people really buying what they’re selling? I mean, when the Kardashian sisters post an #ad about some tea that keeps them fit, do you believe them?
As rewarding as the influencer strategy may (seem to) be, I personally have yet to purchase a product after seeing someone post an #ad about it. I have, however, looked into products and made purchases after seeing complete strangers validate my reasoning for already considering it - I’m talking about online reviews from real purchasers.
That’s why companies like Amazon have people who check the legitimacy of the product reviews on their platform. If they just allowed anyone to post reviews, the platform’s authenticity would be jeopardised. How can you truly trust that the product is legit if the reviews of it aren’t?
I think that’s where the difference lies when we look at influence through reviews. At the end of the day, real experiences from real buyers matter the most when it comes to purchasing decisions. No matter what form word of mouth takes – by social post, in person, by text, or by letter delivered via pigeon – above all methods, it truly still remains king.
Rinita Barua is copywriter at LP/AD