New Study: What the Power of People Can Do for Product Sales

By Brian Cavoli, BzzAgent


We’ve always known that consumer-created content on social media is highly influential, but a recent study from IRI and BzzAgent (a division of dunnhumby) shows just how effective it is at driving sales compared to digital and traditional media. Influencer marketing programs with regular consumers, called everyday influencers, consistently delivered a higher return on short-term ad spend for CPG brands than traditional advertising across digital media, television and radio.

The study analyzed three years of everyday influencer marketing programs run by BzzAgent and measured by IRI’s Matched Market Test. The return on ad spend for these programs exceeded performance benchmarks for digital media, television and radio.

More on the study: BzzAgent and IRI Find Everyday Influencer Marketing Programs Drive the Highest Return on Ad Spend

Marketing with everyday influencers solves many of the problems facing advertisers today. As major brands pull back on digital media over concerns of performance, engagement and transparency, marketing with real people can bring new life to a media plan.

No one can communicate what it means to experience a brand better than the people who actually use it. The reviews, photos and videos they share capture the emotions of a product experience in a way that is more authentic and influential than anything that comes from what a brand has to say. 

Study after study has shown that people we know, and those who are “like us,” are more trustworthy and more influential than anything else when making purchase decisions. Consumer content is so valuable, we’ve seen ad performance jump when brands incorporate consumer-generated photos and reviews in their online display ad units.

Content shared by real people across social media are part of the conversation, so they invite engagement. Interestingly, it’s often those with fewer followers, as opposed to celebrities, who get the most engagement per post. A Markerly study found that “like” and comment rates on Instagram decrease significantly as follower counts increase. The relationships on accounts with fewer followers are more meaningful. Discussion topics are contextually relevant and permission-based, and they are not altered by ad blockers.

Influencer marketing is hot right now. As this study shows, with the right everyday influencer program and the right measurement practices, there’s nothing better for heating up your sales.

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