Without a doubt, social networks are the most important media platform today. According to data compiled by the web portal specialized in statistics Statista.com, digital advertising represents more than half of the total advertising investment in the world. And within this group, 70% corresponds to advertising aimed at mobile devices. Only Facebook, the social network with the greatest reach, counted in 2021 with 2.740 million active users per month. The second place was occupied by YouTube, with 2.291 million. It is estimated that by 2024 There are 3.640 million monthly active users in the world.
There are different advertising and marketing techniques implemented in the digital world and, particularly, in social networks. Due to their characteristics, including the possibility of having “followers”, “lovers” and even “haters”, networks facilitate the promotion of personalities, many of them native to the digital ecosystem itself. In other words, many social network celebrities are famous for their role outside the network, but many others have become known for their performance within web 2.0. These are personalities who have thousands and even millions of followers on a social network and, consequently, a very important communication power. They are known as “influencers” (influencers).
Influencer marketing is one of the techniques that has had the greatest boom in recent years. It is about making commercial alliances with one or more of these celebrities of the digital world so that they promote the product among their community of followers. As their name indicates, they are people who influence the opinions of the public. It is already very common that among the content that our favorite comedian or our favorite sports star offers us, for example, there is one or several recommendations about restaurants, hotels, food services, transportation, clothing and even drinks. This type of marketing is even used for institutional and political campaigns.
Sociologist Rocy Albarrán, specialist in Digital Marketing, guided us in this regard, indicating that this technique has to do with what is known as "social proof":
"If there is someone who tries the product, and says it is good, and it is also a person who is relevant in that world and I see him as a benchmark, then I will follow him and value his opinions," he explained.
We found it interesting to know to what extent this type of advertising is effective in our country. That is why we carried out a digital survey on the web portal and social networks of Últimas Noticias to see what is the real reach and power of influencers among our audience.
We ask two questions: 1- Do you constantly follow the publications of one or several influencers on social networks? 2- Have you bought a product or service because you saw it advertised by a celebrity or influencer social networks? The answers were categorized by gender and age to obtain a more detailed look at the matter. Between Monday May 23 and Thursday May 26, 751 people participated and the results are as follows.
women on top
The first question measured the reach of the influencers, that is, what percentage of our audience regularly consumes the content offered by these creators. In this way, we would better specify the population to which we would formulate the second question. We obtained that 59,8% claim to be a follower of one or more influencers.
When separating the results by gender, we find that the female reach of the influencers (63,3%) exceeds the male reach by almost 6 points (57,6%), although the values remain around the general figure.
This panorama is complemented by the age variable. We were able to see that the younger the audience, the more reach influencers have. We also note that, in two of the three age groups, the trend is maintained for the female population to be above the general average.
men pay more
Having seen the panorama and delimited the target population, we asked the participants if they had bought a product or service based on the recommendation of an influencer on social networks. We reiterate here that the following data reflects the answers only of the population that responded positively to the previous question, that is, they are people who recognize themselves as followers of influencers on social networks. This is what we got:
The definitive data is that 21,6% of people who recognize themselves as followers of influencers say they have bought at least one product or service on the recommendation of a celebrity on social media. And if we analyze the distribution by sex, we have that in the case of men the figure increases to 22,9% and in women it drops to 19,7%. In other words, if above we observe that influencers have a greater reach in women, the effectiveness in terms of buying conviction is higher in men.
Rocy Albarrán clarifies that the fact that the figure is around 20% does not mean that it is low, on the contrary, it is a good number. “You have to remember that it is one more technique among others.” So, continues the specialist, “it is very important to analyze what type of product is going to be marketed, because not all brands, not all groups, not all businesses use the same techniques; for each case you have to know who you are selling to.”
In this sense, the analysis by age groups provides us with more interesting data. Although in the first part we said that influencers reach the younger audience more, when it comes to buying they are more effective among the middle-aged, that is, the population between 41 and 60 years old. Here the impact is 24,5%. However, in this same group, the greatest weight is in men, whose particular figure (men from 41 to 60 years old) reaches 28,57%. The situation is reversed in the group of the youngest (18-40 years), where the greatest impact is on women, with 22,22%, and that of men drops to 18,33%.
This type of advertising uses demographic segmentation with high levels of precision. Brands choose their allies, according to the particular audience in which they have the most appeal and their suitability with the target audience of their product or service. As Albarrán explains, “particular groups are always important; For example, for older people, an influencer is not only an artist or famous person, but is also a person who knows a lot about the subject in question, is a reference for them in a certain matter, so they take this recommendation very seriously to take their decision. purchase decision”.
These data are quite useful not only for brands and people who are dedicated to marketing, but also provide a point of comparison of our country with others, given that it is a global phenomenon. The Statista.com portal published a graphic on the same topic that we are analyzing here with figures corresponding to various countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia and North America. There, the case of Brazil stands out, which is not only the Latin American country with the largest number of influencers and Instagram, with almost 10 million according to data from 2020, but it ranks first in terms of the power that influencers exercise in purchasing decisions, with 44%.
Although they do not include Venezuela in their analysis, now that we have our own data we can include ourselves and compare ourselves with that group of countries. In this way, we can see that the sales power of influencers in Venezuela (21,6%) is above the cases of Spain (19%), the United States (18%), Argentina (15%), France ( 14%) and Japan (8%).
We are only surpassed by Mexico (30%), India (35%) and Brazil (44%).
We note that while experts say that the Latin American consumer is more demanding or difficult to convince by traditional marketing standards, new digital trends seem to generate better results, even higher than in some northern countries. It is noteworthy that in the international comparison that we present here, countries of the so-called “emerging powers” such as Brazil, India and Mexico stand out in the first places. Also that Spain, Venezuela and Argentina have similar values, and even higher, than the United States. This tells us about the diversity of economic dynamics and also that when we refer to social networks and internet ecosystems we are facing a true global trend, which is evidenced in this possibility of comparing countries that are so diverse in terms of the size of their economies and even their cultural characteristics.
“This trend will increase more and more because, if the product is good and the influencer is well positioned within the parameters of the brand, more trust will be generated; and as trust is generated, more people will adopt this same behavior”, analyzed sociologist Rocy Albarrán.