Influencers Tuning In Online

Woman with laptop.

By Jason Kelley
April 2, 2009

Category:
Market Research

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the recently study released by Ipos Public Affairs. It says that 84% of “digital influencers” in the areas of the environment, personal health and beauty go online to conduct research about a topic after interacting with the brand via traditional media – you know..a print ad, out of home, radio or TV.

The study, which takes a look at the relationship between how digital and traditional media’s influence the publish perception on a given top found that digital influencers often go online to do additional research and to gain a deeper understanding after reading an article, PR announcement or ad in a magazine or newspaper (84%) or being exposed to the message via TV or radio (84% as well.) Digital influencers are defined by Ipsos as: “those with a higher-than-average interest, propensity to gather, and likelihood of passing along online information about one of the three topics mentioned above. Their frequency to share differs both by source and category of interest.”

Sharability Index Created to Rank Sources In concert with the research, MS&L developed a tool called the “IM MS&L Sharability Index,” which ranks sources of online information based on how often material from those locations is shared by a category’s most powerful influencers. The index was introduced as a method for maximizing digital influence based on learnings from the research and was designed to help marketers make decisions on influencer strategies to create campaigns for maximum impact.

Big finding: Beauty influencers trust the manufactures’ website as they rely on it to shape their point of view.

Company and product websites are more effective sources for driving word-of-mouth in the beauty category than in either personal health or environmental cause.

  • When local newspapers launched their online property the vast majority of sales on the .com version were given to an advertiser for free…value add for signing the print contract
  • Then when some of the larger newspapers hired direct online sales people a perfect storm emerged
  • This makes sense to me as this products are often purchased out of a deep need state and finding/relating to others who have similar need states adds credibility to the product

Non-profit and academic websites should not be neglected for green content.

  • Influencers in the environment space spend a great deal of time gathering information from non-profit, association and academic Web sites (42% do so at least once per week).
  • Digital influencers in the category of environmental cause embrace traditionally credible and objective sites when it comes to sharability.
  • The highest sharability scores go to websites of environment-related publications, magazines and TV networks, and non-profit/academic websites.
  • Banner ads and online community sites have the lowest sharability scores, meaning that environmental influencers share information from these sources much less frequently than they do information from all other sources, relative to how often they gather information from each of these sources.

Nutrition is a hot topic for health influencers.

  • Majorities of personal health influencers frequently gather information about nutrition (54%) and nearly half frequently share this content with others.
  • The most sharable source among digital influencers in this category are national and local government websites, even though these sites are not as widely visited and used as other sites that provide health information.
  • These websites trigger a great deal of word-of-mouth on the part of the personal health influencers who access them, so the sites may provide the biggest bang for a marketer