The concept of Influencer Marketing has become extremely popular in the past few years and brands allocate more time and resources than ever to this tactic in order to influence shoppers’ last-minute buying decisions.
By Romanita Oprea
Every year since 2013, Starcom Romania has been following the impact of Influencers over Romanian consumers, this year looking towards the areas where they can intervene in their buying process, in order to see what type of objectives can be included in the brand strategy.
Therefore, this year’s analysis looked at the impact generated by Influencers in categories of products such as cosmetics and personal care products, telecom, banking, food and beverages, automotive, hypermarkets and house products, deco and DIY. An additional feature of this year’s study is the fact that it was also conducted by the Starcom Bulgaria team, completing the results in Romania with particularities from each market.
Following last year’s structure, the study divided Influencers into 3 categories: “Professionals” – the persons with expertise in a field, “People like us”- the influencers who have formed their online audience by providing constantly relevant information for a certain segment, „The celebrities”– people with high awareness (e.g. actors, singers, TV presenters).
Cosmetics and personal care
Consumers feel the need to see beyond the image of a celebrity in order to consider buying a product. Even for cosmetics, people are seeking relevant experiences and a story around a certain product.
The fastest association between “Celebrities” and this category of products seems to be in the make-up area (also most of the campaigns with Influencers are here, with tutorials and product review videos). But the study’s results show that much more appreciated by the consumers are the advices about hair, skin care and even about perfumes.
If we take a look at the results obtained by Starcom Bulgaria, where the biggest influence for the category cosmetics and personal care products belongs to the “Professionals”, in Romania the “Celebrities” are considered to be better informed in this category, being seen as professionals.
The influence of the “Celebrities” is important in the decision process from the moment in which the consumer discovers the brand, finds out more information about the products, chooses to try them and continues to use them in the future as part of their favorite products.
Telecom and mobile phones
This category is in continuous growth and generates changes in the consumers’ behavior. From the study it results the fact that is needed a mix of Influencers in order to succeed the coverage of the full palate of needs, old and new, discovered by the consumers.
„The professionals” contribute to the manner in which a new product is perceived as being trustful and making known its functionalities. “The celebrities” make aspirational a new brand or product. “People like us” help the growth of awareness of the new product launches and simplifies the decision process by sharing their own experience with a certain product.
In the fast manner in which new devices and services are launched on the market, the consumers need to make a decision regarding the products with a big value, therefore they appeal at Influencers to make shorter the decision process and in order to understand better their benefits.
Products and banking services
Trust is the main characteristic in choosing an Influencer to endorse a banking product. Here, the status and the Influencer’s experience level is directly proportional with the trust level the public is offering it.
Due to the fact that this category comes with a high risk, “People like us” don’t succeed in building the necessary trust level and due to this, the “Professionals” are seen as being more fit in recommending these type of services. The “Celebrities”, on the other hand, activate the emotional side, humanizing this category and grow the level of openness of some people towards certain products. The results in Bulgaria show that these Professionals need to talk on the language of the normal people in order to gain their trust.
Food – the only category in which Influencers can generate a direct impact in selling a product
This category refers to the products used daily, therefore there isn’t felt the need of a certain expertize from the Influencers. “Professionals” are considered fit for recommending the premium products.
Having a low acquisition risk, in this category the Influencers determine most of the people to try and directly buy the recommended product.
Automotive – the only category where Influencers can determine the public to speak about the brand, besides helping it understand the benefits and the need to make a change.
As in the case of the banking services, this category comes with a high risk in the buying decision. Therefore, the “Professionals” are the ones who succeed in inspiring trust in their recommendations, through offering more technical information, regarding the consumption of carburant, the engine power, etc.
Retail (DIY, décor products, hyper and supermarkets)
„People like us” and „Professionals” that use products from a certain store are considered not only Influencers, but also clients of the certain retailer. This is the main reason for which they intervene directly in the testing and buying stage of a product. Being a category with high risk from the point of view of the promotions, people are waiting for the Influencers’ activations and contests.
The study was realized in the period August 29th – September 5th, on a range of 1652 respondents, with age over 18, that live in urban. The study was presented for the first time during Influencer Marketing Conference, event organized in partnership with Evensys. The same study was conducted also by Starcom Bulgaria. Keeping the exact structure were questioned 1000 persons in online, urban.