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As we settle into 2019, we have our sights set on consumer tech and the unfolding highlights from CES 2019.

In the spirit of all things tech, our Insights & Solutions team was inspired to look at performance data from past consumer tech activations and discovered that our consumer tech campaigns saw increased content engagement year-over-year for the last four years (with 2018 seeing an 82% increase from 2017). They dug into campaign data and broader marketplace trends to gain a better understanding as we look ahead.

Consumer electronics are getting “smarter” and the customer profile is broadening

Consumer electronics (CE) are trending toward smart applications and the Internet of Things (IoT), with the global smart home market expected to reach an estimated valuation of $107.4 billion by 2023. Historically, consumer electronics brands have targeted male consumers more heavily, but today, Smart Home technology vastly opens its appeal with many products marketed to millennial females. On average, 73%* of a lifestyle influencer’s audience are millennial females, making lifestyle influencers uniquely positioned to reach and build rapport with the category’s growing female demographic (#thefutureisfemale).

New influencer voices reach new audiences

Compared to traditional tech influencers, lifestyle influencers can foster more relatable conversations about today’s tech products—seamlessly integrating them into everyday content and sharing ways the products can be adopted. We’ve found that a combination of both lifestyle and tech influencers foster the best results overall as lifestyle influencers help drum up top-of-the-funnel awareness, while tech influencers address questions consumers are asking at the bottom of the funnel, before purchase.

For a smart home wifi system campaign, we compared performance data across each distinct group of participating influencers from tech, lifestyle, home, and style. Our analysis revealed that lifestyle influencers outperformed tech influencers by 3X when it came to content engagement.

Similarly, in a 2018smartphone campaign, we saw lifestyle influencers (in the parenting and travel categories) generate higher content engagement rates than their tech counterparts.

For a 2018 launch campaign for a smart home speaker that deployed an even number of tech and lifestyle influencers, we found that lifestyle influencers had a passive engagement rate (likes and comments) that was 26X higher than that of tech influencers—bolstering overall awareness. Within the same campaign, technology-focused partners drove double the amount of quality engagements (relevant comments and content shares) reflecting a more significant investment from their audiences that’s more closely aligned with consideration and purchase intent.

Working with a variety of influencer verticals within an activation ensures success for different types of customers at various points in the purchase journey. This strategy especially holds true for the consumer electronics category as it includes many “firsts of a kind” and new products require research, learning and behavior change—taking time and multiple exposures to convert to purchase.

Looking ahead to 2019

In our recent survey of brand marketers overseeing influencer marketing, when asked if their “2018 influencer marketing activities have been an effective use of marketing budget?”—100% answered yes, which reflects the industry-wide overall growth of influencer marketing budgets. Combined with improvements in third-party access to first-party data from social platforms, and year-over-year increases in time spent on mobile and social-—we anticipate our practice will continue becoming more robust whether for the new & noteworthy debuting this week in Vegas or beyond.

Check out these additional influencer marketing reads:

*random sample set from Collectively influencer community 2018.
Reference: All graph data pulled in 2018 sourced from Collectively campaigns.