What is Influencer Marketing
It’s an established truth that we as consumers tenIt’s an established truth that we as consumers tend to purchase a product suggested by a close friend than shown in an advertisement. Influencer marketing emerged as a result of recognizing the same sentiment.
Influencer marketing, as the name implies, is a type of marketing in which people with clout (also known as influencers) in specific sectors such as food, travel, cosmetics, lifestyle, fashion, and so on are used by brands to promote their products and services to target specific markets or segments. These influencers boast of a massive fan base or following on social media, which makes them a credible source to reach a wider audience through endorsements and recommendations.
If we look back in time, celebrity endorsements can be considered the original kind of influencer marketing. However, with the advent of the digital arena, many people with outstanding talents and knowledge can now generate creative and exciting content and are carving out a niche for themselves with big audiences rooting for them. An influencer’s connection with their audience is perceived to be very personal, organic, and direct. Brands increase their visibility and effect among their customers by engaging with content creators like these. In short, these content creators relay a brand’s message to the respective audience. There are many ways to approach this kind of marketing.
Without any doubt, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have played a pivotal role in making this unique form of marketing the success it enjoys today. And still are an integral part of the job. Influencer marketing is getting wider and more scalable with every passing day as brands identify their potential and prospects.
Today, an influencer activity is not limited to Instagram or YouTube posts. There are many variations to it. Listed below are the top five influencer marketing campaigns:
1) New product launches and reviews:
This is one of the most common forms of influencer activities that many brands opt for. Brands provide their products and services to the influencer for free, and in exchange, he/she posts a video while reviewing the same.
2) Contests and gifts:
Here, the brands allow influencers to give away their products or services for free to their followers by making them enter simple contests on their channel. To do so, followers can be given multiple options. For instance, ‘liking the video or post, commenting on it with certain phrases or photos, etc. Providing special discount coupons is also part of the same. Viewers can visit the website or nearby outlet to cash in on it.
3) Direct or indirect brand/product integration:
Brand integration garners lots of attention and is becoming a very popular aspect of influencer marketing. It adds a sense of realism as it showcases an authentic weaving of a brand into a running influencer story/video.
4) Influencers attending a promotional event of certain brands:
Many brands have started inviting influencers to their promotional events to publicize their products and services. As obvious, they talk about the event and brand on their social media handles, giving the brand much-needed exposure and hype.
5) Classic promotion:
This is the sponsored content creation done by an influencer for a brand. Here, an influencer simply incorporates a brand’s product or service details into his social media marketing platforms. Some amount of time is allotted to talk about the product specifications.
Before finalizing the influencer for the product. It is important to carve the basic influencer marketing framework/strategy for the job. Here are some basic pointers that need to be considered.
1) Identify the target audience:
It is crucial to select the target audience before choosing the influencer. This can be done based on demographics, reading customer behavior as per the latest trends, interests, and values.
2) Clear objective:
It is imperative to set a goal as per the company’s vision and marketing strategy to achieve long-term profits and standing in the business. Every campaign should be backed by a clearly-stated primary objective. Your goal as a company should cover parameters like brand awareness, consumer engagement, striking a relationship with the consumer, etc. The objective should be realistic, measurable, and result-oriented.
3) Influencer strategy:
A credible influencer strategy is paramount. It’s important for the brands to first identify the area from which they want to call an influencer for the campaign. Check out his or her authority, expertise, and reach in the field. Also see, if his standing is matching the campaign’s objective or not.
When the brand is clear about its influencer marketing drive and target audience. It gets vital for the company to choose who will execute it in their desired style and expectations without emptying their pocket. A company can approach an influencer on a commission or cash basis. Free product and discount is also a good way to approach an eminent influencer.
The most challenging task for brands these days is to choose the right influencer to execute their marketing strategy. There are various kinds of influencers active in the industry including Macro and micro-influencers. Such as:
- Social media stars
- Industry experts
- Thought leaders
- Unofficial brand ambassadors
Today, from a grandfather to a certain age child has an account on social media. People want to feel motivated and touched and at the same time see interesting and inspiring content. Well, as per data, more than 50 percent of buyers read reviews, and more than 80 percent of customers listen to an influencer’s opinion before making a purchase. Influences are powerful in many ways and can work wonders by attracting a huge amount of site traffic or footfall for a brand. It is seen that investing in influencer marketing is giving 5 times the results to the brands in comparison to paid advertising.