We all have at least one friend who keeps talking about their free stay or sponsored vacations, enjoys discounts, receives samples and hampers of newly launched products or someone who is loyal to a brand and loves to flaunt it. And you keep thinking that it is a matter of getting lucky and a few selfies. Is it so?
You open your social media feed and the pictures of the latest fashion or health tips are sandwiched between the updates from your friends. The imagery not just looks appealing but also influences your decisions and desires sometimes. This is what influencer marketing does. Of course, this is not a replacement for content marketing or social media marketing, as influential marketing cannot exist without them.
Influencer marketing is touted to be the next big thing that will not stop any sooner. To those who are unfamiliar with the buzz word, influential marketing is something like a blend of old and new marketing techniques. Inspired by the idea of celebrity endorsement and driven by modern-day content marketing, IM usually are collaborations between influencers and brands.
Influencers can be anyone with a good number of followers on social media, a business owner, a fashionista, a techie, a photographer or a blogger/vlogger. They have their fingers on the digital pulse of the highly engaging audience. In any industry, there are influential people; you just need to find them to get your product in reach of a greater audience.
“True influence not just drives attention, but also action,” said Jay Baer.
Influencers are not just limited to Instagram, but also various other platforms, to target the right and bigger audience. Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn are a few other channels to reach the potential audience. While social media personalities can give exposure to your brand, if their posts are not fitting the context, then it is uncertain if the post will generate expected leads. Hence, it is necessary to have your brand associated with a right influencer.
If you are a startup, you must be facing challenges to acquire audience at a bigger scale with low cost, engaging them is even more difficult. And the difficulty rises when your competitors are also trying to target a similar audience. So how will you push your product or service before the audience without being aggressive? Modern day customers turn deaf ears to TV ads and are blind to billboards, banners. Do you remember the last time you paid attention to a banner? On the other hand, realizing their worth in advertising, social media networks have made it harder for business pages to get people engaged with organic posts.
What makes Google stand out is its ability to show personalized ads to the people who might likely click it.
Today, consumers are self-sufficient to research a brand on their own. Any consumer would trust reference or recommendation from a third party over a brand’s own advertisement. This is why influencers have evolved rapidly into a scalable and effective marketing channel that cannot be ignored by brands.
Influencer Marketing is growing because it gives an authentic voice to a brand and grabs the attention of the right audience. According to Linqia, in 2017, 86% of marketers engaged in influencer marketing, of which 92% were reported effective and successful.
When you associate with an influencer, you not just draw the attention of their audience but also get noticed by their audience network. The loyalty of the followers of an influencer has the capacity to pull traffic to your website, increase social media exposure, and even sell your product through their recommendation or experience story.
For instance, Damon and Jo, a young couple, while exploring the world filmed a travel show for the ‘social media generation,’ titled ‘Shut up and Go.’ The duo became popular not because of any ads, but because of their scrappy, unpolished, witty videos of on-a-budget travel across the world.
Looking at their growing popularity, brands like MTV, Greyhound, Toyota partnered with them. The couple was offered good paycheques to promote goods and services on their page. Hence, this is how influence marketing works.
Due to the explosion of digital marketing, marketers began using new techniques and implementing virality to promote products. Virality is scalable with minimum acquisition costs, helping a brand to get noticed and reach a greater audience.
Virality is like unlocking the secret bonus in Super Mario World. Virality happens when people spread the word about a brand or a product in the context of using it. So, what does it have to do with influencer marketing? A viral product attributes its tremendous growth to existing customers recruiting new ones. As influencers have huge followers who follow their ideologies, stick to their tips, trust their recommendations, a brand has a good chance to get viral.
Influencers can make the product go viral, but it’s the brand’s job to make products that will be loved by consumers. It’s important to continually track, measure, and optimize the different tools that affect the marketing strategy. Moreover, a good marketer knows not to put all the eggs in one basket.
Associating your brand with wrong influencers can tarnish your brand in a single post by them. If you are not able to find the right influencers for your brand, then let BluBrandz help you get started. We deal with influencer discovery, management and analytics to scale the impact of influencer marketing.