Gone are the days when people were glued to their televisions because now, they have an easier alternative to stick to! Cell phones. As the millennial and Gen Z populations have taken up their smartphones as the primary source of entertainment, it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to reach them through TV ads.
So, what now?
Brands have diverted their focus and have adapted to the changing trends by reaching their audience through social media!
Influencer marketing is almost similar to celebrity endorsements, albeit on the internet. With social media influencers becoming more and more popular, enough to be considered ‘Internet celebrities’, the market is being significantly influenced by Influencer Marketing!
Influencers are much closer to their audience than film actors or sportsmen since their followers can see their daily lives as ‘content’. Influencers are content creators that people can interact with through commenting and liking their posts. Because of such an easy approachability to a public figure, people have more faith in influencers.
The audience relates more to the influencers as they share the same plane of existence, in comparison to actors. Their interactions are personalized which keeps the audience constantly engaged while helping the influencers they genuinely like grow organically!
Such faith gives influencers a certain kind of power over their followers. They have the ability to ‘influence’ their followers’ choices and direct them towards certain brands. This ability to alter the human mentality incorporates the whole essence of influencer marketing!
A new trend?
With the rise of Instagram influencers, this marketing strategy might look like a new trend. Fun fact; It isn’t! From a hobby to a full-time profession, influencers do quite well for themselves, while doing something they enjoy or by promoting products they appreciate!
Of course, influencers are way more active now than ever, but the concept was initially conceived in the year 2006. A blogging platform called PayPerPost offered bloggers money in exchange for writing about products; this was considered one of the earliest defined forms of influencer marketing.
As social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram started getting into the scenario by 2010, influencer marketing started taking off.
“Wait, how do you decide whom to collaborate with?”
Based on the number of followers and the size of reach, influencers can be categorized as the following:
Many nano and micro-influencers work for brands in ‘collaboration’, where they get visibility on the brand’s page and the marketed products in exchange for the marketing work. However, to work with macro and mega-influencers with a massive reach, your brands must plan a separate budget.
Not all brands may have the budget to work with mega-influencers and honestly, that’s okay.
Contrary to popular beliefs, collaborating with nano and micro-influencers isn’t any less effective for your brand. The small-scale influencers usually have a hold on a very specific segment of a tightly knit audience. While mega-influencers can give you a massive amount of reach, collaborating with the smaller influencers can make your marketing even more targeted and personal!
So, even if you are a big brand with a big budget, the best influencer marketing strategy is to work with a mixed bag of influencers owing to the diversity in their audiences.
Why do it?
- Influencer marketing can help you target specific customer segments
- Builds better brand recognition and boosts awareness
- Influencers can help boost audience engagement
- Influencer marketing can reinforce your brand’s credibility and improve the trust factor
- Amplifies your rate of conversion
Ways to do it;
Online promotion: Have you seen those branded posts on your favorite influencer’s page that mention a specific product or speak good about a brand? Such online promotions are the most common method of influencer marketing where the influencer talks about a brand or product directly. It can be done by incorporating a clickable link in the caption of branded posts too.
Tip: give the influencers a unique link to your website or a code to track the ROI of your influencer marketing.
UGC: Always share and encourage user-generated content! Ask your influencer to make content around the use of your product (e.g. how to use guides, unboxing videos, etc.)
Testimonials: Word of mouth and people’s opinions about a brand are some of the most important aspects of its image and reliability factor. Influencer testimonials are thus a brilliant way to build trust around your brand. Taking testimonials from popular influencers and featuring them on your website and social media pages can reflect the credibility of your brand.
With the frequent use of social media platforms and innovative content formats like IG reels and YouTube shorts, and millions of active internet users, we are in the middle of peaking influencer marketing. So, if you want to get started with collaborating with influencers, this is the best time to do so!
Research your market and customer base well and find the influencers who have a hold on the similar kind of demographics, and get started.