With multiple brands coming up, the competition between companies to attract target audiences and convert them into loyal customers has increased. With the rapid expansion of social media networks the brands need to tap into these new platforms of advertising to reach the public. This is where Influencer marketing comes in.
Before the expansion of social media the only influencers were the celebrities. But now a new breed of influencer's have been created through social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Social media influencers are individuals who have a high online status and the power to influence their follower's purchase behaviour and sway it towards a particular brand.
Influencer marketing is based on the worth of recommendation, which uses the power of social media influencers such as bloggers, instagrammers, Youtubers and snapchatters, to reach to the Brand's target market through the follow base of the influencers.
The growth of social media platforms has also given the customers various options to gain information on products and services. Influencer Marketing is now being recognised as a new and creative marketing technique.
People trust social media influencers a lot more than celebrities because they relate to the social media influencers more. The influencers seem like normal people so their fan base connects with them on a deeper level.
According to various surveys, word of mouth produces more than twice the sales of paid advertising. Which means that recommendation has an impact on the purchasing decision of a consumer. By using Influencer marketing strategy, brands can leverage the power of word of mouth through social media personalities.
As the reach of social media increases day by day, the followers base of Influencers increases which means the brand can reach more of their target audience everyday.
The celebrity endorsement looks more promotional. The Influencers don't push out ads. When they deliver content to their followers it comes off more genuine and less promotional. They create videos on Unboxing and using the product which looks organic. That’s why it generates more engagement than a celebrity endorsement.
Somya Gupta, an influencer and lifestyle blogger in India is the best example of an influencer who has used Instagram page and YouTube channel to advertise products of various brands such as Loreal, Maybelline, Garnier, Pepe Jeans, and LG Smartphones.
To watch uninterrupted content online, people actively block and skip ads which is a feature which was not available on the television. This indicates that marketers should move on to other strategies to gain customer trust.
How can companies increase brand visibility, in today’s landscape where the media platforms are increasing day by day? Maximum companies are scrambling to compete with others by bringing a few new features and innovations. In this era of extreme competition, how does a brand make a breakthrough in the social media culture?
The answer is Influencer Marketing. The perfect mix of a great idea, the right influencer with established followers in the area of brands target group, and a strategically executed campaign that contain messaging that stays true to the brands value.
Brands can integrate their social media marketing strategy with influencers using different ways:
Content co-creation is about co-creating content for advertisement with an influencer. It is about recognizing the audience as part of the brand and finding a relevant influencer to collaborate on an authentic story. Influencers have a huge follow base because they are creative. So the brand should allow them to use their creativity while keeping the appropriate brand message. Influencers prefer to work with a brand that gives them creative and editorial freedom rather than competitive compensation.
The One- Off marketing with social media influencers means using the influencer’s fan base towards the latest product or services.
An example can be giving discount coupon codes. The company gives the influencer it is working with a unique discount or promotional code which the influencer can use while promoting the product. This way the company can even track the influencer’s contribution toward the advertisement of the product or service of the brand.
A deeper partnership with social influencers includes long-term commitments throughout the entire campaign. The brand might also feature the influencer as an official brand ambassador.
For example, Prajakta Koli is an influencer and blogger who has gradually built an audience through her blogs and now has a following of more than 4.72 Million on her youtube channel. She acted as the ambassador for Xiaomi for their Redmi K20 smartphone launch.
In the current era where social media has taken on everything, marketers need to change the way they communicate with their target audience. To stand out in the competitive market, the companies should constantly innovate their marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing must be viewed as a great addition to their existing content marketing efforts as it generates revenue and has a constantly expanding reach. Identifying the right influencer is the biggest challenge. Moreover, the Brands should utilize influencers in an effective way not only to build trust and brand awareness with their followers but also to drive action.