With declining consumer attention spans and increasing buying options, the modern day marketers are faced with a challenge to create advert campaigns that cut through the noise and engage the identified target audience. Conversely, discerning consumers wary of constant advert bombardment are opting for cord cutting, ad blockers and other means to ward off irrelevant content. Since skepticism and selectiveness go hand in hand, odds pile up against marketers, forcing them to consider inventive campaign strategies. Well past the experimental phase, Influencer marketing is one such campaign strategy getting mainstream acceptance.
People buy perceptions. Simply put, your ability to create a positive feeling about your company or product among the target audience will translate to better brand development. Here brand campaigns step in, sending your message across to the right people at the right time and for the right duration. A successful campaign strikes a chord with the target audience at a conscious and sub-conscious level, creating demand and allegiance for your offerings. Take, for instance, Apple – a gold standard in branding and customer loyalty. Every time an Apple product is unleashed, buyers braving long queues outside Apple outlets are a common sight globally.
The influencer is an individual with specialized knowledge of his field, close ties with media outlets and public entities, and an acceptance among your target audience. The influencers draw on their connections and influence to promote your brand without any allegiance to it. They can be anything – from activists and socialites to industry thought leaders, trendsetters, educators, coaches, to entertainers. Identifying an influencer is apparently important since you will be orienting your entire campaign around them. Thankfully, you have access to multiple market research techniques to zero in on influencers that suit your brand, target audience and pocket. There are common approaches to identify influencers, some populated below.
The influencer’s area of influence and impact on the audience
How well is he connected and how efficiently can he exploit connections
Does he have common interests in promoting a specific view-point.
How skilled is he in promoting a product or service at different levels.
Does he possess in-depth knowledge of a field or is a generic influencer.
Influencer marketing has multiple shades to it, each with a different degree of collaboration, profit sharing, and objective. We have populated a list of few to beef up your knowledge.
Discount codes: In a competitive and unforgiving market, incentivizing purchasing is crucial to attract footfall, increase conversions and drive sales. Money saving perks like lucrative specials and generous discounts can help you achieve the same, swiftly and effortlessly. The strategy can be implemented in Influencer campaigns by creating exclusive discount codes for the influencer to distribute among his followers.
Affiliate marketing: Give the tried and tested affiliate marketing the influencer spin and get a step closer to your marketing objectives. Herein, the influencer will get a cut for every sale he/she generates through his/her content and influence. This will keep the influencer interested and you in the know of spending and earnings of the campaign
Brand ambassador: Celebrities having long-term endorsement contracts with brands is a conventional marketing staple. However, it can also transition into influencer campaigns, giving you better marketing outcomes in the long run. Just rope in the influencer for the long-term and orient campaigns around him/her.
Go Blogging: Bloggers enjoy an appreciable influence over readers. It’s about time to harness it to your advantage. Being indexed by search engines, blog content has a vast life-span as opposed to social media posts that die down within hours. Blogs with huge readership are an asset but the upcoming ones are important nonetheless
Publicity stunts: Marketers often choose publicity stunts to attract customer attention. You can replicate it with your influencer for similar outcomes but with precaution. Such stunts are difficult to pull off and may backfire in lack of proper execution
Influencer and social media: When influencer is synchronized with the social media, the combination is enriching for the marketer. The capability of the social media to strike a conversation with the target audience is complemented by the appeal of the influencer. However, the ploy works only if the strategy is feasible and objectives are well defined
Competitions: Using competitions and giveaways via an influencer is a proven campaign strategy for brand promotion. Just host any competition at your platform involving influencers and see an upsurge in footfall. Be creative and thoughtful in choosing the competition, entry requirements and giveaways, as an error in judgment can backfire
Guest posting: Influence marketing in conjunction with content marketing can usher in tremendous benefits, provided you play by the rules. Here, you ask influencers to contribute to your web platforms, much like a freelancer. The arrangement ensures a consistent supply of fresh content to your web platforms from the specialists. Make sure to tag your web page to that of the influencer for mutual benefits
In earned influencer marketing, the influencer promotes your content for his/her personal gains, usually without charging anything. The mutually benefiting arrangement is based on understanding and goes beyond financial commitments
Contrarily, paid influencer marketing, as the name indicates, involves finances. You pay the influencer a certain amount prior to the campaign. Apparently, the amount depends on his influence, skills and experience
If incorporated properly in the overall marketing mix, influencer marketing can keep you in the grove tangibly. To learn how, read on
Builds Credibility: Influencers are people with credibility earned over years of toil. When you associate with them, the credibility factor rubs on to your brand as well. Even skeptics will take your brand seriously on recommendations of influencers.
Drives Sales: The influencer marketing is a subtle yet effective way of driving sales vis-à-vis the conventional forms. The consumer responds well to the call of action perpetrated by the influencer on your behalf, ensuring better conversions and sales.
Builds Credibility: With Influencer marketing, there is a certainty of the message reaching the intended recipient as opposed to ads that are often blocked. The reason being, consumers are wary of being constantly bombarded by ads but will willingly receive any content sent across by the influencer
Complements SEO: The influencers often run high authority websites. A back-link from their websites is an assurance of your content’s authenticity and informative value. As the search engines look for these parameters when providing organic rankings, your SEO efforts get a boost, taking you closer to your marketing objectives sales.
Boosts content quality: Creating engaging, relevant and informative content has to be prioritized. However, you will hit the wall sooner or later, since churning out quality content redundantly is a tall ask. Here influencers step in, keeping a consistent flow of specialized content and bringing a fresh perspective to your overall content strategy
Economical: Influencer marketing need not come with a hefty price tag unless you rope in celebrity influencers in bulk. Many influencers may even work on an earned influencer marketing arrangement to boost their own growth perspectives
Suitability: Suitability is central to influencer marketing. Whether you are a startup facing a resource crunch or an established brand, it fits all budgets and needs
Per Collective Bias, about 70% of millennials take peer recommendations seriously when it comes to buying. Purchasing decisions of 30% are influenced by non-celebrity bloggers, the resource further reveals.
The same resource tells us that Facebook posts influence buying decisions of around 19% consumer while 18% get their buying inspiration from YouTube
Courtesy Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of consumers, out of which 86% are women, count on influencers for buying recommendations.
The marketing methodology offers the highest ROI, $6.50 on each dollar spent, the Digital Marketing Institute further states
If the same resource is believed, influencer marketing is the most economical of marketing methods for over 22% of marketers globally
LINQIA’s latest report indicates that 39% of marketers are considering upping their influencer marketing budgets while 21% are expected to stick to their present spending
The Social Media Today suggests that influencer marketing offers 11 times the ROI vis-à-vis any conventional marketing strategy