What is Influencer Marketing?
In simple words, Influencer Marketing is a marketing strategy where brands hire a Social Media Infuencer to promote their products to their followers. Influencer marketing in today’s market is easily one of the most effective ways of marketing as Influencers have a strong connection of trust with their followers, their followers can easily be considered potential buyers.
Now we all are thinking, What is an influencer?
Firstly, An Influencer is someone who has influence over someone. Influencers, in contrast to celebrities, can be anywhere. They can be anybody. What makes them powerful is their enormous followings on the web and web-based media. An Influencer can be a famous model on Instagram, or a sports blogger who tweets. Inside any industry, there are compelling individuals—you simply need to discover them. Some will have thousands or maybe a million supporters. Most of the influencers today are people you see or meet in your daily life. It can be a rich person who is vlogging his travel journey or someone from a small town sharing his experiences. An influencer is anyone who has more than a 1000 people. However, they will have gained a reputation for being specialists in their field.They share the best pictures, make the most engaging content, and run the most enlightening conversations with their followers through features like live telecasts on various apps. In the world of Social Media Marketing, being an Infuencer means that your opinion of a product/idea is taken into consideration by your followers. Instagram, Facebook and Youtube are the most used social media platforms. Most of the influencers have built their audience and communicate to them through these platforms.
How does Influencer Marketing work?
If you are a brand that wants to put the word out about your latest product and you are unable to get to the customer by running ads on TV or through huge billboards across the city then Influencer Marketing should ideally be your next approach. Social media has a huge influence on today’s consumers and Influencers are at the center stage of social media. Now brands need to connect to the consumers through the trusted relationship Influencers have with their followers.
Is Influencer Marketing the future? The value of Influencer Marketing.
In today’s time, Influencer Marketing is a key to reaching customers. As of 2019 and 2020, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes per day. The most common influencer budget is $1,000 – $10,000/year, followed by $100,000 – $500,000/year. 19% of marketers will spend $1,000 – $10,000 per year on influencer marketing in 2020, while 18% are spending between $100,000 – $500,000 per year.
These statistics prove that not only is Influencer Marketing the future for brands to promote their products but also for anyone who wants to be an influencer. Users are more likely to buy something promoted by an influencer on his/her Instagram page or Youtube Channel than a film star advertising a product on TV.
ROI ( Return on investment) is something every brand looks out for. A lot of money is invested for marketing a product to profit from the sales, from paying the marketing team for innovative ideas and graphic designers for an eye grabbing ad design then moving on to paying the tv channels to run ads and hire actors and directors to shoot the ad. After all this is done, every company expects to generate a buzz for their product and sales to skyrocket.
Is Influencer Marketing effective?
Here’s where Influencer Marketing is a better option for brands. Influencers have what most of the film stars don’t have with their audience. It’s the connection of trust. Customers tend to believe in the influencer when he promotes a product because Influencers put a lot of honest effort in building and connecting with their audience. People gravitate toward digital influencers because they value the content that they create. It is also important that brands allow influencers to stay true to themselves when working on sponsored content. Deceitful or insignificant content will quickly deteriorate their influence over their followers and trust takes a fall.
Here’s Bhuvan Bam, A Youtuber with 20.8M subscribers and Myntra, An Indian fashion e-commerce company collaborating over a product which involves both the Influencer and the brand. People who subscribe to Bhuvan are likely to buy this product as they trust him to sell something authentic and of top-quality. If we take out Bhuvan from this scenario then the customers will be less likely to buy this product as this is one of many things sold on Myntra and has nothing special about it.
How to create an Influential Marketing Strategy? (How to make the most out of Influential marketing?)
- Influencer Outreach: Set up a scouting network to list out influencers whose content resonates with your product. This helps both you and the influencer as the influencer can promote your product more efficiently. You can’t expect sales from a beauty vlogger promoting a Video game or a pro gamer promoting beauty products.
- Influencer Selection: It’s important for brands to choose the right influencer for the product they want to promote. Companies that sell baby products work with Influencers who are new parents as customers would trust the influencer to choose the best product for their baby.
- Promote on the right platform: The business you are in matters when you’re intending to implement an influencer marketing strategy. Beauty and fashion brands excel on Instagram and YouTube. The video game industry shines on Twitch. Facebook for products targeted towards people above the age of 35.
- Promotion Campaign: The way into any extraordinary Influencer Marketing Strategy is making incredible content. Content that is convincing to its interest group, genuine to the influencer’s voice, and promotes your brand value.
- Set the budget and follow up: Brands need to set aside a budget for influencer marketing with proper planning, executing and reviewing your influencer program. It’s also important to follow up and see if the influencer is dedicating time and effort for your brand because they are promoting different brands and products on a daily basis and it’s your job to make sure your brand is getting a proper promotion or not.
- Analyse the insights: Your work doesn’t stop with the promotion of the product. You need to examine the influence of the post by checking how many accounts it reached, how many people found their way to your product through the Influencer and how many came through ads. You need to know what worked and what did not, this helps you avoid unnecessary expenses. Use tools like Instagram insights to get a better idea, tools like this make it easier for us to analyse the reach and impact.
Influencer Marketing Statistics:
- Influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021.
- Businesses are making $5.78 ROI for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
- There has been a 465% increase in searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” on Google alone since 2016.
- 90% of survey respondents believe influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing.
- 67% of brands use Instagram for influencer marketing.
- 1360 Influencer marketing focused platforms and agencies entered the market in the last 5 years alone.
Source: influencer marketing hub
Pros and cons of Influential Marketing
- Helps you build trust and gain loyal customers: When your brand works with an influencer it’s very likely that the followers begin to trust the brand as well and if the brand delivers to its promises there;s no doubt that these followers turn out to be loyal customers of the brand.
- Reach relevant users: If you choose an influencer whose content goes together with your brand (For example: You are a Vegan food company and the influencer you are working with is an activist fighting against animal cruelty). In these scenarios you easily reach out to people with a vegan lifestyle and this helps your brand get good exposure among vegans.
- Less expensive: When you compare the budget for a social media marketing campaign with a film star/model/sportsperson with an influencer, the budget for influencer marketing is relatively less and also more effective.
- Easy marketing: Marketing strategy is easy because the influencer works with your team to develop a strategy which benefits both him and the brand. Also, Influencers come with a number of followers which makes it easier for us to reach them.
- Bad marketing strategy can do irreparable harm: A bad marketing strategy can backfire your brand and cause damage. If the message you were trying to send out is misinterpreted, not only does the influencer suffer but the brand suffers as well. You will be showered in dislikes and trending with memes about your brand.
For example: When Pepsi and Kendall Jenner worked for an ad and it showed that a cold drink can help end police brutality, it filled everyone with rage. Thousands of hate comments and memes were directed their way forcing them to delete the ad from all platforms.
- Any mess up from the influencer can cost your brand: Choosing the influencer is very important as the influencer indirectly becomes the face of your company. If the influencer is involved in any scandal then that leads to the brand facing the fire with them. Even if the Influencers are good professionally, they have to be a good, honest person in their private life because being an influencer is not simple, their whole life is an open book and they are under a microscope in the world’s eyes.
- Bad influencers can make you or break you: Your relationship with the influencer is also an integral part. Any fallout with an influencer can sometimes cause the influencer to bad mouth your brand and can turn his followers against you. In today’s “cancel culture” it’s very easy for any person or brand to be boycotted by people in unison.
What doesn’t work in Influencer Marketing?
- Summing up your way to deal with finding and utilizing different influencers. Special attention and approach to the specific influencer.
- Don’t search for popular influencers, you will find many. Search for an influencer who has a good and honest connection with the people and who will genuinely work for the promotion of your brand rather than posting about it half heartedly.
- A good influencer and a bad marketing campaign don’t go hand in hand. People easily ignore an ad which is not presented well. Even if the influencer is popular and has many followers a bad campaign will not give you a good result and there’s nothing the influencer can do about it.
Influential Marketing is the future and it is here to stay. There are so many social media platforms out there for people to showcase their skill, gain popularity and build an audience. Looking at the stats and benefits of Influencer marketing it’s clear that it is working and will work even better in coming years.
Influencer marketing was different a few years back then what it is now and surely it will be different in the years to come, but we have to be ready for change and strategize accordingly.
This is the fastest growing digital marketing channel. Not only the old, established brands but also newly started businesses are profiting from this.
It works. It truly does, because people are not being recommended about the product from a person who lives in a mansion and can’t relate to the consumer but by everyday people you see around you, people who worked hard and struggled a lot to be where they are, who made a name for themselves by putting out good content on a day-to-day basis taking all your love and criticism to deliver you better.
The bottom line is – Influencers market your product in a way that is accepted by their audiences easily and this inturn benefits you.