Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Influencer Marketing: How to build a brand in the 21st Century

Paper marketing, Radio marketing, TV marketing and the newest in the race to win brand marketing is Influencer Marketing. But with the presence of probably millions of influencers working on ideas and brands on the whole wide spectrum one may wonder how to go about picking the right influencer for your brand. Social media is all about how creatively one can express them and how distinct that expression is from other similar content and as a business you need to understand whose unique creative expression vibes with your brand.

What is influencer marketing?

A common phrase used in the business world brought by the advent of the world of social media, influencer marketing is nothing but utilizing the power and influence of an internet famous personality to gain more client, customers or consumers. Unlike the traditional celebrity endorsement marketing the Influencer marketing is endorsement marketing by a social media personality and is generally market specific. Social media influencers are usually existing content creators or bloggers who already have a wide follower base in their particular markets. Businesses, whether start-ups or global brands, are now coming up with collaborations with these influencers to reach their industry specific audience to establish a direct and a more personal connection with them.

How did it begin?

Social media influencer marketing has given the more common traditional forms of marketing a run for their money and that too in a very short period of time. Influencer marketing in itself is not a novel idea. Celebrities and public figures have been brand ambassadors for various businesses and ideas, sometimes carrying the brand’s legacy for years.
However, the arrival of internet can be described as no less of a game changer. It boosted global connectivity and the access and affordability of this internet made social networking the king of the online world. The emergence of social media soon introduced the idea of “followers” and you could follow anyone online, even the non-famous “average” persons. Some of these individuals who were not celebrities gained huge popularity over night as trends came and went. They were artists, beauty bloggers, Youtubers, gym trainers etc. The millennials and Generation Z find these video or content creators more relatable than the celebrities who generally set the sky way up high for everyday average individuals. It took only so long for the marketing geniuses around the world to take the next big step.

Why is the trend so popular?

Marketing geniuses out there can safely say that the trend of social media influencer marketing will not be experiencing a depression any time soon and is here to stay. There are plenty of reasons why influencer marketing gained popularity and has not seen a slump.
Integrity– Each influencer attaches an element of integrity when associated with your brands. Since social media influencers largely depend on their follower base and hence are less likely to be woefully dishonest and inflate posts. And since this integrity is gained gradually brands don’t have to work on that sphere of marketing. Influencer marketing converts credibility into currency.
Believable & Achievable- For the longest time celebrities were the sole advertisers of brands and though they raised the overall charm of the product they also set unrealistically high standards for the users. Social media posts by influencers are more believable and seem more relatable to their follower base than celebrities marketing the same product. Influencers are able to rub a little personal touch to the product since they themselves use and review the products for their followers.
Inexpensive- Social media influencers are always looking for content for their followers and potential followers. They actively show interest when approached by businesses and since influencer marketing is more like a collaboration rather than an endorsement it is much more efficient and inexpensive compared to other form of similar hard-hitting direct marketing.
Bonus content- Marketers usually have to rack their brains and spend ample resources and time to come up with additional content and ideas to support their brand. They need enough to kick start a brand marketing campaign. Social media influencers lighten this load down notch because you are basically outsourcing the job to them. It is their creativity that will show up on their social media while marketing the brand. Of course, you prior discussions give you an idea about how the campaign will end up looking but the presence of bonus content on the influencers page saves up your time and resources.

How does Influencer Marketing work?

It is essential for businesses to be on the lookout for influencers who work in their industry- whether it is beauty or fitness or travel & food and this cannot be done at random. Identify influencers who specifically use your products or get in touch with users who already display a tinge of loyalty for your product or business. Of course, in some cases this may prove to be hard- to discover just the right influencer who already is a loyal consumer or user of your product but don’t stop there. Communicate with potential interested influencers working in your market. Marketing to one person is easier than selling to thousands! Additionally, this establishes a link or a connection to a much bigger audience. One of the common yet best ways to do that is by sending free hampers or samples to these influencers to establish certain faith and confidence in the brand.
Followers would more likely be attracted to your brand if you choose an honest and credible influencer who exudes and inspires confidence by demanding involvement by their follower base. Connect with influencers and form long term collaborations so that your brand has consistent and loyal consumers. Hold contests, takeaway campaigns and remember it’s not money that wins followers on social media.
It is not necessary to find someone who gives inflated review of your products but someone who may even come up with constructive suggestions in review. Unbiased and reasonable influencers may still be able to win you the market.
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