In the prevailing times, life has become more or less a race where everyone is competing with one another in all the aspects. This poses difficulty for medium and small scale businesses who look out for ways to flourish on the internet. Be it big or small, all types of businesses are nowadays trying to create an insurmountable amount of buzz on social media because that's the need of the hour. But because of this, consumers are becoming more cynical about what to choose and what not to. Hence, they try to look for the brands who indulge in marketing activities other than self promotion over social media. This quest for an alternate marketing technique has persuaded the brands to understand the power of influencer marketing.
The big question is, what is influencer marketing? It is the process of searching for high end individuals who influence a targeted segment of audience on any social media channel to increase the sales of particular product or service. These influencers create their own content on particular topics and share it among their followers to endorse certain brands and products. In a layman language, it is more or less like the advertisements we see on television that select some top shots as the brand ambassadors of their products. Depending on the status of the company, the influencer is selected.
Influencer marketing is also of two types: Earned vs Paid influencer marketing. Unpaid collaborations are the one where a brand sends out their product or service, the influencer tries it and then posts content on her social media channel with his/her own thoughts around the product. On the other hand, with paid influencer marketing, the influencer gets sponsored and gets paid to post a specific type of content on his/her social media. Larger companies resort to the paid model. This is all about the gist of influencer marketing but let’s check the underlying importance of it:
- Amplify the brand image: On an individual level, the brands tend to have less number of followers on their social media handles. Hence, whatever they share has a limited reach whereas when an influencer recommends or endorses your brand, their followers are likely to take notice. This cuts down the unnecessary noise and helps you come in contact with some relevant sales leads. Let’s look at the case study of a gaming lifestyle brand, Loot Crate. In 2014, they decided to start working with influencers to leverage their social media marketing campaign and invited influencers through Twitter to join their influencer network. Once they started working with influencers, gradually they received more than 9 million views on their YouTube videos.
- Enhance authenticity: The biggest advantage of influencer marketing is that the people are no more sceptical of your brand. Be it any country, influencers are trusted and followed blindly by the people. When an influencer shares their honest feedback about your product or service, it is perceived as a genuine testimonial. One popular example is Audible’s partnership with New York Times bestselling author and investor Tim Ferriss. Through their influencer marketing tactics, they enhanced their credibility among the audience.
- Improve search engine ranking: Along with expanding the reach and building credibility, there is another underrated advantage of influencer marketing. When an influencer shares your content on their channels, more and more traffic gets diverted on your website and social media handles. In addition, when your content gets shared, it helps you earn a number of high-quality and authentic back links. Also when the content gets shared by maximum people, it increases the website’s search engine ranking organically.
- Revamp the content strategy: Are you still wondering why influencer marketing needs to be integrated into your overall marketing strategy? The major means of living for influencers is to create content and publish it. Collaborating with them helps your brand level up the content game as it acts as fresh fragrance to the stale self promotional content of the brand. Working with influencers also gives you access to a plethora of user-generated content. You can share such content to change the way your followers perceive your social media profiles.
There is no second opinion about the fact that influencer marketing is the top notch strategy in today’s competitive times. Influencer marketing keeps growing in popularity and this certainly isn’t going to stop anytime soon. In 2018, Google received 61,000 search queries for the term “influencer marketing” and it was revealed that influencer marketing was considered effective by 92% of people. Year-on-year, these figures are going to increase as after the pandemic majority of the brands have already resorted to digital means of marketing. Gone are the days to ask about the importance of influencer marketing, today marketers strive on how to do it better?