Over the years, Marketing has evolved greatly with new techniques gaining popularity on various platforms.
Consumers of today aren’t the same as the consumers of the past. They hardly listen to radio or watch television because life and other important things have taken over.
Traditional marketing is gradually becoming old school as digital is taking over largely.
However, consumers listen to what people of influence have to say about brands; that usually helps them reach a final purchase decision.
Influencer Marketing has become one of the most effective techniques of attracting consumers, product consideration and eventually, a purchase decision.
Introduction to Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is an aspect of marketing that involves using key advocates or influential people such as celebrities to drive your message to larger market in an organic way.
At its most basic, it’s a combination of both old and new marketing tools, taking the idea of celebrity endorsements in traditional advertising and placing it into modern day content-driven marketing campaigns.
An influencer has the ability to change behaviors or impact purchase decisions in a given context.
However, it’s the process of identifying, researching, engaging and supporting people who create high impact conversations with their audience about your brand, products or services.
Rather than marketing to a broad audience who will most likely not convert, getting influencers to get out the word for your brand helps build credibility.
It also offers brands the potential of unifying their marketing, PR, sales, digital marketing efforts through powerful and relevant relationship-based communication.
Online customer conversations continue to evolve rapidly with influencers playing a critical role in breaking online clutter, creating relevant customer dialogue and bringing trust to the table for brands and marketers alike.
81% of marketers who have used influencer marketing as part of their campaign strategy have confirmed it to be effective while 51% of them believe they get better customers from this strategy.
Growth of brand – Influencer partnerships
These days, advertising has been perceived as false thereby pushing marketers to think outside the box. This is where influencer marketing garnered its popularity and has become a powerful & effective marketing strategy.
There aren’t many things that drive more effectively than the good old word of mouth marketing; 92% of consumers say they trust word of recommendations more than other any other type of advertising.
There’s an overall shift in how consumers prioritize word-of-mouth information over paid advertising such as TV ads, magazine ads and the likes. It’s hard to ignore the power of these unofficial brand ambassadors known as influencers. Influencer marketing provides an opportunity for brands to leverage on social proof by relying on those who already have a large audience.
Websites have become stale because they hardly provide enough information and we’re in the 21st century where everything happens in real time, social platforms have become the point of contact between a consumer and the brand.
Consumers expect brands to bring the conversation to them and the best way to do this effectively is Influencer Marketing. By partnering with the right influencers, brands can create conversations that relate to their target audience.
Aligning a brand to a particular influencer helps position the product or service to his or her established large network of individuals who trust what the influencer has to say.
When influencers recommend a brand to their audience, they become an extension of the company’s marketing department because the audience automatically sees the influencer as a major affiliate with the brand.
How to Select the Perfect Influencer for Your Brand
The first step in Influencer marketing is identifying the perfect influencer for your brand.
Malcom Gladwell once said: “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set off social gifts.”
He identified three types of Influencers, they include;
They are responsible for creation, communication and connection of all messages.
Mavens look to consume and share what they find gathering insights on trends. Salesmen are persuaders who possess incredible conversion skills and charisma. Connectors on the other hand build a network filled with a wide range of people with an exceptional reach. They are called the masters of word-of-mouth communication.
A typical Influencer combines all three characteristics but before you hire one, think carefully about what your brand needs. If you have a tech-forward product or sell avant-garde fashion, you should probably find an influencer that’s a Maven.
Salesmen might be good if you’re selling a physical product or an online course and you’re in need of someone to convince their consumers in a forward, not subtle way.
Connectors are great for products that make your life easier or fulfill an existing need.
5 Steps to An Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy
Looking to get started with Influencer marketing? Firstly, you should know what an influencer is and how to identify the right influencers for your brand. There are 3 things to look out for, they include: reach, relevance and resonance.
1. Define your Audience
Influencer marketing starts by first identifying your target customers and understanding who impacts how they discover, evaluate, decide and buy.
Knowing your target consumers is an integral step in kicking off any influencer effort.
2. Discover the Right Influencers
Influence is contextual, when choosing an influencer, you need to identify people who produce and share content that can impact your business positively or your buyer’s decision-making process.
3. Monitor Influencers for Opportunities
It’s important that you listen to influencers and monitor their content in real time. This helps your strategy and choice of influencers for your campaigns. You’ll discover what your target influencers are writing about, what they share regularly and more importantly – what their audience is up to.
4. Take Action & Engage
Building a relationship with influencers will help increase productivity and positive relationships. Start building a relationship with simple actions such as following, sharing and linking. Get to know them, build trust and then plan initiatives that will let you work together.
5. Measure Your Results
As you build relationships and send signals to your audience and influencers, you’ll want to keep track of your effectiveness. Are your relationships resulting into tangle events such as visits, introductions, mentions, leads etc. Learn and iterate.
In a nutshell, Influencer marketing is regarded as the new way to promote organically without coming off as paid advertising but it’s not free either but it is a natural approach to marketing.
An influencer is only regarded as one once he/she can influence consumers purchase decision. Always remember the larger the followers the more reach your product or service will likely get. However, a good reach is a good place to start but ensure the influencer’s audience matches your brand.
People don’t want to be sold something, they want to see the value of the product/ service and the best way is through influencer marketing. Influencer marketing works both ways either through free product or discount and commission based. Consider the best one for your brand run with it.
What are you waiting for? Try Influencer marketing today!