Understanding the Power of Influencers
Marketing has long passed the traditional method of printing ads in newspapers and billboards, as brands shifted their focus to influencer marketing.
Many have heard about it but a few understand what it is about. Some mistook it as the good, old celebrity endorsement; others said it’s nothing but another marketing scheme.
The term ‘influencers’ refers to people with certain skills and expertise in particular areas; today, this particular term is used to refer to digital users, in particular social media users, who have a certain level of influence over a certain target audience through digital media.
But, what exactly is influencer marketing?
Defining Influencer Marketing
Simply put, influencer marketing uses the power of ‘word of mouth’ from people who are considered to be sort of influential among their peers. It takes the idea of the celebrity endorsement as you know it, and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign.
It is one of the most effective modern marketing strategies used by brands to generate awareness and drive sales by enlisting digital influencers to promote their products and services to their respective audiences.
Influencer Marketing for Brands
The popularity of influencer marketing is magnificent to say the least as more brands start to invest their marketing budget in courting influencers to participate in their marketing campaigns, resulting in a sort of collaboration between brands and influencers.
If you go to Instagram and type #ad on the search box, you will be amazed by the sheer number of brand campaigns promoted by influencers every day. But how do businesses make money through these influencers?
Well, influencers are notoriously known for their effectiveness in driving traffic and conversions, which directly affect brand’s revenue and profits.
Here are the reasons why influencers work so efficiently as a marketing tool.
1. Influencers Sell “Dreams”
84% of millennial are easily influenced by user-generated content. Influencers are extremely valuable for their authenticity and creative content. Brands acknowledge these qualities as the perfect modern marketing tool to generate sales. How?
It boils down to a simple reasoning. The reason people buy anything is because they need it or they want it. As such, advertising exists for one reason: to sell stuff people don’t know that they want. By using influencers, brands indirectly put an implication in the public’s mind that by buying their products or services, they will somehow improve their lives as shown by these influencers. And moreover, the people who are seen using their products or services are just your average, normal people-the influencers!
Undeniably, creativity and relevancy are the keys to create engaging user-generated content. The difference of content created by influencers and non-influencers is with influencers, they have already had an established community who will vouch for their opinion and as a result, they are highly receptive to the posts made by these influencers.
2. Influencers Tell Story instead of Advertise
It has been established that influencers are valuable for their creative, distinctive content that speaks to their target audience. That’s why their ideas and experiences often lead to a fresh perspective of a brand, how it’s presented and how it’s perceived by the audience. Unlike regular advertisement that usually presents their products or services that are directly “in-your-face”, influencers take a subtler approach to share a more relevant and personal content while still keeping their authority.
American Express and Prudential Insurance incorporated storytelling via influencers to transform the stodgy image of financial institutions. (Read what happened when influencer marketing meets finance here.)
Instagram influencer, @lululemon, who specialized in marketing fitness and yoga-related products, keeps posting videos of her practicing yoga all over the world with the same hashtag #justmymat. Though it sounds simple even bizarre, but she successfully integrates her core products, i.e. yoga clothes, into different settings and lifestyle of modern society.
The use of hashtags not only encouraged her followers to share their own experiences, but she also gives her followers a sense of community.
3. Influencers as Brand Ambassadors
Well, here’s a fun fact: not all customers are loyal. Some appear and buy once; others come back and buy from you multiple times. But there are also customers that repeatedly buy from you and shout your brand’s name from Instagram to Twitter.
Obviously, when you consider the potential of the latter to influence other people in response to their purchasing pattern and spending behavior, it seems to be almost natural that influencers make the near-perfect brand advocates. (Read also: Your Employees as Your Brand Advocates!)
Do you know that despite the value of brand advocates, over 80% of companies have not used them yet in their marketing strategy? Today, ongoing ambassadorships between brands and influencers are noted to be the most effective method of influencer marketing.
Influencers represent the brands’ most faithful and intense customers. It is the responsibility of these influencers to become the supreme expert of the brands and broadcast their partnerships on social media. Having influencers as brand ambassadors does so much more because of the extent of influencers’ effect and reach on regular consumers. Not only these influencers are praising the brands’ products and services but they are also doing it in full view of their followers who are likely to spread the words around.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective tools for businesses today, that’s the undeniable truth behind the trend of this particular marketing strategy.
By understanding the power of influencers and how to fit them into different strategies, brands will have more social proof to play with.
But, here’s the catch. Influencer marketing is not just about finding someone with an audience and offering them incentive in exchange for brand exposure. These are the people who have spent enormous time and effort to build their own personal brands and cultivate their audiences.
As such, it tells us that our time as marketers is better spent in marketing directly to the other influential people that are well-aligned with our brand values and messages. This means engaging these people across social media channels, as well as curating and creating high-quality content that will catch their attention.
Indeed, the audience is the ultimate goal, but the target market for brands should also comprise the influencers themselves. (Learn the different types of influencers here!)
Viral Access is an AI and data-driven social communication company — we help you tell your story through social media. We pair your brand with relevant micro and nano influencers that help you increase awareness, engagement and conversion. We have the systems and team in place to support large scale communications throughout Asia.
For business inquiries, contact us at: email@example.com