‘Influencer’. I bet this term got you thinking. Not just you, millions of others using the web are scratching their heads wondering what new drab it’s all about.
But, be informed that influencer marketing is not any drab or scam. It is a proven way of making your brand visible.
Customers trust influencers more than they would trust brands. Such is the power of influencer marketing.
- 92% of customers rely on influencer marketing for purchase decision making
- 65% of brands invest in influencer marketing and have set aside budget for it
- Content shared by influencers have 3x to 10x increase in conversion
So, what is influencer marketing? How to get your first break in influencer marketing.
We drill down into the facts to give you insights into this new-age marketing strategy.
Who is an influencer?
In a digital marketing context, an influencer is anyone who has a solid online presence, it could be through blogs, social media, video websites or anyhow.
Well, that sounds like celebrities who are famous. Actually, no. It is here that influencer marketing strikes a difference.
An influencer is someone who has shot to popularity by proving his/her prowess in any given field. They are approved as experts in their fields and also voice their opinions on the field’s recent developments through the Internet and its various channels. Most importantly, they stay true to what they say ad publicize.
Influencers are individuals who voice genuine opinions and feedback about a brand or a product. Thus they are capable of driving trust and credibility to a brand they advocate for. They not only help a brand get attention but also motivate their followers to take action, in most cases, buy something.
That said, not every Tom and Harry can be an influencer. There are certain prerequisites to be one.
For instance, that random guy who walks up voluntarily and brags about himself or any of the brand he thinks is good, is not any influencer. In fact, he is just the opposite.
Traits of an ideal influencer
An ideal influencer will be:
Authentic: He/She genuinely endorses a brand or a product that they believe in.
Active: They are active in social circles with latest and refreshing content.
Engaging: They have a style, personality or a panache of their own that engages the audience.
Expert: He/She is an authority in the industry/product.
Leader: Is someone who can display thought leadership in the chosen field.
Types of influencers
Primarily, there are four types of influencers:
1. Social media experts who are active on social media websites like facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
2. Popular YouTubers – influencers who have amassed a following of their own through engaging videos on their domain topics.
3. Bloggers – Masters of the writing craft who weave stories, blog posts, guest posts, articles, press columns, etc.
4. Celebrities – artists, actors, television personalities, etc. with a style statement or a personal charisma adored by masses
Why Influencer Marketing?
Now, to answer the big question. Why try influencer marketing when there are several other proven marketing models to try.
Working with influencers can drive several benefits that other marketing tactics may not effectively achieve. Some of the benefits of influencer marketing include:
Influencer posts are excellent launchpads for new products. They help break the ice with customers and help create an initial sense of curiosity or eagerness for the product.
Influencers can make target customer audience more educated and aware of the product through their domain expertise in social marketing, vloging, blogging, etc.
Higher SEO ranking
Influencer posts invariably gain higher search engine ranking since their own followers search for latest posts with keywords + influencer name.
Garner social presence
For brands or new companies that are yet to build an online presence, influencer marketing can help garner social presence quickly and easily.
Negative reviews and opinions haunt every type of company. Influencers can do some damage control through reputation management tactics that reverse the situation.
Gains customer trust
Influencers give brands a human face to identify with. Customers tend to trust more such brands that have a face or person to identify with.
How to pick the right influencer for your brand?
The right choice of Influencer can give your brand a whole new aura and brand image that was missing until then. Since it is a heavy bet, caution is always necessary before engaging someone as an influencer on behalf of your brand.
Here are some pointers to bear in mind while choosing an influencer for your brand:
Let’s say your business sells software to niche enterprise clients. Will a tweet or a Facebook post from Beyonce bring in sales? Of course, not. Beyonce is not much relevant in the software industry. But, in the media industry, she is a gold mind.
But, instead of Beyonce you have someone a CEO, CIO or a tech critic speak about your software product in their podcast, blog, LinkedIn pulse, etc.; then the chances of conversion is significant.
Beyonce has some 14.7M followers. That ‘s massive and undeniably great reach. Her tweets are going to be read, liked and retweeted thousands of times.
She can make her followers engage, respond and take action. That is a must-have trait for the influencer you want to side with.
If Beyonce comes on stage wearing a brand new model of Nike or Puma shoes, the world will go nuts over it. Her action of wearing it is sufficient to boost the sales numbers for that specific model which just hit the stores.
That is a trait you must look for in your influencer. The power to persuade a target audience to take action, in this case, to buy those new model shoes.
Bringing it all together
An influencer is an individual whom a massive following considers to be an expert in any given field. He/She has a solid subject matter authority and also has the power to persuade their followers to take desired actions. There are several types of influencers who adopt their own mediums to strike a chord with the audience.
So, all done and said, how are you going to use influencer marketing to your brand’s benefit?