You don’t need a crystal ball,
Don’t fall for a magic wand,
We humans have got it all,
Just need to shake the influencer soul
-Not original, proudly influenced
How did I land here? Why am I on board with Marketing? Why am I writing all this? And why should you even read it? Perplexed?
Swayed by peers at the age of 18, I pursued engineering. Post which, one fine day at my office desk, while doing customer sentiment analysis on facebook, my boss inspired me to look forward to management studies. My decision to join the college where I happily reside today was waved by my cousin who was in the same scenario few years back. I took up digital marketing as a course after been recommended by a senior and today I am digitally penning down all this because a recent study comprising of marketers from a variety of industries allured me by quoting that “94% of these marketers said that influencer marketing was an effective campaign strategy for any brand.”
In a nutshell I have been influenced all my life and I bet you equally are! But the larger piece is do you and I mind such influencers? Or do we look around with bright, expectant eyes to find one because we need them? To understand the nuances from a marketing lens, let’s first look at the fundamentals.
What do we exactly mean by Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing which focuses on key individuals from a group of people, to endorse products/services by engaging followers and establishing a level of trust with them. Influencers thus are experts or individuals with experience in particular niches.
A recent survey states that 47% online consumers use Ad blocks and why not? It gets overwhelming for consumers. Influencer Content is engaging. Influencer Marketing sells food, trends fashion, build brands. It is all around us. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs etc can be conveniently used to be an influencer.
How is it inherently different from Celebrity Endorsements?
Influencers are more selective or particular of their associations. They feel a connect with the brand. It resonates with their personality or their habits in a certain way and hence the scope of the target group to be influenced shrinks. It becomes more customized and exists as niche.
On the flip side Celebrity Endorsements forms alliances in order to associate brands with fame, popularity and recognition. It is a mass appeal medium catering to a larger audience. Here customer engagement takes a back seat as endorsements are about awareness or promotion or both.
Some Examples of Influencer Marketing:
By the way what do think examples do? You are getting on track
- All the chocolate fans out there let me help you indulge in the glowing moments of your life with some Cadbury here. How was Cadbury Glow launched?
Well a few influencers on twitter along with Bollywood, fashion and lifestyle blogger Miss Malini promoted this luxury segment chocolate. As quoted by Social beat “The campaign focused on the key aspect of Cadbury Glow which allowed people to share personalized notes, songs, photo albums and videos along with it.” This brought back home a lot of traction making this campaign effective and successful.
2. When cars take the digital route. How was Ford Fiesta Powershift Automatic launched?
In it’s social media avatar. The campaign ‘Real People, Real Experience’ was promoted by inviting auto enthusiasts in the country like businessmen, photographers, designers and bloggers to test drive the newly launched car and share their experience through social media. The buzz thus created drove this car to places!
3. A to Z, literally and digitally. How was Kindle Paperwhite launched?
Amazon India roped in best selling author Amish Tripathi to instill e-reading habits through it’s #crazyforreading campaign. The video beautifully captures the journey of the author from paper to Paperwhite while focusing on product features. Crazy for reading!
How are influencers decided?
The choice of the influencer depends upon the communication objective and the target audience. How mass or niche is the group. Here are some personality types of Influencers, which can be mapped to the message tone or brand persona for an integrated campaign.
What are you like?
Like every platform, every influencer is unique! But where do you find these influencers?
How do these Influencers help businesses thrive?
- Shared Content: The most common method of influencing. Popular social media platforms are used to share content by tweeting, posting, sharing etc.
2. Sponsored Content: The influencer posts on blogs/social media. These posts essentially reviews or discusses the product/service.
3. Co-Created Content: A few influencers work directly with the brand to create content. Like the one seen in the Amazon #crazyforreading example.
Who can be an Influencer?
There is no mantra to be an effective influencer. It just takes to be oneself to be an impactor. You are an influencer already. Is it hard to believe? Try this out, go to your favourite social media platform, just write 3 lines about your heartthrob brand, tag it along, put a picture that makes you go gaga and guess what you just shared some content adding to the growth story of your brand!!!
Is Influencer a new profession?
As much as influencing can be voluntary, this is a thriving profession on the digital platforms. Payments are done on short term and contract basis. Influencers are paid on various parameters namely:
- Level of engagement
- Number of followers
- Time required on field (example series of tweets or long articles)
AdAge identifies “the digital ‘one-percent’ as influencers who earn six and seven figure salaries from a single campaign.” This trend will catch pace once technological infrastructure develops to aid market dynamics. Influencer Marketing is not a new concept but has gained popularity in recent time. It is the new cost effective way of generating organic leads. Today brands have every reason to spend dollars on influencer marketing.
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