When was the last time that you remember completely paying attention to a television commercial? You probably snoozed and got your phone out to distract yourself. This is because our psychology has tremendously evolved from even the last 5 to 10 years as we have entered the digital age of information. The modern day consumer is too informed to be lured into buying the latest gadget just because Ali Zafar flashes it to the audience whilst pulling off a dance routine.
Another more subtle form of marketing that is much more impactful and cost-effective is Influencer Marketing. The trend is growing like quick fire in the west and it is estimated that 84% of US marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months.
So what exactly is Influencer Marketing? It is the middle ground between an official testimonial and a subtle product mention, which is done nonchalantly, unlike the unnaturally crafted product mentions used by traditional advertisers.
So lets explore what makes Influencer Marketing niftier than traditional marketing.
1) It resonates more with the audience
I personally follow a collective of 700 people on Instagram, Facebook and independent blogs. Out of these, I diligently follow about 50 followers, They are in the fields of fashion, self-improvement, food, art, writing, comedy and poetry. These are people who inspire me, whose opinion I trust and whose jeans brand name I’d actually be interested in knowing. Social media influencers with their following in the thousands or even millions are the thought leaders of today, so if 80% of their posts are about genuine anecdotes from their life and 20% are products they actually like, followers are more likely to take interest in them.
2) Targeted Exposure
Say you just launched a cosmetics brand and are contemplating ways to Market it. One option for your brand is to pay Rs. 5 million to a mega influencer such as Mahira Khan to endorse your new Mascara. Suppose that Mahira receives 50,000 likes on that post but there a large portion of those likes could very likely be from fake accounts and the marketer would have no way of determining whether that post would’ve reached its targeted audience. Alternatively, you could pay even less than a quarter of the same amount to 10 different micro-level beauty bloggers who promote the same mascara complete with product reviews and tutorials. Say that each of the 10 bloggers receives 5000 likes per post. Micro-influencers such as beauty bloggers are more likely to get likes from genuine accounts meaning that you would’ve saved cost and gotten engagement from more audience. With this method you would also know exactly how many people viewed your post, who viewed your post, engaged with it and showed interest in the product, thanks to analytical data and insights options available across every social media platform. Instagram could tell you the quantitative data whereas people’s comments could help you gauge what they actually think about your product. Via Influencer Marketing you can exactly market your product to your targeted audience instead of publishing it in a more generic platform and never knowing who noticed it, without ever getting their feedback.
3) Cost Effective
The average company usually spends thousands to millions of rupees on advertising campaigns. Compared to other forms of advertising, Influencer Marketing is still very cost effective. This is not to be confused with the charges of top influencers of the world such as fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni who even charge up to $100,000 per post. Influencers with lesser followers can charge between $100 to $800 per post. It is also noticed that model accounts are the most lucrative right after photography and fitness accounts. However, brands should not just throw conventional marketing out of the window but begin to explore the magic of influencer marketing.
4) More Creative Ways of Advertising
Influencer Marketing also gives brands the chance to really explain their product to customer as bloggers usually give tutorials and in depth product reviews. For example, the fashion blogger can wear the same piece of dressing in a variety of chic ways, in exotic locations around the world and make it seem more alluring to the audience. An influencer with a gift of gab, which has won him or her a trusted following can also, be a more credibly review your restaurant or food product. A travel blogger can promote your hotel to his or her followers via beautiful photographs, write-ups and videos of their stay. This style of marketing can also be considered as word-of-mouth as followers feel like they are friends with the people they follow. Influencers can tailor a story around your product and give it bounds of personality.
5) Empowering the Masses
There are a myriad of benefits of Influencer Marketing from the marketer’s perspective, however influencer marketing is also a very powerful tool for influencers, who make the world a better place by sharing their talents with the world. They can use their digital platforms to start a business from home. Comedians Danish Ali and Lilly Singh have subtly and quirkily endorsed products in their gag videos and many others can follow suit.
Canadian couple Mimi Ikonn and Alex Ikonn share self-improvement, personal, business and spiritual advice with the world, along with impeccably created pictures and videos of their travels, home and family life. They started blogging and video logging for passion but after winning the attention and interest of millions of followers, they launched a brand of hair extensions by the name “Luxy Hair” and today run a multi-million dollar company.
The power of influencer marketing is immense. Not only can it help brands promote their products in a more personalized and effective manner but it also creates a community of empowered masses, that can ultimately positively impact society.