Who are Influencers?
Influencers are active bloggers or social media buffs who advocate brands & have a niche marketing approach.
Why Influencer Marketing? The rise of the Influencers.
To survive in today’s cut throat competition brands need to be updated with the latest technologies & trends. Gone are the days when consumer buying patterns were influenced by celebrity endorsements. Aware consumers today relate/trust more on the reviews of common man. Customer satisfaction is the key to make your sales viral through word of mouth.
Brands who invest time & money into marketing efforts where they cannot stop bragging about themselves lose the golden opportunity of gaining customer loyalty & trust. In comparison, brands whose product is tried & tested by an influencer who has had a delightful experience with your product will vouch for it & recommend it to their followers.
The above the line approach of mass marketing through mediums such as Television or Poster Ads have become outdated as they fail to engage .
Consumers are looking at purchase guidance. But they do not approve of the Push strategy. They will engage more in a pull strategy where brands are offering value to their customer.
Influencers powerfully inform & provide guidance for consumer buying decisions.
So what value can brands expect to gain through Influencer marketing?
• Awareness – New Brand or product launches can expect to capture awareness amongst the target audience.
• Targeted exposure – Influencers have a following of common interests. This allows brands to leverage their marketing efforts to reach a specific targeted audience.
• Influencers today hold everyone’s attention as compared to other mediums such as TV, where the viewer is easily diverted to his phone when a TV Advertisement is playing.
• Followers – Get a piggyback ride on your influencer follower base.
• Impressions– When influencers post, it is never missed by their followers.
• Sales – Influencers associated with your brand can help drive sales through contests & giveaways.
• Cross promotion – Related products can come together & have combined marketing efforts through influencers to promote their products.
• Customer loyalty – When brands talk about their own brand it’s mostly falling on deaf ears, similar to the speeches of politicians. But when influencers talk about your brand, followers begin to trust your brand about the features it has to offer.
• Product Pusher – Audience following an influencer is more of a fan. They are inspired by the fashion, Ideas, style statement, lifestyle or beliefs of the influencer. Hence, when a influencer writes about your product their followers will automatically pull the product their way.
Prerequisites for using Influencer marketing as a strategy for your brand
• Identify your target Audience who you want to Influence.
• Depending upon your Industry sector & identified audience, who do your prospective customer’s, trust the most?
• Authority & relevance
• Check for Influencer content quality that resonates with your brand image.
• Ensure consistency across all digital touch points.
Examples of Influencer Marketing Strategy used by brands
1. Jo Malone London partnered with Fashion influencers for their launch in India. Influencers from Amsterdam, Delhi Mumbai to name a few joined the event held at Amanbaugh, Jaipur. The event was spectacular & had followers hooked on & asking for more details from the launch. You can look up #JMLxindia campaign on instagram for more details.
2. Recently launched clothing brand RHEASON #wearerheson by Actress Sonam Kapoor & Sister Rhea Kapoor had influencers talking about the launch & collection on Instagram.
3. Dabur is promoting remedies for dengue, which has no preventive medicine in allopathy through influencer marketing.
4. Bhaskar Choudhuri, Director – Marketing, Lenovo, states that their marketing strategy will focus on good brand experience because in this category, word of mouth works really well. People get influenced by their peers and friend’s opinion. Hence the brand will be seen incorporating influencer marketing this year.
5. L’oreal did a #beautysquad campaign with micro influencers. The campaign allowed micro influencers to review other brand products too in comparison to L’oreal. Micro influencers generate more engagement because people believe their reviews to be genuine over celebrities hawking products.
Influencer Marketing is way past experimenting & has well been established as a successful practice. As a fundamental strategy it will spark organic conversions which will lead to smaller sales cycle & reduce Acquisition cost.