Influencer Marketing has created a whole new niche for marketers to analyze and understand. A booming trend which cascades onto the online marketing world only a few years ago, that has already grown exponentially and turned into a phenomenon worldwide. Right from new, unknown brands to extremely established and niche brands, everyone has taken up influencer marketing in some form or the other. Instagram is now a platform where people are willing to buy instagram views and increase their engagement, if it benefits their brand value.
Why is it so popular? And why are so many brands choosing to go with it? What is its potential reach and effectiveness?
Let’s break it down:
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing involves using influencers to promote, market, talk about and endorse your product and/or services on various online/offline platforms. They do this for either direct payment or other forms of reimbursement in return.
For example, Brand A is launching a new range of perfumes and wants to market it to a larger audience. So, it picks a few influencers, gives them exclusive rights to promote this new range on their social media handles and/or anywhere else specified, before the products actually release into the market. Then, they give real-time reviews and information on the range, also creating curiosity and engaging in interactions with their respective followers. This method is tried and tested to be a great way for brands to target multiple consumer groups at the same time.
Who is an influencer?
Anyone who is influential in a certain commercial market, be it fashion, grooming, travel, food, and so on. Influencers expand the reach of brands and firms who use them as forerunners and faces/personalities that represent their brand and create a whole new market segment for them to potentially target. A lot of celebrities have been influencers much before this method of marketing became a phenomenon, and now non-celebs have also joined the bandwagon.
How popular is it?
Very. Right from celebrities who are renowned world-over and are household names to commoners who are extremely popular on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, all of these people come under the “Influencer” category. If you are someone who has the potential to convince and influence other people to try and/or purchase a particular product or service, you are an Influencer.
Why is it popular?
Simply because it actually works. Over 75% of digitally active brands today make use of influencer marketing and have seen visible growth in sales, demand and revenue generated from the online and offline markets. There is documented proof that this new wave of marketing is a sure shot route to success.
How can you reach influencers?
1. Find a common interest
Let’s say you’re a fashion apparel brand, and you’re trying to expand your potential market. What kind of influencer would you be looking for? Definitely, someone who shares the same interest in fashion, dressing up, fashion trends, branded clothing, and so on. However, if you do happen to approach a literary blogger, whose primary interests would be literature and novels, your interests wouldn’t align and neither party would benefit.
Hence, step 1 to approaching any influencer is to do some research and pick the right influencer to team up with.
2. Make an interesting offer
Whatever collaterals your agreement entails, make sure your offer is something worthwhile. While more experienced Influencers have a standard rate that they charge, and pretty much based on their reach and popularity, and others are okay with returns in kind. These would basically be parallel marketing, shout outs, special features and mentions, free merchandise, gift vouchers, coupons, and so on. Always remember that you need to make an offer that gets an influencer to pick your brand over another one. There are multiple brands reaching out to Influencers, which increases your competition even more.
3. Create loyalty
When you offer an influencer a one time deal Vs. when you offer them a more long-term contract, there is a difference in the approach and also the interest shown. Brand associations are great for any Influencer’s portfolio, rather than just multiple small-time projects. This is why, if you do stumble upon an influencer who is right up your alley and perfect for your brand, you need to go all-in and offer them a more solid and concrete deal. This also creates a brand loyalty with the influencer and their band of followers, which is a boon for your marketing agendas. All-in-all, a longer and more solid connect attracts influencers who take their job seriously.
4. Stay active on social media
How do you actually find Influencers who could be potential ambassadors for your brand? Do some real-time research. Exploring Instagram, Facebook, keeping a close watch on others brand’s campaigns (especially immediate competitors), scrolling through comments and responses on various posts; these are a few ways to hunt for influencers who can make a difference. Almost all influencers have public profiles, so checking out their quality of work is also possible. This will help you with assessing whether any particular influencer creates the type of content that resonates with your brand and its objectives.
5. Create a campaign
Even if you already have a network of Influencers that you trust and regularly work with, there’s no harm in expanding this network. However, expansion means finding new faces, and that’s never an easy task. Hence, you can design a campaign that specifically calls out for potential and interested Influencers to participate in, and then segregate between your options and pick the best ones. This would pretty much work like a contest, whilst also engaging a large number of potential and existing consumers with your brand. This makes it a two-way benefit deal for you and for the Influencers as well. A bunch of brands have tried this method before and also seen immense success and a large volume of responses. This is probably also a very organic way of getting truly interested faces and personalities on board.
So, if reaching out to new influencers and expanding your marketing horizons is your plan, get going as soon as possible because the current market is an extremely dynamic and potential one!