With the internet democratizing almost every industry, it no doubt has completely changed the face of marketing and advertising too. The control no longer lies in the hands of brands and agencies, it’s the people who decide what will go viral and what will get canceled. Online marketing has diversified itself into many different forms, one of them being ‘Influencer Marketing’. With brands desperately trying to keep in touch with the younger market, trying to be more relatable with the use of quirks and memes on social platforms, influencer marketing is one of the routes they are most likely to go to next.
But what exactly is influencer marketing, and how should you use it to create brand awareness over the internet?
Simply put, influencer marketing is the promotion of a product, service, website, blog, or whatever you are planning to sell. Now comes the tough part. How would one define an influencer? What are the metrics you would use when you assess an influencer for your brand?
An influencer can be anyone with an internet presence and has the ability to influence the target market for your brand. Not every influencer will be suitable for the product you are promoting. For instance, a popular travel blogger might not be the right choice for an educational product. The influencer offers its following and gives exposure to the brand to their audience. Influencer marketing can be useful for a company to tap a potential market they haven’t yet connected with.
Influencers can be bloggers who write on specific niche topics, Youtubers who create unboxing, review, or any other kind of videos related to a particular genre, or are popular on social media platforms such as Instagram or short-video format apps. Their followers often look up to them for the latest trends, reviews, and tips.
What can an influencer do for you?
First of all, the most basic thing an influencer can do for you is to promote the link to your website or product. This is especially useful if you are looking to increase page views or for advertisement revenues for your website.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive exposure to your product, the influencer can also put a social media post on their account, write reviews for your product, or make a video explaining the features and functions of your product. If you’re selling a service, they can also tell their audience about that.
But does influencer marketing really work?
Think about celebrity endorsement. It is just a more accessible and affordable version of it. Here, your target market is more deeply connected with the celebrity or influencer, and chances are your product if you choose your influencer wisely will succeed in the market.
How to proceed with influencer marketing?
Some influencers charge for the type of endorsement they are providing. You can start by gifting your product/providing a sample or offer them a service, and they will likely post about it. You can ask the influencer to guest post on your website, or host a giveaway of the product on your behalf. One popular method is of affiliate links and discount code, where the influence gets a commission for every sale that they make.
The key to the success of an influencer marketing campaign is to find the right influencer that fits with your brand’s messaging, voice, and image. The results may be hard to measure, to make sure to set quantifiable metrics right from the beginning.
Like each marketing campaign, influencer marketing also has some drawbacks. Therefore, it should be a balanced and concentrated campaign to make the most of it.