Influencer marketing is not a new phenomenon. It existed as brand endorsements and was limited only to celebrities and later to a few bloggers. The stats suggest – nearly 3.98 million of the world’s population is on social media and it is projected to cross 4 million by 2025. As a result, influencer marketing naturally becomes a lucrative method for brands to capture their audience in their niche.
As target markets are rapidly turning digital, brands are leveraging influencers’ reach to connect with their customers and achieve their marketing goals. This strategy has successfully been used by progressive businesses and brands and has experienced exponential growth. As their social media feed is viewed by their followers and as a trustworthy expert, influencers’ recommendations can impact the customers’ buying decisions.
Understanding the market
Today’s digitally driven world has transformed the way brands used to advertise or marketed for endorsements. Influencer marketing originated from celebrity endorsements where socially active brands pay influencers to promote their products or services to a specific set of audiences. Also known as social media content creators, these influencers offer great value to brands through different formats across multiple platforms – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
There is no denial of the fact that collaborating with influencers yields better results for brands. Facts state that 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations than 38% who trust brand-produced content. Furthermore, 60% of marketers believe that influencer-generated content drives more engagement than branded content.
Against the backdrop of the increased use of influencer marketing strategies, several influencers are joining the league of top social media marketing influencers. For many brands, influencers with smaller reach are considered beneficial because of their niche-specific follower base. In fact, it is surprising to know that some of the influencers with 15000 or lesser followers also have higher engagement rates.
Key factors to implement a robust strategy
The sole objective behind executing an influencer marketing campaign is the effectiveness of brands to speak to the target audience. Before hopping onto the results of an influencer marketing campaign, brands need to manage their expectations. It is significant to understand that just because a notable social media star is advertising for a brand, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will receive sales within a day’s time.
To begin with, brands must follow a thorough process of first defining the basics of the campaign like the results they are expecting to garner and the viability of desired results. This can be achieved by brands only after knowing their target audience properly. Before utilizing the influencers’ reach, they must build an audience persona to make sure their content reaches the right set of consumers through the campaign.
Apart from this, selecting the right influencer size also helps the brand move on the right trajectory. Brands must identify influencers with the right size of followers – Nano, micro, macro and celebrity influencers that range from as low as 10,000 followers to more than 1 million followers.
On the other hand, a great influencer campaign also depends on curating the list of influencers who can create authentic content and reach the target audience in the desired way. In a nutshell, influencers act as thought leaders and they need to be aligned strategically with the brand’s goals and needs.
Furthermore, using the right key performance indicators (KPI) also make up a significant factor in driving a campaign’s success. In a highly digital-led world, it is quite obvious to indulge in inorganic growth that does not translate into positive results for brands. Hence, authentic and credible influencers should contribute in terms of managing and tracking the campaign results through the right KPIs.
As an influencer marketing campaign has enormous potential to provide results, influencers and brands should consolidate deeper insights into conversions, referral traffic, reach and awareness and engagement. Brands treasure what they measure and it is imperative for all stakeholders to track actionable insights for successful influencer marketing campaigns.
The world of influencer marketing is going to expand and there is no projection of contraction in the near future. However, the evolution of the campaigns will transform the way brands and influencers make deals. Hence, marketers will have to explore unique considerations to work with influencers in setting up a campaign and finding a way to fulfilling the campaign objective for the brand.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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