In the past few years, the social media influencer industry has come up and revolutionized the way that brands and businesses advertise and market their products and services. When used efficiently and effectively, influencer marketing can do wonders and significantly increase the number of interested or potential clients and customers. With proper strategies and choosing the right influencer, companies can easily reach and convince the target audience to choose their brand over their competitors. With the Covid19 pandemic taking over the world and sending it into an imposed lockdown, everything took to the digital world especially advertising and marketing. Gone are the days when people print out ads in newspapers and posters or put-up hoardings and billboards. Social Media and Social Networking sites have transformed the advertising and marketing industry.
What is Influencer Marketing?
A social media influencer is someone who has built a loyal following through their online content creation. Influencer marketing strategy is when companies partner with social media influencers or even celebrities to increase brand awareness or conversions among a specific target audience. Vendors accomplish this through sponsoring an influencer’s online content, intending to endorse their brand, product, or service, and in some cases, drive purchases.
Goals of Influencer Marketing
The goals of employing Influencer Marketing Strategies are very simple and straightforward. Using social media influencers to advertise products and services leads to brand awareness and introducing it to the world. The greater number of people the influencers can reach out to and connect with, the greater number of potential customers it means for the brand or company. Influencer Marketing opens up the way to newer demographics and reaching a wider target audience much more effectively without any extra cost and drives sales which can be tracked using custom links, landing pages, and redemption codes. Social Media Influencers and Celebrities can provide strong validation and spark word-of-mouth conversations about your product or brand amongst their social circles and followers. Most people usually follow through the call-to-action when it comes from an influencer or celebrity they look up to.
Major Brands using Influencer Marketing Strategies
Some major brands both Indian and International that have grown and thrived by employing Influencer Marketing Strategies are as follows:
- Blue Apron
- Old Navy
- Daniel Wellington
- Amazon Audible
- Bach Flower Remedies
- Forever 21
- Tiffany and Co.
- Calvin Klein
All industries from popular fast-fashion clothing, footwear, accessories, and jewelry brands, food and beverage companies, even dating and friendship sites and apps, chocolates and coffee, digital content watching platforms, alcohol brands, shopping centers, watches, hotels, and holiday homes, skincare and cosmetic companies, and of course electronic brands all use influencer marketing strategies and celebrities to reach out to a wider target audience, build brand awareness and solidarity and further increase their customer lists. All companies and brands have felt that adopting the strategy of social media marketing has had a better outcome than the previously used marketing and advertising strategies. It is easier to reach a wider audience in one go with no extra costs. The strategy is more effective, both in terms of costs and to reach and close more customers. While A-list celebrities and big-time social media influencers may charge a high rate for each sponsored post or story update, micro or nano influencers either take the product or service in return or a nominal and easily affordable charge for the campaign or the single post. Depending on the advertising and marketing budget, be it more or less, a social media influencer marketing strategy is always a success.
Challenges to Influencer Marketing
Before partnering up with a social media influencer, it is imperative to check the followers, the demographic, and how authentic they are. There is no end to fake accounts and bots. Several social media handles have changed the algorithms in recent times leading to lesser views, a lower number of people the content is reaching, and so on. It is vital to keep a check on the changing algorithms across the different social networking sites. It is essential to develop a long-term brand ambassador partnership, which enables brands and influencers to build consistency and long-term brand affinity. A single campaign or project or just a few posts may not do the trick and be as effective as a long term and consistent campaign.
The size or scale of the company or brand doesn’t necessarily matter, neither does the advertising or marketing budget. If you choose the right social media marketing strategy and the right social media influencer or content creator who knows and has the expertise of what the audience is looking for, something new, innovative and unique, can create stunning visuals and audio, rest assured that your company or brand will thrive and you will without a doubt get an incredible ROI.