Friday, 10 March 2017

The Importance of Influencer Marketing

A recent study revealed that 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2017. But what exactly is influencer marketing? Well to put it simply, it’s that middle territory between a legitimate testimonial and mentioning a product subtly, which is usually done in passing.

Not to be confused with celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing creates word-of-mouth advertising using people that are trusted in their industry/social circle. With this marketing strategy, influencers are building up the brand’s image in the minds of their followers. Whereas celebrity endorsements attaches the fame of a celebrity to a brand or product so that they are associated with that product — as a result people want to buy that product. Both strategies use well-known people to influence the target market. But the way they are executed and how they influence their target market is very different. Today we’ll focus on influencer marketing.

Influencers are specialists in what they do. Different from celebrities, they build communities around themselves in a very niche space. For example, when a brand sends food bloggers their newest cake offering as part of an influencer campaign, the intent is not from their fame but rather the true recommendations within the targeted community.

But why Influencers?

Influencers are deemed to be more authentic as they are perceived to be creators of the entire message. From beginning to end, the message is considered theirs and that lends it a certain credibility. Go and scroll through your Instagram feed now — You can still see your favourite influencers representing products and promoting brands, all while still staying true to their unique voice and story.

Why influencer marketing?

Consumers trust recommendations from word-of-mouth more often than the brand itself. It makes sense if you think about it on a more personal context. Let’s put it into a scenario — You don’t usually trust a person at a party who comes up to you and brags about themselves, but you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is the mutual friend connecting the brand with the target audience.

What brands will get in return is targeted exposure to the right consumer, one who is already interested in that particular area and will likely be paid attention. Speaking of paying attention — 47% of online consumers use ad blockers nowadays, giving brands even more reason to put their money behind influencers instead, as they are the ones holding everyone’s attention.

Social media influencers exist on all the primary social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. These platforms have given birth to Internet famous celebrities and influencers. They are becoming more and more savvy about how to properly collaborate with brands for their own creative campaigns.

In 2017, the use of influencer marketing is rising. Collaborations between brands and influencers are only to increase. It’s only a matter of time before social media shifts into a social marketplace.

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