Without the acronyms
Think about the dress you’re wearing today, the makeup you’ve put on, or the smartphone you’re using now – are all of these your individual choices? Or were you influenced into buying them? What induced you to buy a particular item or a brand?
If you dig deeper into your choices, you’ll discover that the decisions you thought were completely made out of your free will, weren’t particularly so. We are living in an era where the choices that we make are highly influenced by social media, and we might not even be aware of it!
The inherent human desire of maintaining a social identity is nothing new. We tend to compare our choices with that of others to make sure we’re doing the right thing. Influencer marketing taps exactly on this phenomenon.
As social media is slowly dominating other forms- like the written word or the TV, we tend to trust it far more than the traditional advertising on the other platforms. This leads us to the question – whom do we trust when we trust social media? The answer is simple – other people. Now this group of ‘other people’ isn’t really pointing to your friends, family or someone who’d naturally elicit your trust. These are the people who are influencing you into a relationship of credibility – the social media influencers.
Influencer marketing has become the fastest growing online customer-acquisition channel, leaving behind other contenders like organic, paid search, email or affiliate marketing. This is because when you enlist an individual (commonly a brand ambassador or celebrity), you associate their credibility with your brand. This, in turn, leads to your brand gaining credibility and a larger consumer base. It is some sort of a ‘digital word of mouth’ that reigns over old-school strategies of advertising.
If you’re trying to venture into influencer marketing for your company, the first step you have to take would be getting in touch with influencers who’d be willing to collaborate with you. They can promote your brand in various ways like writing an article or a blog post about your product, promote news or information about your brand through their social media handles, invite you to become a guest blogger on their blog or feature on their videos, share your URLs with their fans/followers, etc.
The best way to connect with such influencers is a social media influencer platform. They allow companies, marketers or brands to track and meet key influencers, to take their help for effective brand promotion. These platforms often come with searchable marketplaces where companies can filter influencers by specific search criteria that suit them. Some platforms also provide marketing materials and inbuilt analytics to track your marketing campaigns.
The influencer’s followers (who are now the prospective customers of the brand being promoted) are often excited to hear product recommendations from them. This is a great advantage over explicit ad campaigns by marketers, which are often taken as mere persuasion to buy products and has no emotional connect, and has been the reason behind this successful rise of influencer marketing.