The consumer world is cluttered with brands. For every consumer product, from smartphones to pin cushions, there is a brand behind it. With so many brands lining up to grab consumers’ attention, a brand manager is in a real fix as to what trick he should employ to connect or engage with the target audience.
With the rise of digital media, influencer marketing has come into existence. Brand owners found a new and effective way to take their products/services to places around the world without spending a boatload. If you are a new entrant to the world of digital marketing, the term may excite you, but influencer marketing is old wine in a new bottle. The new coinage finds its roots in brand advocates, which is a popular term even today.
Influencer marketing is gaining momentum and brands too have found it effective; brand managers are now allocating marketing budgets for Influencer Marketing. But the million-dollar question for any new brand manager is: how effective is it and how do you find an influencer for your brand?
Tip the Scales
When a potential buyer is making a decision to buy your product, influencer marketing can surely affect his decision. See what recent studies reveal: According to Tomoson, 59 percent of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets. This clearly indicates influencer marketing is the fastest growing marketing channel.
TapInfluence and Influitive conducted a study and found that “92 percent of consumers rely on referrals from people they know above all else.” Similarly, McKinsey finds that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. Influencer marketing gives handsome returns on investment, approximately $6.50 for every dollar invested.
Influencers Win Trust
According to an infographic created by TheShelf, blogs influence the purchases.
“When making overall purchase decisions, for consumers, blogs trail only behind retail and brand sites. Blogs were found to be the third-most influential digital resource when making overall purchases (31 percent), only behind retail sites (56 percent) and brand sites (34 percent).”
The figures clearly indicate that consumers trust influencers more than brands. Consumers firmly believe that branded contents are biased, and therefore, they go online to explore reviews and recommendations from people who are not apparently associated with brands.
Personal Brand Is More Effective
It is a universal fact that a brand, if not promoted or advertised properly, fails to strike an emotional chord with consumers. And thus, whatever content is created around a brand lacks in spirit and character. Whereas influencers create personal brands and then connect themselves with potential buyers. People believe their words as the content is spoken or written in a unique brio of influencers. The voice they create unleashes phenomenal strength, which hits the bullseye.
Choose Influencers Wisely
Selection of an influencer requires an in-depth research. Mere number of followers doesn’t help you choose an influencer for your brand; you need to check other details like how influencers are connected to you, how influencers are connected with your audience, and which influencers match with your marketing goals.
Once you select an influencer, it is advisable that you invite him/her to try out a product or service you offer. This will help him create an unbiased content for his blog or social media pages.
Future of Influencer Marketing
Influencers can also generate biased opinion on their social media space. And this will tarnish their image as impartial judge of products or services. As has happened with celebrity endorsement, influencer marketing will have a bleak future if the practice is not done with a remarkable level of integrity. At the end of the day, people are going to use products or experience services; and if they are not happy, they wouldn’t listen to any influencer notwithstanding a charismatic personality.
Read more about influencer marketing here on Tech.Co