What Is Influencer Marketing And Why It Is Important?

2nd December 2019

Businesses today have understood the importance of online presence. As convenient as it is to the end-user, this transition poses many challenges for brands. This is evident especially when it comes to grabbing the attention of consumers. To overcome that, businesses indulge in self-promotion that has made customers skeptical and cynical. People have started feeling that advertising for brands shows up at the wrong places and some make ridiculous claims making it hard to trust them. Hence, there is a demand for innovative and new marketing techniques and one among them is influencer marketing. 

What is an influencer marketing?

At its most basic level, influencer marketing is a branch of the social media marketing that uses influencers on social media for product endorsements. These influencers are individuals who have dedicated followers and are considered as experts. It works based on the trust and reputation that the influencers have built over many years and their recommendation is proof for customers that the brand is trustworthy. 

Influencer marketing is a mix of both traditional and new marketing techniques, products, services, and tools. It is based on the idea of celebrity endorsements but the influencers need not be a familiar face or a popular name. An influencer can be anyone ranging from people, place or brand. For example, a self-made designer with a healthy following, and is active on social media, can be a good influencer.

However, celebrities are the most sought after as an influencer as they are visible and loved. When they endorse a product, the brand gets exposure as well as respect.

Bloggers are also considered as effective influencer marketers. Authentic blogs with a loyal following are the most sought after influencer today. Such bloggers are affordable and yet effective. People are able to relate better with them and hence whenever they make a recommendation, the product is considered trustworthy. 

Why the Boom in Influencer Marketing

There has been plenty of criticism in the traditional marketing strategies. Be it online or offline, the average customer doesn’t want to be pushed to purchase. In influencer marketing, the users feel a connection between the influencer and themselves which becomes their USP. Influencers spread the word about a brand, event or service and their followers get directly influenced. Since the world as we know it has moved on from TVs to mobile screens, influencers have become a major part of the marketing plans of brands. Moreover, since it is targeted on a specific audience it has better efficiency compared to other marketing strategies. Unlike traditional marketing, influencer marketing is for big businesses as well as startups as there is no major spending. 

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a strategy that has gained a lot of popularity among digital marketers due to the advantages it offers. Though the benefits are many, some of them is discussed below.

It is not pushy

The reason traditional advertising has taken the back seat is that consumers are frustrated with ads. A study conducted by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) shows that 75% of consumers say that ads displayed on the website are blockers and make it difficult to navigate. Hence digital marketers are finding new ways like influencer marketing to sell their brands without being pushy. It is also very different from traditional marketing as followers of the influencer opt to follow the brand willingly and are eager to check out the content. So even though the published info is sponsored content, it does not look like spam. The followers don’t mind it as they trust the influencer. 

Increased brand awareness

Influencers who are hired by brands to promote the business have a massive following, which ensures maximum reach. Due to this, the brand awareness is better and so is the exposure as the followers take notice of the recommendations of the influencer. There is a greater trust in the brand as it is posted by a trusted influencer and shines through the noise and makes it more visible. 

Redefines the brand’s content strategy

Brands regularly post content which is mostly self-promotional. But if you want to redefine your content marketing strategy, then collaborating with a social influencer works well. The same is suggested by https://socialbook.io/influencer-marketing, as it adds more freshness to the content.  Also, the influencers are seen to be more authentic and hence the followers are more likely to share with their networks creating more opportunities for the brand. The content may also have customers posting their testimonials which encourage others to try your products and services. 

Allows niche targeting

There is a need for all brands to reach new customers consistently. However, in today’s marketing world it is also necessary to know the people to whom you are selling it. This helps to understand if they are interested in the product or service offered. Hence, marketing strategies involve trying to reach people who are interested in the offerings as it increases conversions. Influencer marketing campaigns can target the niche audience based on demographics or can even go beyond boundaries and create new markets. However, as a brand, it is essential to select the appropriate influencers who are right for niche marketing. 

Boosts SEO

Influencer marketing boosts not just your social media marketing strategy, but also other forms of digital marketing. Since the influencer boosts trust and confidence in a brand, there is greater awareness, which increases the traffic to your site. Also, influencers like bloggers provide quality content which results in greater shares. This facilitates a greater backlink generation as the number of shares increases. All these can vastly improve organic optimization, helps increase the search engine rankings of your website and thus improves reach. 

Who should employ Influencer Marketing?

All businesses should use influencer marketing to increase their business. Irrespective of the industry, an influencer can make a difference by starting a conversation about the product or service on offer. Depending on the size and budget of the business, you can develop strategies to connect with influencers. A start-up like a new restaurant can encourage visitors to write reviews or pay a blogger to write about them. However, bigger brands that target higher sales, need influencers across multiple platforms to reach the target audience. No matter which influencer platform you choose, remember that influencer marketing should be an ongoing effort.

Effective strategies for influencer marketing

  • Choosing the right influencers: It is essential to find the right influencers based on the demographics, category, and location.  
  • Creating an ongoing relationship with influencers: Develop and maintain a good working relationship with the influencer. A warm message from a brand will win over the new influencer. 
  • Make it easy to share content: Influencers use social media platforms and blogs to share content with their followers. So it is essential to make it easy to integrate it into their portals. Also, ensure that the content you provide to them is in a format that is convenient to them be it audio, video, print, etc.  
  • Use all social media platforms: Instagram has more than 30 million users, likewise, there are many other social networking sites that have an influence too. So apart from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube don’t forget the other platforms.  

Business owners and marketers should become aware of the fact that influencer marketing is a necessity. It will help to create a buzz about the brand online when you collaborate with the influencers. By doing so, it can improve brand reputation and also increase customer engagement which leads to more conversions. 

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.