Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you it’s a big part of their lives. The rise of social media in the late 2000s has graced us with an era of greater interconnectedness and accessibility to more information than ever. It has practically changed not only how we interact with each other, but with the world around us. More specifically, it has changed the way we interact with brands and celebrities alike, giving rise to a rapidly emerging form of marketing – Influencer Marketing.
What is it? And why is it so effective?
It is vaguely similar to celebrity endorsements, but it isn’t the same thing. Influencer marketing is the promotion of a brand’s products or services across multiple social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; via the relationship established between a brand an influencer. What really distinguishes it from other forms of endorsement is its effectiveness.
Influencers are similar to celebrities but on a slightly smaller magnitude, i.e. they are trusted key figures within a niche community, and typically have expertise regarding products that they’re advertising. This in turn, contributes towards building a loyal user base and garnering their trust over time.
An article on Quora provides a good explanation on why influencers are able to achieve such a great amount of success. Simply put, while an influencer may have a smaller following on Instagram compared to an international superstar, their advantage lies in their more focused following; brands have a significantly better chance of having their sponsored posts reach their users, resulting in a greater return on investment (ROI). For example, if there is an influencer who advertises beauty products, then he/she would be targeted mainly by beauty brands due to this specificity.
There are more reasons why influencer marketing is become increasingly popular. Here are a few of them:
Enables the consolidation of target audiences
Given the substantial size of social media and its multiple channels, users now have more choice than ever on the content that they wish to view, thus posing a challenge for brands and businesses when trying to reach their target audiences which may be scattered across multiple channels.
However, this problem can be easily addressed when brands hire influencers to advertise their (the brand’s) products to their followers, who are also the brand’s target audience. Remember the influencer who advertises beauty products?
The end result is a uniform and even reach to target audiences across multiple channels, as brands can more easily locate their target audience and directly advertise to them.
Authenticity is promoted
Influencers operate independently and craft their own content without any influence from an external source. So whenever a brand approaches them for an advertising opportunity, what influencers do is to integrate the advertiser’s specifications into their own content. Not only does this provide followers with an air of sincerity and authenticity Also, followers are more likely to buy into a product if their favourite influencer is an advocate of it too.
An influencer has control over a brand’s image
Alluding to the element of trust mentioned above, not only is a great level of trust required among a brand and a third party, but the trust of a follower and their influencer of choice is also at stake. This is because one slip up could not only result in a brand or influencer’s image being compromised, but also the loss of trust that has taken a long time to build up. Thus, taking precautionary measures is important because the damage incurred cannot be undone.
On a final note…
Social media’s exponential growth within the past decade has provided us greater accessibility to more information than ever before, but it also marks a change in how information is being delivered to us as much as how we are able to access it.
With social media being an integral part of a user’s daily life, modern users are now increasingly skeptical towards a brand’s marketing tactics, forcing brands to think of different ways to market their products in more favourable ways to the modern consumer.
Speak with us here and let us help you determine what works best for you!
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