Influencer Marketing: How It Can Make Your Brand Tick


In these times of digital marketing expansion, influencer marketing is the buzz word that you come across every now and then. However, very few marketers understand how to use this form of marketing effectively to get the best results on the digital media platform.

What is influencer marketing ?
In offline context, children, family, friends and colleagues – all are big influencers in the consumers’ decision to buy something. In online context, influencers are individuals who have a persuasive voice, authenticity and an audience on the web. Brands can leverage these social influencers to gain voice in user content and feedback surrounding their products. This is what influencer marketing is.

In other words, one can define influencer marketing as a way of digital marketing, where a company/brand focuses on enrolling people who have an established credibility and audience on the social media platform to spread good word about its brand.

Why influencer marketing makes sense for your brand
Influencer marketing is a significant tool and plays an important role in a brand’s social media strategy. But what makes this tool so important? Well, the consumers are listening to people online before, while and after making their purchase decision and traditional ads are becoming less important and less credible to consumers.

74% consumers make their purchasing decisions on the basis of what is said on social media, reports a study conducted by digital marketing agency ODM Group. 78% respondents of this study said that the companies’ posts on social media impact their purchases, while 90% of them trust peer recommendations, and ads are trusted only by 33%. As per the data shared by Mindshift Interactive, information by brand advocates is 70% more likelier to be seen as good and credible, and social media referrals are 71% more likelier to result in a purchase decision.

A nielsen study suggests that influencers on social media help grab those audiences who have begun tuning out of traditional ads, banners etc, and become more active on social media.

What’s highly influential on social media?
Influencers on Facebook and Twitter seem to have a say on the digital medium. 92% of the social media influencers have an account on Facebook, and 83% of them post more than once per week. About 88% of these influencers have a twitter account, and 71% of them tweet at least once a week.

According to a research by SproutSocial, out of the 53% people who use Twitter to recommend any company, service or product, 48% purchase that product or service. Twitter is said to be the number one platform for influencing electronics related purchase decisions, says research by Mashable.

Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive says, “Influencer Marketing is crucial in today's times towards building evangelism & adoption. As social media climbs the communication ladder with speed, businesses must further understand & embrace the value of influencers. Many popular brands in the region are approaching the ‘Twitterati’ as they play an important role in creating awareness, promoting products and in encouraging online communities to try new things. These influencers are passionate and when they are made to understand a brand appropriately & be part of it as ambassadors, they can be of great advantage towards helping your brand gain momentum and sustain it, which should be the ideal strategy."

Tips for marketers
When going out on influencing your influencers on the social media, marketers can take hint from the following tips:

● When scouting for influencers for your brand/product/company, go beyond the demographic filters and explore the passion and interests of your potential influencers. This ensures a deeper connect and better fit between your product and the influencer.
● Indulge and engage the influencers with the content that interests them. This will add value to them and their audience, which means better results for your brand.
● Influencer marketing is not about reaching audience huge number of prospective buyers; it is about quality connection with your audience. So, focus on the quality of interaction you get out of the influencer marketing approach.
● Don’t treat influencers just as your marketing platform. Invest time and effort in understanding them and building a long-term relationship with them.
● Keep a track of how the interaction and engagement initiatives involving the influencers result for your in terms of leads, conversations, attendance at events, etc.
Image: Thinkstock
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