Marketing – that very word conjures up surreal and magical images and possibilities. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of brands made was that they thought they were simply selling products or services. They were wrong – they were actually giving people the opportunity to buy stories, possibilities, and magic.
Today, brands have smartened up. High-quality advertising is a lot easier to find right now. As cliché as it sounds, it’s become the proverbial “everyone’s doing it” part of branding.
While earlier people could pick and choose the brands they could identify with, it’s a lot more difficult today. Just advertising a product was something that will never get a brand noticed – everyone needs to up their game.
The dynamics of consumers has changed and drastically within the last few years. Today’s consumers are a lot smarter and more demanding than before. This makes it a lot more difficult for brands to get their message across to them.
Also, add to the fact that a lot of people simply turn off ads on their devices. They even refrain from watching too much content to increase productivity – referred to as media fasting. If you are a brand, you are watching your avenues of opportunity dwindling down to nothing in the space of about half a decade.
Where do brands look to now?
The answer is influencers – people who are already popular on social media websites for a single niche or several. They already have the attention of the audience you want, and if you can get them to deliver your brand message, it would surely have a better reach than just plain old advertising.
Influencers and Why
A lot of you readers are thinking that this is just another newfangled fad, but in reality, there are several eye-opening statistics about how influencer marketing can give traditional advertising a run for its money. Here’s are a few of them –
- 74% of people are guided through social networks to purchasing decisions
- 49% of all consumers rely on influencer recommendations
- 67% of marketers promote content through influencers
- On average, influencer marketing campaigns earn $6.50 for every dollar spent
- Influencer marketing is expected to hit $10bn by 2020
These are pretty eye-opening numbers when you consider that influencer marketing has not been around for a long time. But the question on everyone’s mind is – how much longer before this bubble bursts? Well, the good news is that influencer marketing is definitely not folding up anytime soon and you can safely invest time and effort in it.
Let’s go ahead and see how you can leverage influencer marketing and create your own stunning influencer marketing campaign.
Making Influencer Marketing Work for You
Right from the outset, influencer marketing makes sense. What you are basically doing is using an influencer’s following to create a strong brand niche for yourself, and what you’re getting out of this is a more focused advertising campaign.
The significant advantage of having a more niche-focused crowd is that conversion numbers are significantly higher compared to other advertising methods. Plus, it gives you something that most other marketing approaches do not – the human connection right from the get-go. This is important because faceless brands just don’t get people interested like they used to earlier.
There are several types of influencer marketing methods you can choose from based on what you can execute. Let’s take a look at them –
Getting the influencer involved directly in your marketing efforts is a great idea. This gives the influencer enough freedom to go about marketing your services the way they want to. The influencer can choose which of your services or products they prefer and the experience is a lot more authentic.
To implement this, you need to assign a specific discount code or a custom URL which the influencer can reference to their followers. This also allows you to track ROI and to compensate the influencer a lot easier.
A good example of this kind of marketing reaping rewards is when Arielle Charnas used Instagram Stories to leverage Nordstrom. The effect of this campaign was that the collection she was endorsing sold out in 24 hours and was hailed as one of the most successful launches ever!
If you want endorsements and engagements galore, then you’d do well to try hosting a giveaway. This can get your brand out there, gaining reputation and awareness quickly and effectively. Based on how creatively the influencer plays their cards, the result directly translates into how much popularity the campaign gets.
Another point in favor of giveaways is that it is really simple to carry out – you send out your products to certain people in the audience who the influencer selects based on chance, or answering trivia. The influencer could also get their audiences’ friends involved as well by asking people to tag them.
One example of this can turn the fortunes of an entire brand around is Rihanna and Fenty Beauty. Fenty beauty was a makeup brand and brought about a range of dazzling, show-stopping shades meant for women of color. The fact that Rihanna hosted the giveaway meant that word spread like wildfire and they had turned popular overnight.
Social media takeover
This type of influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular with brands, and it produces some unique and creative content. Basically, a social media takeover is when a brand partners up with an influencer to curate content that is posted on the brand’s social media feeds.
While this can be a bit difficult to put together, it does result in engaging content. The critical thing for brands to do here is to find out influencers who reflect the ethos and image the brand is trying to cultivate.
Harper’s Bazaar, a popular fashion magazine, got in touch with model and actress, Jaime King, to take over their Instagram account while attending the Dior Cruise show. The magazine managed to snag a lot of new readers for their publication and increased brand awareness significantly.
Sponsored social media content
If you are sure that the content you have ready to post is going to be a big hit with the people in your niche, then you can partner up with influencers who can promote social media content. The influencer creates content that is specific to your product on their social media page.
As a brand, you need to be communicative to the influencer of the kind of content to be built around your services. Once they’re ready with content, you can look through it and make changes if required. Then the influencer will go ahead and post it on their feed. If the content is as engaging as you thought, you are going to get a huge influx of followers for your brand.
Etihad Airways partnered with The Telegraph to come up with the “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign which was aimed at getting people interested in going to Adelaide. It is well-written and pretty transparent about what it wants the reader to do.
Summing it up
These are some of the most popular methods of getting influencer marketing to leverage your brand and get better business. Influencer marketing is booming right now – all brands are unequivocally talking about how great it has been for them and their audience. Influencer marketing offers you a lot of benefits regardless of the popularity of your brand. It gives you more bang for your advertising buck, and it is slowly edging out traditional forms of marketing.
Influencer gives a brand the opportunity to connect with newer people without all the overheads of a traditional marketing campaign. If you influence in the right direction, your brand is bound to grow!
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