Gone are the days when a popular celebrity posed with a bottle of cola and the very next day the sales figures went through the roof. With consumers turning smarter, influencing them with gimmicks has become harder, for the better. It takes a whole lot of authenticity to convince and convert the consumers of 2017. And that’s why it becomes all the more important for brands to revisit their influencer marketing strategy.
Using people to reach people
Word-of-mouth advertisement still remains the oldest and the most effective way for brands to engage with consumers. Many may feel that it’s the word that attracts the audience but sometimes it’s the mouth that does it better.Top fashion brand Chanel invited influential Instagrammers to build anticipation and awareness for their new perfume Chanel No. 5 L’Eau.
On an average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing. (Source: ConvinceandConvert.com)
Collaborating with influencers is a great way to familiarize the target audience with your brand identity and product offerings. Influencers make a personal connect with their fans aka your audience and can help foster a strong affinity towards your brand. One of the finest examples of influencer marketing is of Sephora Beauty Talk- a community of insiders who leave honest product reviews, help other consumers make decisions based on their needs, and share their findings.
Brands need to find a way to grab consumer’s attention, and the easiest way to achieve that is by providing the content they want from people they trust.
Earning influencers v/s Endorsements
Does your campaign require a celebrity to spread awareness or you are just roping high profile influencers because you have a reputation to maintain?
Celebrity endorsements may seem hunky dory from the outside but is more of a one-way communication. Influencers, on the other hand, tend to inspire engagement within their audience.Using a well-known celebrity to blanket a large and diverse audience with a single message just doesn’t make sense anymore.
To determine the level of engagements, in 2016, the Markerly team conducted a study comparing celebrity influencers against micro-influencers. They found that the micro-influencers were the most successful in engaging their audiences, displaying a higher like rate (2.37 percent) than celebrity influencers(1.66 percent). Plus, the audience that you can reach through microinfluencers are much relevant to your niche as compared to the fan base of a superstar who’s endorsing your product. Think about it!
Micro-Influencers to the rescue:
But who are these micro-influencers? A blogger who instantly connects with his audience each time his post goes live, a fashion enthusiast whose Instagram posts get double-taps by millions, a YouTuber who’s giving those 70mm artists a run for their money or anyone who’s putting the power of social media to a great use and is influencing a large section of people with authentic, believable claims. These smaller influences with targeted audiences tend to get much better engagement rates translating into better ROI.
Try The World wanted to raise awareness for their range of food subscription boxes. They decided to collaborate with YouTuber Missy Lanning. Missy, who has more than 400,000 subscribers, posted a Taste Test Challenge video featuring a subscription box from Try The World.The video managed to get more than 500,000 views and raised brand awareness with a higher ROI.
Trouble finding an influencer? Create your own:
History has it- influencer marketing when done right, gives unexpected results. However, there have been cases of the same going awry too. Brands in past have made mistakes of choosing the wrong influencers for their business. Keep in mind that the influencers you choose to catapult your product or services need to be a savvy in your niche. A technology brand may choose a very popular fashion blogger to pose with their product. But how will you handle a day when he or she does messes with technology. That’s gonna backfire! The best practise is to choose influencers against your content buckets. You can never go wrong with this thumb rule.
Your influencers can go a long way in highlighting what your brand stands for. Fair and Lovely teamed up with beauty vloggers who did not promote the fairness angle. Instead they talked about how inner confidence enhances personality, why communication skills are important, what work place power dressing means etc. Isn’t that a better way to represent a beauty brand in a world that has become sensitive towards bodyshaming and skin color?
Your relationship with your brand influencer- Are you doing enough?
Like any other relationship you have to put in time and effort to maintain your ties with your influencers. They are an important part of the brand; Make them feel so. Personalise your communication with them. Let them be the first ones to hear about the latest developments in your brand and business. Offer them the best of experiences. It always pays off!
Just remember, influencers are people too. You keep them happy with by rewarding them for their brand loyalty and they can be a powerful marketing ally. You upset them they can also be detrimental. Consumer advocacy is beneficial in the long run because sponsorships and deals can end but consumer loyalty? Never.