How much does a hipster weigh? An insta-gram
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Now, since that’s established, let’s figure out what exactly is ‘Influencer Marketing’ and how it is ‘influencing’ your marketing budgets, objectives and return on advertising spends.
Social media is a unicorn, but may be it’s a horse – So, said famous Mr. Jay Baer, unaware of the fact, that ‘unicorn’ in social media is the ‘Influencer’.
In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic. Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last.
Influencer Marketing calls for engaging the people who have an audience, shape conversations, set trends and impact how your brand is perceived.
And, this is where ‘Influencer Marketing’ becomes a medium of choice for brand marketers opening world of possibilities. It opens up a new marketing channel for brands to connect with consumers more directly, organically and attain scale as and when needed. Branded content created by influencers, help brands amplify the brand message in a real, authentic and relatable manner.
Influencers play a growing and important role in word-of-mouth marketing. More and more marketers are engaging them for campaigns. Today, marketers rate influencer marketing as their fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, outpacing organic search and email marketing and in some cases, even the costly FB ads!
Partnering with an influencer can be a cost effective form of high-quality content with built in distribution. It is highly measurable and can be targeted to very specific audiences to capture high-quality leads and engagement.
Influencers build trust and lend a personal touch to the brand message to make it authentic. Influencers are normal people. People follow them for honest and real reviews of products, and genuinely trust the influencer’s opinion. They’re part of a community together, and that network is built on trust.
Story telling remains at the heart of any form of advertising and it also is one of the most important tenets of Influencer Marketing.
After-all only social media is HUMAN beings, all the rest is just Technology.
It’s all about creating relationships, from the initial pitch to nurturing content. Advertisers must treat influencers as you would the media – with a carefully crafted pitch and content direction to help them build authentic custom content. Keep in mind that the technology and scale of online influencer programs require an integrated, rigorous approach, including the content these brand advocates will share. Technology has catapulted the importance of influencers in recent years, and marketers should be mindful of the important role these third-party endorsements play in telling a brand’s story and encouraging consumers along their path to purchase.
Real and results driven influencer marketing needs to be about direct brand- to-consumer message. Hence, here are few pointers for agencies and advertisers to follow –
- Understand their audiences and ‘Influencers’ who could make a difference.
- Always VET Influencers you are engaging with for your campaigns
- Provide them with well-prepared, targeted content for their audiences.
Hence, Influencer marketing requires effective strategy with three-way alignment between the brand, the influencer and the end user. To develop an effective influencer strategy, we have to let consumers and data lead the way –
- Determine your goal? Is this a product launch or a sales campaign? How will you define winning? By understanding your business’s overarching goals and key success measures, you’ll better ensure your influencer -marketing program can achieve maximum ROI.
- Who’s my Target segment? Based on audience insights and overall brand objectives, let’s figure out motivators, barriers, and online behavior of our target segment to determine content, triggers and specific timing considerations
- Where on ‘social’ does my TG live on? Are they on Instagram, do they read blogs on a specific topic, on FB or Twitter?
- What type of content will work best to accomplish marketing goal? Should my content be entertainment skewed or educational? Should it be blog post or a 140 characters tweet? What is the brand voice, tone? Should we use photos, or videos or just plain text matter?
- Identify your influencers – Influencers who have authority to speak on that topic on channels where your TG is present. Do we need influencers with highest potential for reach, relevancy and resonance? Do we need to ensure sufficient number of influencers across digital platforms.
- Develop plan/influencer list based on competitive data, ratings and reviews, social media, search queries and platform data.
- Creating effective influencer briefs to drive business goals and priorities based on brand image, inputs, campaign objectives, channel specific nuances to empower influencers to convey brand’s story to achieve business goals.
People do not buy goods and services; they buy Relations, Stories and Magic. Find out more on September 16th at Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.
Cover picture credit: www.mediabistro.com
Sanjay Vasudeva is the CEO & Co Founder of BuzzOne. As a digital native since 2005 (professionally that is), and being part of one of the luckiest generation, he has witnessed both the analogue and digital age. He also an advocate on how Digital can make brand building, marketing, and life-living an exciting place.
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