nfluencer marketing is genuine credibility and authority infused in social and content marketing tools, and the sole aim here is to drive purchases. It works through social media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. When a social media influencer makes a post about a brand or product, the followers of that influencer get to see the post, like it, because it is coming from someone they love and follow, and may even go ahead to patronise the brand. Influencer marketing is not just about finding someone that has a large social media following to promote your brand or product, instead it’s about getting an influencer who can sell your product to their followers. The act of influencing people transcends mere popularity and must lead to a purchase or a change in thinking. Hence, it is safe to say an influencer is someone who can sell your product or brand by influencing people to do so. In influencer marketing, there is always a collaboration between brands and influencers. Unlike traditional advertising, influencer marketing is quite similar to celebrity endorsement or sponsored social media advertisements, but these techniques do not do justice to the whole idea of influencer marketing. The line is drawn where while celebrities are paid to advertise a brand or product, to the knowledge of consumers, influencer marketing best practice involves promoting a brand to aid patronage, alongside strengthening the recognition and influence levels of the influencers. Note that good influencer marketing is not centred on financial compensation but on building credibility and a stronger influence (this is not to say that there are no monetary commitments attached to it). Many organisations are adopting influencer marketing as a marketing strategy for their businesses because it has proven to be a more honest way to promote products and brands and drive sales.
Here are some benefits of influencer marketing:
Relevance goes a long way
Before a social media user is referred to as an influencer, he or she must possess the ability to frame perceptions for others, have the flair for salesmanship, be credible and relevant with his/her online presence. Influencers are usually trusted by their followers. The relevance of influencers go a long way to drive sales and patronage to your business because when a trendsetting influencer whose niche aligns with your brand and conveys your message to a relevant audience, your brand is seen as a new concept which is relevant and should be followed.
Increased Brand Awareness
When a well versed influencer talks about or does something, it most often becomes a trend which would invariably help amass followers. In other words, influencers are the driving force behind most social media movements. Therefore, when a business owner decides to engage influencer marketing as a strategy for growing their business, the benefit is increased brand awareness. Imagine a renowned influencer posting about how your shoe brand is the best in town to his or her thousands or even millions of followers. The fact that this person, who the target audience see as credible, describes your shoe brand as creative and trendy, the customer trusts this information and it encourages them to buy into the brand.
Consumers are tired of the mainstream advertisements that get pushed in their faces all the time. As a result, it is not surprising that most internet users make use of ad blockers on their smartphones and personal computers. Getting valuable content from reliable and trendsetting influencers is not pushy and this is one of the reasons it is more effective that traditional advertising.
Reaches Target Audience
Influencer marketing proves to be a very effective way to reach a target audience in the sense that featured marketing messages of brands are made available to consumers on platforms where they spend the most time. A lot of people spend many hours on social media, tweeting and retweeting, watching this or that and posting about their exploits. In the process, they come into contact with marketing messages which an influencer has posted.
Influencers are most often seen as credible sources of advice to their followers on what products or services to use. Hence, it is certain that influencer marketing will drive patronage of your product or service. For instance, if an influencer with a niche centred on reviewing beauty products recommends your product to his or her followers, this would be a great benefit to your business as it would drive patronage. Studies show that almost 40% of Twitter users say they have made product purchases as a direct result of tweets from influencers. Also, six in ten YouTube subscribers were seen to follow advice given by their favourite YouTube content creators on what products to buy and use.
The best way to utilise influencer marketing is to first identify the right influencer to promote your brand. Note that this is a very important step as it determines how you would benefit from influencer marketing. Collaborating with the right influencer whose niche aligns with the core of your brand is everything and can be the highlight of your decision. This is because it gives you an already engaged audience and helps your product get the attention that it needs. From posts, reposts, tweets and retweets, your content gets more exposure. Influencer marketing is beneficial to businesses and its power to influence opinion seekers cannot be over emphasised. The best part is that your business does not need to spend millions on campaigns and marketing advertisements anymore. Influencers (not necessarily celebrities; they could be micro influencers – non-celebrities with a social media following) with their salesmanship can get people to buy your brand message and convinced to make a purchase for affordable amounts. Most often, in the end, the benefits of influencer marketing outweigh the costs you might have incurred in the process of marketing your product or services.
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