Influencer Marketing is a form of social media marketing that involves a combination of old and new marketing techniques. Essentially it involves endorsements and product placement, but instead of using the old school celebrity endorsement, it is driven by influencer endorsements. The major point to be noted here is that the influencers that we are talking about here tend to have more sway in an online environment rather than an offline one.
Defining an Influencer
Establishing above what we mean by ‘Influencer Marketing’, the next thing to focus on would be knowing what/who an influencer is. In simple words, an influencer is anyone who could affect the quantifiable actions of other individuals to such an extent that they choose a said product (often sponsored) over their go-to products. One key point to note here is that influencer marketing will bring in more customers, but at the same time most of the customers are loyal to the influencer and not to the brand, thus if the partnership between the influencer and the brand is over, most of the customers will walk away with the influencer.
But if most customers walk away with the influencer, why do brands go forward with influencer marketing? The simple answer to this question is the change in the market trend, as we are moving into a more digital age and everyone has access to the internet, we have also gained access to a variety of products and normal advertisements or popups on our screens are just not that appealing. Instead, customers are attracted to things that can change their outlook on how they perceive things; it should be noted that brands do this to improve their reach, maximize recognition and improve their image through influencers.
Cross between new and old technique
This brings us to the next bubble, ‘How long has Influencer Marketing been in play?’. Influencer Marketing can be traced back to the time of Pope and The Queen, back then the main concern was to eradicate medical issues, and medicines were not supported by a lot of people. Thus, the Pope and Queen were used as “influencers” to send a message to the people that medicines are safe and should be consumed for a healthier lifestyle. Since then, we have come a long way, and using limited brand advocates to cater to a large and diverse customer base will not make sense. Thus, the brands divide the customers into various demographics and assign influencers with roles to advocate for their brand. This in turn leads to the brand being able to cover a larger customer base more effectively and have a greater reception.
Why is it on the boom?
Influencer marketing is on the boom and there is no denying it, statistical reports from ‘Business Insider’, have clearly mentioned a $15 billion dollar growth in this market technique by 2022, ‘BigCommerce.com’, have mentioned a 65% increase in the marketing budget in 2020, ‘InfluencerMarketingHub.com’, have mentioned that major companies have made a 75% increase in a dedicated budget towards influencer marketing in 2021. All these statistics only go to point that influencer marketing is here to stay and giving the traditional marketing technique a run for its money. The ROI (return on investments) is astonishing and even though every brand has a different way on calculating the ROI, they all have the same essence, which is increasing brand recognition, reaching new targeted audience, and finally increasing the sales. All of them are interrelated and following one without another is not possible as they work like a clockwork.
Influencer marketing is a form of the social media marketing that involves a mix of both old and new marketing techniques. In this marketing technique, there is lesser involvement with celebrities and more with influencers. Influencers are the individuals who tend to have a sway on customers’ quantifiable actions and have a more online presence than an offline one. Brands are following this marketing technique as it is the new market trend and customers feel more connected when an individual amongst them is persuading the entire community to try a new thing. This form of marketing has been prevalent for a very long time too, it has been around since the time of the Pope and Queen, back then they had more sway over people than anyone else; because of that, they were often used as influencers to send messages.
In today’s world using limited brand advocates is not going to cut it and thus brands must divide the customers into various demographics and assign an influencer for each of them, this way it can be ensured that all the demographics are covered efficiently. The final factor would be focusing on why the brands would spend these many resources and is it effective in the prevalent times, yes, it is effective, the results will take time to show but they are visible from day one. The ROI is better than the initial investment, thus making it a great marketing technique and allowing the business to thrive.