An In-Depth Look at Influencer Marketing

by Sadaf Awan / June 29, 2020

I’m an avid online buyer! If I catch my favorite Influencer recommending a product, I Instantly hop in the bandwagon to get the product myself. Sometimes, I might not even need to invest in something as useless as an iPhone cup holder!

You might be thinking “what a waste of money!” Maybe.

But, did an influencer post get me to buy the product? A hundred percent yes! (And to some extent, I do enjoy my new cup holder)

This is just an example of a tactic that is used by businesses across virtually every industry called Influencer Marketing.

What Is an Influencer?

Apparently, An Influencer is someone who wields a massive impact on its viewers/followers. Having said that, Influencer culture is nowadays inseparably tied to consumerism and the rise of technology. To cut it short, the term is used for someone with the power to affect the buying quantifiable actions of others by putting up posts or sponsored endorsements to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and what not!

Primarily, if a brand wants its products to get recognition from a reputable Influencer/Blogger, they will invest their money in sponsoring Influencers. Keeping in mind the guidelines, An Influencer creates a post that is somehow eye-grabbing to get all the attention from their followers. I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch of trending hashtags every now then. Ever wondered why these influencers and celebrities get us hooked to such posts? Since Influencers get paid by brands to promote their products, they want their uploads to go viral. The more you see, click and repost, the more they gain followers and recognition.

A relationship between influencer and viewer/follower is one that, hinges on the willingness of the viewer to be influenced. The followers, consider influencers more akin to a close one than an advertiser. As the brook of content, they make, the fact that it’s casually shared with the public imbues influencers with an air of credibility that is hardly ever seen in semi-commercial spaces.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

If you’re not familiar with Influencer Marketing then it’s alright, you’re not the only one. Trust me; there are people who stumble upon the phrase for the first time and immediately ponder “What is Influencer Marketing?” However, it’s time to brush up your marketing knowledge!

Influencer Marketing is well past its exploratory phase. It is now resolutely established as one of the dominant types of marketing. It involves a brand collaborating with an online influencer to endorse one of its products or services. Market Influence usually comes from an individual’s proficiency, reputation or popularity.

Influence can crop up from a vast range of forms and places. Any person, group, or place could potentially become an influencer. Such as Celebrities. Didn’t we all have to stock up on the things that our favorite Celebs have been selling to us since ages? That one smile or one line had sold us the things that we possibly will never use. Little did we know, while we were busy emptying our savings, they were getting paid for selling the items that they will or have never used. But the main question is, why we buy the stuff that we see online or in ads? And why it is related to IM?

Look, the moment we decide to buy something by seeing an ad or a post from an influencer or a celebrity, we feel the sense of security and authenticity. Why so? Because it seems more trustworthy and traditional advertising. This is why brands collaborate with Influencers that are already famous or have a robust and loyal bunch of following. By using Influencers, companies/brands can avoid much of skepticism and cynicism that is directed at straightforward marketing messages.

What makes Influencer Marketing Engrossing Strategy?

Right of the bat, what makes IM distinctive from other marketing strategies are no advertising tricks are used to woo the viewers. No deceitful celebrities are trying to sell a product you know that they won’t use. What we witness most of the times is, when an Influencer put up a post about a “PR Package” that they have just received, you don’t see them reviewing the products immediately. They take their time, and after a while, they upload a detailed version of the review. In this way, they check all the boxes of authenticity and legitimacy.

Think about it, when a company is investing a truckload of money on the launch of their product, why wouldn’t they avail Influencer Marketing as a brand recognition strategy? Since IM works best because it relies on both content and social marketing tools, where genuine authority and credibility are established in the minds of the audience.

Most Important Social Media Channels

Now let’s have a peek into the social media apps that are most crucial for Influencer Marketing.

As you can see, Instagram is the powerhouse of social media, we are halfway through this year, and we can witness the impact that this app has created. Facebook and YouTube hold their respective value. But somewhere down the line, the ease of photo-sharing on Instagram spawned a massive variety of influencers with straight away various niche audiences.

Instagram provided ease of content creation that leads to a huge rise of micro-influencers, i.e. influencer with relatively small followings between 10,000-50,000, whose inexpensiveness made them more relatable and accessible to the average brand.

Least Important Social Media Channels

Moving on towards the least important social media channels,

As you can see, over time, Snapchat has lost the attention of marketers, especially when it comes to sponsored Influencer content. The main reason was, the functionality of this app made it difficult for followers to find their favoriteInfluencers and the application didn’t cater influencers with enough audience data to entice brands for sponsorship.

Although the platform has amended its features many times, it was already late, Instagram Stories has already overtaken Snapchat Stories with double the number of users. That being said, this stoops Snapchat at the very bottom of the most marketers’ lists, as regards to Influencer Marketing 2020. As a matter of fact, Marketers are most likely to invest the most on Instagram.

Conclusion

The fact is, Influencer Marketing may not be everybody’s cup of tea however, Influencer Marketing provides brands with a focused approach to allure their target audience through multiple tactics and social media platforms. Business-driven Influencer Marketing can affect opinions, gain brand loyalty and generate higher sales.

Sadaf Awan

Sadaf loves to travel; the urge of wanderlust is always there in her mind. For her, writing is an act of devotion and call books her second home. The way of expressing her intellect and looking at perspectives of both sides is what makes her idiosyncratic. On a side note, she is an avid lover of tea and for her a day without a sip of tea is a day not counted.

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