An Influencer, on a broader term, is someone who has an effect on a set of people. Someone who has a following on social media platforms. When we put social media in context, we find that an Influencer will imperatively be someone who has a high following on single or multiple platforms in absolute numbers in quantifiable and highly penetrating engagement with his/her audience in measurable terms.
The Industry standard defines a Micro influencer as someone who has less than 5000 followers and a Macro influencer is someone who has more than 5000 followers. And your investment intensity must follow this standard. But there are some insights that you must factor in before setting up your figures
You know who Influencers, and clearing all the clutter out what Influencer marketing boils down to is when influencers get involved in promoting your product or service. On a case-by-case basis, either you or the influencer himself/herself frames the content that goes with the campaign. Digital space has opened multiple avenues for a familiar name to become an influencer if he/she has something to say that people want to hear or see or even interact with it. And that's where a significant difference comes between Influencer marketing and traditional celebrity-driven marketing. One can argue that Influencer marketing is just another fancy word for influencer marketing; the reality is galaxies far far away. However, influencer marketing can be a subset of traditional celebrity-driven marketing. It's also so much more.
It has more personal engagement value, which just cannot come with celebrity endorsements. Other, is the power of analytics, traditionally celebrity endorsements had no fixed Return on Investment (ROI). Today, when organizations leverage influencers, they can harness analytics' potential and gain more insights on their Return on Investments (ROI). The number of people engaged with the campaign, what they liked about it, how many lead conversions did happen, and answers to many such questions.
These insights help organizations formulate strategies on how to go forward and tweak in their campaign to drive more engagement on both quantifiable and qualifiable terms. And thus, you can understand the impact of these campaigns on your revenue streams and give you a blueprint on your future campaigns.
The range for Brands in the era of Influencer Marketing is vast and to discover that we need to have a bottom to top approach when we set out to analyze the mindset of the target audience. Social media has brought in a dynamic impact on the lives of centennials and millennials. The content they consume likely reflects in their choices and personality.
While it can be argued that content shapes their preferences and behavior, there is no doubt when it comes to the fact that social media does play a huge role. As stakeholders, brands have to focus more than ever on marketing in the social media sphere. And the trends for the past 2-3 years have shown that brands are segregating their budgets in various channels, and the significant chunk of that pie is going to Influencer Marketing (physical or digital), and rightfully so.
There is no other channel that catches all of the Gen Z in one bucket, with proper categorization. When we talk of classification, it means that the availability of Influencers, who serve a niche and have a dedicated audience. For example, if we look at fashion as a category, there is an umpteen number of Influencers operating in the fashion sector, and the categorization can be further drilled down to influencers who are beauty experts or influencers who are experts in indigenous clothing.
This sort of labeling is not available anywhere, and brands can leverage this to serve their immediate or long-term goals.
Active participants of social media is centennials and millennials. And, therefore is very important to design your campaigns in such a way that it reaches out to your target demographics. You must not forget that reaching out to this age group was your objective in the first place when you decided to go on the path of influencer marketing. The said age group is increasingly swaying away from traditional media and social media is the new gospel for them. They consume 98% of their information from an amalgamation of all various platforms. And if you have chosen your influencer, the next step will be to design your campaign of which your content will play a major part.
Before designing your content, you must be careful in choosing your influencer, connecting with an influencer with the same synergy is a competitive edge that you gain. An analogy is, suppose a YouTuber who runs a YouTube channel on electronic products and is a huge advocate of Data privacy and integrity runs a campaign on the data safety promises of homegrown telecommunications firm that is you. The whole scenario is more organic and trustworthy and there is a high probability that you see an exponential increase in purchases of your SIM Card, you infer that is more causation than just correlation. And if you are reading this keenly enough you would have noticed that the power of content has been covered in the above analogy. Your content which was as simple as keeping the audience’s data safe in servers that are present within the country when combined with the choice of the influencer that you created synergies that raised the bar in an unexpected, yet logical manner.
You have your contacts with agents and then your marketing department keeps a close tab on influencers all over the world, particularly the ones who say what you are trying to sell. And the latter helps you build a pipeline that is more diverse in nature. Maintaining a big network of creators is hard and sometimes situations can get really tricky.
Also, it takes a lot of resources to measure the impact of your influencer on the campaign, especially if there are more than one. But having said that, all the effort and investment is really worth it since the right influencer really drives in the value that is needed.
Big brands are at a disadvantage on moving from traditional ways of celebrity-backed, one-way communication framework to new, agile Influencer marketing since big brands have multiple sifting engines, and they are not able to drive the authenticity that makes a campaign organically grow that comes with smaller brands. Also, as the market becomes more saturated, it will be much harder for brands especially, smaller brands to penetrate the market.
Influencer marketing is highly evolving. It will soon become the most valued bridge between brands and consumers in the most authentic manner, as social media gets intricately woven in every aspect of our life. The Influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth $15B, by 2022 (Business Insider), which will be an approx. 88% increase from a figure of $8B in 2019. You can do the math; the next 3 years will account for almost a doubling in the figures and this is huge. And while every social media platform attracts Influencers to some degree, Instagram will be the prized platinum of all.
While local players, such as Tik-Tok will emerge in the market strongly and will disrupt the Influencer marketing in gigantic proportions. Instagram will continue to hold the top spot in the years to come. Its features (new and old) such as Instagram live, stories, IGTV will remain as relevant communication channels for Influencers.
Brand’s intent will play a huge role in deciding the feature to be used. For example, if a brand wants to drive a blog with a detailed write-up, the influencer will use a post with introductory messages going on the stories and if the brand wants the influencer to explain the product portfolio in detail, then it will go in Instagram live.
Marketers have started exploring Influencer marketing seriously, and have initiated a thorough analysis of the Influencers to be chosen, and if the Influencer checkmarks all their priorities and prerequisites, long terms contracts are being made.
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