09 Apr How influential are the influencers?
Influencer marketing is definitely not a new advertising concept. Back in the day, this used to be more linked with celebrities rather than ‘everyday’ people. The objective was the same. Humans make the messaging more believable, so using people, known faces, would add more credibility to the brand and its product.
Social media took it more towards people who everyone knows, who we can meet, and we can interact with. It’s not about the Jennifer Anistons, Roger Federers and Shahrukh Khans of the world; it’s about people you can actually run into at a social, high profile, event. It’s all around us, from beauty brands to tech gadgets. Most of the big brands are using everyday people as influencers in one capacity or the other.
Apart from adding the human element to the messaging, brands also use this vehicle to increase their reach among like-minded people. So, a mobile phone company is more likely to tie up with a lifestyle influencer for its not-so-innovative product, but a strong tech one for its flagship product. While the set of people following either type of influencers may overlap to some extent, most of the audience is considered to be unique.
So, there is no question about the greater, and more refined reach that brands can unlock with a good, believable influencer. However, from a business standpoint, that’s only the prettier side of the picture.
Most brands and influencers go with a barter deal – we give you a month supply of this beauty product, you give us 2 Instagram posts, 10 Snaps, and hold a contest for us on your page. This is quite literally the most feasible arrangement for most brands, as well as for a medium-tier influencer. She gets the products she likes, and gets more engagement on her profile with the contest, and this adds a star on her profile, opening opportunities for future engagements with competitive brands.
But when you’re talking about a top-tier influencer, in comes the monetary perspective, and this is no small amount. It all boils down to projected ROI, people may not necessarily buy the product just because an influencer is talking about it, but it does leave a more lasting impression on the mind. Also, longer engagements are known to be more credible, than a one-time post.
The emphasis needs to be on a believable influencer, one that has her own opinion, and not someone who keeps promoting brands left, right and center. Consider a food blogger talking about credit cards, that too without a dining-friendly deal. That’s merely selling advertising space.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing, therefore, depends on answers to the following questions:
- How relevant is the influencer to the brand?
- Is a barter deal enough to engage with your target audience?
- Is there an actual plan on using the influencer for a longer engagement?
- And finally, how is the ROI being measured, cost of influencer posts vs. benefits to the brand?
Author: Ayaz Noor Muhammad