Influencer Marketing : An Old Concept In A New Avatar – Aroop, IIM Trichy

How often have you seen your favourite blog inundated with ads or that most followed Instagram account subtly promoting different brands? Influencer marketing has been around for quite a while as a form of non-conventional marketing strategy used by smaller brands but with larger brands also entering the fray, the need for it becomes all the more pertinent. With TV viewership dwindling and Online Ads being easily sidestepped (courtesy ad block software) Influencer Marketing is coming back with a bang!

So what is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing aims to harness the influence of key individuals on the social web to meet a business goal by building mutually beneficial relationships.

People spend 198 minutes using mobile apps everyday

 

A couple of years ago the debate was whether to use Social media for marketing or not. Today, social media has become ubiquitous to such an extent that the debate for brands is restricted to Instagram vs Snapchat vs YouTube. Millennials who make up the largest chunk of online and offline consumers are most susceptible to social media marketing. Influencer marketing reaches out to this large market by using Influencers, people with large following on these social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and the like, to get their message across to their target audience. It’s a great boon especially for smaller firms as it can help them cut marketing costs to around 50% and at the same time reach a larger audience. However, it’s not as simple as putting up an advert on a blog like a couple of years back. Influencer marketing has grown into a much more robust method marketing method with a certain key concepts.

 

1. Know your Audience:
The First step is always to determine who is going to be the prime target of an ad campaign. Once that is done, we need to establish the ones who discovers, influences and makes decisions in that segment.

2. Find the right Influencers:
When finding influencers for your brand, define the type that would solve your need. You could be either seeking to build brand recognition or have a contest you wish to promote. Depending on this need, budget, medium and the type of influencer should be selected.

3. Build Relations with Influencer:
Unlike conventional marketing mediums Influencer marketing is a lot based on sentiments. It’s critical to understand the influencer on the basis of what content he writes upon, or posts on YouTube and how a long standing synergy can be created between the two entities. Most Influencers would like some sort of overlap between your mission and theirs.

4. Indulge in Variety:
A lot of small companies stick to limited methods of influencing. For instance, Fashion companies stick to Instagrammers and food brands to Pinterest or Buzzfeed. B2B companies are restricted to affiliate marketing and link sharing through blogs. The main advantage of Influencer marketing is the ability to experiment, hence it is important to go beyond the usual and experiment with a variety of content. From GIFs to Vines to YouTube, the possibilities are endless.

Since Instagram’s launch in 2010, it has amassed over 400 million engaged users

 

5. Track Results:
The most key element of any campaign is to check its effectiveness. The impact of Influencer Marketing too needs to be tracked and assessed on a regular basis. Feedback from the Influencers is the critical aspect as they are in direct interaction with the masses and can provide suggestions to more tangible outcomes.

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About the Author:

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Aroop is in his 2nd year of MBA at IIM Trichy. He likes to read and write when in a pensive mood, and indulges in football and YouTube otherwise.

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