Influencer marketing is a new branch of digital marketing where key influencers or opinion leaders are targeted by brands and marketers, and through them, the brand’s message is driven to the larger target group. The marketer doesn’t use mass media channels to directly reach out to their ideal market group.
Influencers are people with a large following and who are considered to be experts in certain niche domains. Their opinions carry a lot of weight and their recommendations are considered by the people who follow them. If they support or endorse a brand under the garb of critiquing a product or service objectively, chances are more people would believe the influencer than believing the hyperbole used in advertisements. If an influencer is known to be an expert on gadgets and praises a newly launched smartphone and discusses the pros and cons based on various parameters, the critique and review is considered to be authentic and influences consumers, who may be the ideal buyer group of that smartphone brand.
Influencer marketing usually gets supported by two other forms of digital marketing, namely, content marketing and social media marketing.
Latest influencer marketing trends on Instagram
1. The rise of micro-influencers:
It has been seen that those influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers attract a better like and comment rate than those with over 1 million or more followers. Popular and powerful influencers are often distant and the lack of intimacy can hurt a brand that they may be promoting. Also, micro-influencers and power middle influencers with 100000 to 200000 followers don’t publish sponsored content too often, unlike famous celebrities and influencers. This creates a perception that their posts are more authentic and genuine as they apparently don’t have vested interests when they review a brand or bat for one. The link is less obvious. According to the latest market surveys, micro-influencers are slowly becoming extremely important. Brands are working really hard to find them out. One problem is that they are not as visible as the celebrities and hence brands have to use search engines and other web analytic tools that allow them to sieve through influencers in terms of demographics or a particular niche. Although they are more affordable and less professional, that could change as with growing popularity and greater demand, micro-influencers can also start expecting fat endorsement fees or big sponsorships.
2. The rise of platforms like iFluenz:
Instagram is a social media website with over 500 million active accounts and over 300 million daily users. So, in order to reach out to highly targeted groups on Instagram, brands have started to use platforms like iFluenz on Instagram that connects them quickly to influencers and also allows them to create ad campaigns in a matter of minutes. An influencer, based on his/her location and core interest can choose a brand campaign and publish positive posts with pictures uploaded by the company and making positive comments. A brand can upload the campaign by setting campaign parameters and although they can’t choose specific influencers, they can set parameters so that popular influencers of a particular group, gets to see the campaign. This is a much quicker way in which brands can connect with micro-influencers and influencers can earn money.
3. Quality over quantity:
Brands are now realizing that it is just not enough to hurriedly publish a picture or a video with a comment. Influencers are most successful when their posts are inspiring, informative, entertaining or educational. They need to tell a story. Brands have to spend more on taking the right pictures and uploading them. Influencers must focus on the quality of their posts and arguments they make for or against. Brands will also repurpose successful Instagram content more and more, to get cost benefits and reach out to a greater audience with an effective piece of content.
Influencer marketing is growing on Instagram. However, if a brand doesn’t have the right plan or spend the right outlay, it could be spending money without returns. Decide on the amount of content you want, the deliverables you expect and the ratio of big, medium and small influencers you want to use. This will ensure a successful brand campaign.