Recently, there’s been a lot of discuss as well as confusion about the term “Influencer marketing” and who an influencer is. Its no doubt that the rise of social media as a marketing tool has created a new wave of guys who call themselves influencers and has left a lot of people confused.
The Influencer marketing world can be a little tricky to navigate as anybody with a high number of following as the case may be, a celebrity, a popular “YouTuber” or blogger could talk about (amplify) a product, get lucky to see people use the product/service and then tag themselves influencers.
Then How Do We Look at Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing involves having cultivating their audience and having a relationship with said audience, talking to them and putting out your messages through a voice they are used to and have grown to trust. An influencer is someone who has grown and have spent time building their own brand personal brand through leadership, expertise, content originality on specific subjects, topics or areas.
Influencers are people who have shown that their voice or opinion could shift the way people think about some certain subjects, therefore when they are reached out to speak on, create content about brands in their area of specialization, their followers trust what they say and would act based on their opinions.
Influencers, unlike celebrities, can be anywhere and anyone. They’re people who had the patience and focus to succeed in social media with one organic follower at a time not the quick sellout some people tag them to be. What makes them influential is their large followings on the web or social media which they have gotten through contents and carving out a niche for themselves. An influencer can be a popular fashion photographer, a doctor, career enthusiasts, an engineer, a developer, a farmer, chef, a well-read cybersecurity blogger or ‘anybody’ who is well read and knowledgeable on the brand he represents. Influencer marketing is basically a modern day content-driven marketing campaign that employs leading, niche content creators to improve brand awareness, increase traffic, and drive your brand’s message to your target audience. They have the power to impact purchase decisions, boost conversions and sales. Customers and consumers trust their peers, friends, and people they admire more than the companies selling the products and services they buy and use. And that’s what influencer marketing is all about.
Influencer Marketing VS paid advertising
Before influencer marketing came into play in the digital marketing world, paid advertising was the order of the day. Many brands, big and small ran to Facebook and Google to get their first customers and users. It was so easy, all you had to do was put a couple of keywords together that you felt your “buyer persona” would use and you let Facebook and Google do their thing. The results were so great, the highest percentage of brands marketing budget was dedicated to paid ads. It was a simple rule, if you had enough money, you could reach a large number of people for a long period of time. Sweet right? Everyone loved it.
However as predicted, running paid ads became expensive and majority of brands have had to try out new channels of marketing. If you have a little budget for paid advertising, you get next to nothing as results. In came influencer marketing, and brands had renewed hope to reaching new audiences, converting them and acquiring their first users. Influencer marketing became the go-to strategy for most brands and started to receive a huge share of the marketing budget.
There’s a growing change in marketing ideology and brands are starting to turn their attention towards
influencer marketing. According to reports, Influencer marketing is expected to take up to 45% of total
marketing budget by 2021. (They are eating good).
INFLUENCER MARKETING VS PAID MARKETING: A CASE OF TWITTER
As at the end of 2019, 28.3% of the total social media users in Nigeria used Twitter, coming right in second behind Facebook. There’s a growing number of users (customers for brands) on Twitter that need to be sold to. How would brand achieve this? Running paid ads on Twitter can be quite hard, not only can you not target accurate users, but your promoted tweets sometimes require the effort of users to achieve numbers therefore running paid ads has been limited to brands with huge marketing budget, leaving the small brands to struggle to get their own users.
Influencer marketing on the other hand, owing to Twitter’s conversational and semi-blogging style has continued to thrive, with small and medium scale brands as well as big corporations using the services of influencers to achieve their marketing objectives. Influencer marketing has grown on the wings of twitter’s conversational style and the continuous dependency of buyers on the opinion of others before making a purchase. It has allowed brands to reach their most suitable audiences under the following of a thought-leader or an original creator. This open relationship between influencers and those who listen to them and share their tweets has made influencer marketing dear to Brands, while paid advertising continues to languish in the irregularities involved.
Luckily, there are many statistics that prove influencer marketing is a worthwhile time and monetary investment as well as show you which metrics are impacted by influencer marketing. * 80% of marketers say influencer marketing is effective, and 89% say it works just as well (if not better) than other marketing channels.
* 71% of marketers say the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources.
* 49% of consumers today depend on influencer recommendations for their purchase decisions. 60% say they’ve been influenced by a recommendation when shopping in- store.
* Google searches for “influencer marketing” grew 1500% in the last three years.
* 48% of marketers working with influencers say audience relationship is the most valuable factor when considering which influencer to collaborate with.
* The top three goals of influencer marketing for businesses include increasing brand awareness (85%), reaching new audiences (71%), and generating sales and conversions (64%).Credit: Business Day