Ever watched your favourite influencer promoting a brand? Ever felt to buy the same product promoted by an influencer? Marketing has churned out as a key factor for any brand to meet its desired set of customers. Throughout the market world, marketing has continuously expanded its wings, incorporating various types. Today, marketing itself has become an independent domain, and can be classified into various types.
One of the prominent types of marketing is influencer marketing. In brief, it is a type of marketing where an influencer is the key of any brand to unlock diverse customers. The major reason for the this type of marketing is to thrive is the excess usage of the social media platforms. Apart from this, various other factors contribute in building up the influencer marketing meaning.
Any form of marketing tends to exhaust over a certain period of time. The debate whether influencer marketing will sustain in the long run, is highly met by different opinions. There are also underlying reasons as to how influencer marketing is used and for what purpose.
In this article, there will be a complete briefing of this topic. Further, there will be an elaboration to the purposes for which this is used. This article will also attempt in investigating the advantages and disadvantages of influencer marketing. These will assist in determining whether the concept of influencer marketing can be successful in the long run.
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Influencer Marketing – An Introduction
In a very basic sense, it is about the marketing that a brand operates through influencers. Influencers are those people who have a huge social influence and are expertized in a particular field or fields. In this type of marketing, the influencers are the into promoting a brand and its product or service. In other way, the influencers are responsible for creating the brand image and bringing in customers towards it. Influencers are not identical to celebrities. So, any promotion of the brand or the product done by a celebrity cannot be termed as influencer marketing.
Through influencer marketing, a brand or a venture seeks to incorporate two segments or components. This is- influencer and marketing. Influencer, as we interpret, is the specialised entity in a field who has a massive social influence. Marketing is the medium through which a brand or a venture interacts with the masses. This is done through interaction about the brand. Its purpose, product and the creation process. Since influencer marketing is marketing through the influencer, it has certain criterias for it. A person is defined as an influencer only when:
- The purchasing decisions are reasonably shifted towards the brand’s product or service. This is done by the person’s sharing of knowledge, position and relation to the masses on a social platform.
- A follow up on the niche of the influencer. The niche is unusual most of the time and it depends on how much is following up on it.
To execute influencer marketing, it is essential for the brands to curate their own strategy. These strategies will work as the frame for promoting in desired ways through the influencers. In framing the influencer marketing strategy, it is essential for any brand to include certain aspects. These are:
The brand must set out its objectives right so as to bring in effective results from influencer marketing. These objectives must revolve around implementation of influencer marketing, the team formation and various other amenities. Also, these objectives for this must also be centered around selecting the right influencer.
Any brand that tends to decide influencer marketing as a marketing mode, must streamline the budget. The budget is essential to understand the steps in which this can be progressed. For a new brand, estimating the budget for marketing purposes is a crucial aspect. Also, an existing brand, in order to handle various sectors, must streamline its budget too.
Selection of Influencer
The foremost task in any influencer marketing strategy is to select a reliable influencer. This is done through understanding an influencer’s goals, previous experiences and regularity on social media. Further, the brand must look for the influencer who best aligns to the brand’s objectives. Further, it is also essential to understand how the influencer plans to take forward in promoting the brand.
Any influencer marketing strategy is always in need of resources. A brand must first understand the resources in hand and for the future regarding marketing. For implementing this, it is essential to know what resources are available with the brand. For this, the resources include technical assistance, social media reach, expertized staff and more.
These are some of the aspects that are inclusive in the influencer marketing strategy. These aspects not only pertain to strategy making, but also penetrate into practical application of influencer marketing. This has shifted the manner in which marketing is viewed. It has channelized an easy and smooth pattern to note how customers are entering into the brand’s umbrella.
There are various purposes for which influencer marketing is used. These are all elaborated in the next section.
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Purposes of Influencer Marketing
It has evolved in wake of serving various purposes. These purposes, however, centralized around the main goal of branding. These purposes are elucidated below in details:
To Devise Customer Reach
The main purpose for implementing influencer marketing is to reach out to the customers. Customers are integral for any brand. They are the entities who are involved in buying and familiarizing the brand’s products. Hence, any kind of marketing is essential to bring that traffic towards the brand. To reach out to large as well as diverse customers, this has become prominent. This is because it connects to customers virtually and brings in traffic due to excess usage on social media.
To Build the Brand Image
Brand image is the impression held by masses about a certain organisation or brand. Influencer marketing has built the brand image more reliably and with retention. It has eased out the path for the brand to withstand the other existing competitors in the market world. Since an influencer is involved in promoting the brand, the potential and targeted customers gain faith in the product and thus have good impressions of the brand.
To Create Reliable Marketing
The key force of success for influencer marketing is its reliability factor. In this type of marketing, an influencer works as the medium and bridges the gap between brand and customers. This in turn answers the customer queries regarding the brand or its products or services. Hence, the customers would feel more confident in choosing the brand and its services.
To Enhance Power of Promotion
The prominent purpose for using influencer marketing is to enhance the power of promotion. Traditional mode of marketing only sufficed to a certain demography or tools. But with this, a brand can reach a multitude of demographic units at once. It can also use various tools such as social media posts, banners, etc. to promote its brand. However, these are all carried out in relevance to the influencer. The influencer is the breathing stone to take the brand on a larger level and to a larger number of customers.
These are the prominent purposes for which influencer marketing is used. Apart from this, the easy walk and diversified options for this has raised its prominence. However, the story of it is both between advantages and disadvantages. These are elaborated separately in the next section with possible hindrance to this.
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Advantages of Influencer Marketing
There are various advantages of influencer marketing which promote its prominence. Influencer marketing’s boon have directed the attention of various brands to try it out. These advantages are mentioned below in elaboration:
The best part about influencer marketing is that it promotes larger purchase decisions from the customers’ side. Traditionally, a brand has to wait for approximately a year to see its customer band and purchases boosting. But with implementation of influencer marketing, the customer reach increases at a shorter period of time. This in turn, boosts the customer purchase for the product. This is again because the majority of the people currently seek to be on social media platforms.
Cost- Effective Implementation
Influencer marketing is widely regarded as a marketing option due to its cut down expenses. It requires minimal resources to be started by brands. This becomes an ideal marketing option for any brand or venture that is at its initial stage. Most of the operations for this are on a virtual mode and hence the resources can be availed easily.
Determined Credibility and Trust
Any brand that seeks to reach new customers, needs to build trust and credibility amongst the masses. This can seem relatively difficult for any new venture that enters the market area. But with influencer marketing, the influencer is the prominent key to build this trust and credibility. When the customers, who ardently follow an influencer, learn about a product, they tend to be more inclined towards it. This also indirectly builds their trust due to the faith they have in the influencer. So, the brand also starts gaining trust and credibility from the customers.
Long Term Associations
This advantage is more inclined to the bond between the brand and the influencer. If the brand and the influencer share common goals, then the association striked beyond professionalism. This acts as a boon for the brand, since the more people following the influencer, will indirectly follow the brand too. Further, future collaborations between the brand and the influencer will also become easier. Also, the brand has to not seek a different influencer, every time it launches a product or service. Again, the customer band increases when there is a repetitive bond between the brand and influencer.
Establishing and Furnishing Content Strategy
Influencer marketing is a boon in terms of content establishment and strategizing for any brand. On the online mode, there are various brands seeking out different patterns to gain customers. The brands which induce this specifically, will have a stronger hold since it is content collaboration between two parties. The inputs from brands and the influencer can be inclined so as to gain better content to circulate on social media.
These are the advantages of influencer marketing which are reasons to promote it in a wider space. These advantages are responsible for brands from various domains to induce influencer marketing successfully.
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Disadvantages of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing seems to be the best option as a marketing tool. However, there is another side of the story too. Apart from the boon that implementation of influencer marketing brings, there are some limitations to it. These limitations can be taken as red signs, indicating that this might be shifting to the losing side. These disadvantages of influencer marketing are:
Risk of Involving Wrong Influencer
The risk of associating with a wrong influencer always pertains while inducing influencer marketing. The sole crust of this marketing form revolves around influencers. If a brand endorses with the wrong influencer, it is doomed to face a backdrop. As a result, it will lose onto the customer band increment and the brand image might diminish from the market world. Hence, it becomes crucial to check the background of an influencer, past experiences and the goals too.
Obstruction in Result Measurements
Results of influencer marketing are always vague and hard to measure. The results only demonstrate how much the customer growth increased. But it does not depicts as to who the customer is. Moreover, there is also vagueness about the information concerning the target customers. It becomes hard for the brand to understand who exactly is the most interested population regarding its product or service. Further, the exact information or the percentage of brand image is not understood in this. Therefore, it fails to exactly determine what the results for a brand are.
Faulty Social Media Platforms
It should be remembered that all the workings through social media are essentially algorithms and computer based. There is a high chance that the social media platforms that a brand uses, might fall out due to faulty workings. There can also be chances, wherein a social media platform is banned in certain countries. This will ultimately affect the customer growth and fail to build any brand image in some of the global market domains. No matter how good the platform is for marketing, the bridge to understand the technicalities always fall short.
These are some of the disadvantages of influencer marketing. These drawbacks must be addressed immediately and soundly to prevent any major fall of the brands. There can also be instances, wherein the accounts of influencers get hacked. This can entirely hamper the purpose of influencer marketing.
In this article, there is a complete look out at what influencer marketing is. In a very basic sense, influencer marketing is about the marketing that a brand operates through influencers. Influencers are those people who have a huge social influence and are expertised in a particular field or fields. In this type of marketing, the influencers are the inot promoting a brand and its product or service.
This article also elucidates on the purposes and how influencer marketing is used. It is used out for various purposes, that are:
- To Devise Customer Reach
- To Build the Brand Image
- To Create Reliable Marketing
- To Enhance Power of Promotion
Further, this article also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of influencer marketing. These become indicators of how influencer marketing is successful and can also lead to drawbacks.
Commonly Asked FAQs
- What is influencer marketing?
In a very basic sense, influencer marketing is about the marketing that a brand operates through influencers. Influencers are those people who have a huge social influence and are expertised in a particular field or fields. In this type of marketing, the influencers are the inot promoting a brand and its product or service.
- What are the purposes of influencer marketing?
The purposes of influencer marketing are:
- To Devise Customer Reach
- To Build the Brand Image
- To Create Reliable Marketing
- To Enhance Power of Promotion
- What are the advantages of influencer marketing?
The advantages of influencer marketing are:
- It builds credibility and trust.
- It increases the brand image.
- It promotes long term association.
- It expands the customer reach.
- It requires minimal cost and time.
- What are the disadvantages of influencer marketing?
The disadvantages of influencer marketing are:
- It can lead to wrong influencer involvement.
- It can cause social media malfunctioning.
- It can lead to faulty results.
- What is the main purpose of influencer marketing?
The main goal of influencer marketing is to promote customer growth and create a brand image. It also is important for accelerating promotional activities of a brand.