What is Influencer Marketing?
Collaboration between an influencer and a business to promote something is influencer marketing. It’s a strategy used for marketing that uses anyone with a huge dedicated following and engaged audiences to promote their products or ideas, or services.
This kind of social media marketing works because of the built-up trust that the audience and the followers have in the influencers. Their recommendations serve as proof to the Brand’s potential consumers.
Marketing is already challenging work, before influencer marketing was there, as one has to be aware of handling and attracting potential customers. Apart from figuring out the most effective and best marketing strategies, one also needs to figure out the appropriate platforms to capture the target audience’s attention. It can be quite a challenge considering the tough competition globally with many companies launching the same product.
For this, Influencer Marketing is the best option for it helps the brands and companies reach new audiences, which wouldn’t have been possible with traditional marketing. It also helps the brands in increasing their awareness of the customers and helps in giving a boost in marketing.
A great example of this Influencer marketing would be Lux, who has been using many celebrities’ influence from the beginning like Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai, etc.
This is influencer marketing.
Who are these influencers?
Originally only celebrities were part of it. They always have a huge fan base and followers who take up their words as their gospel. They always follow their footsteps diligently, making it easier for them to be part of Influencer Marketing.
But today, the world is turning itself into a more digital world. Even the social content creators have started participating in influencer marketing because they’ve their dedicated following on their social media. There is a new term for them, “social media influencers.”
In the world which is so engrossed in the internet and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Influencer marketing has become one of the top marketing strategies used by companies and brands.
Not only those, but influencer marketing can also be seen in politics. Many political parties use the actors as the face of their parties around the election time, or sometimes they give them tickets to contest in the election. Some of the great examples of this are Hema Malini, Smiti Irani, Sunny Deol, Kirron Kher, etc.
Why does Influencer Marketing work so well?
The answer to this is relatively easy. It brings with itself many advantages and benefits. Foremost, influencer marketing builds trust for the company or the Brand, which sets a good base for their other products or services. Influencers bring in their loyal followers, thus increasing the potential customers, which further helps in the Brand following. Its primary effect can be seen on the sales which increases by a lot.
Famous people are always looked up to and followed by their dedicated followers. Sometimes they influence people without actually trying. Many people would agree that they’ve bought at least one product because their favorite celebrity uses it. This works best for Influencer marketing.
Social media influencers, who are the latest influencer marketers, have gradually built up their following. They have a high following on social media like Instagram or Facebook or YouTube, or even Snapchat. They’ve earned their audience by the content they post and thus are called influencers. Their followers are called organic audiences, for they’re all built up by the hard work of the influencers.
Impact of lockdown on Influencer Marketing.
Influencer Marketing had already been climbing up the list of best marketing methods, but this pandemic has brought it right up to the top. There has been an enormous increase in Influencer Marketing this lockdown.
Although Influencer marketing agencies are talking about how many brands have postponed their campaigns, there has been a high engagement on social media than the usual amount.
The agencies also see how this specific “influencers marketing” method is very much suited for this lockdown. DIY content has been especially getting more attention as it’s easy to follow at home while commercial photo shoots are canceled.
Many brand houses or companies are collaborating as a part of the “collab house” trend. This trend is new to influencer marketing and has become very popular among social media influencers which has helped them create more content. This is done by influencers going to the houses to make content and promote the Brand house, or some influencers can live together and do the same. Rihanna followed this trend when she announced that her Brand House, Fenty Beauty, will collab with TikTok. The Five TikTok influencers were chosen to stay and make content to promote the Brand. This has brought a new wave in influencer marketing during 2020.
Since the pandemic continues to thrive, people are forced to stay at home for a more extended period, due to which use of social media has been significantly increasing. Marketers have seen a massive rise in users’ engagement on the sponsored posts, which wasn’t the case before. An Influencers marketing agency claimed that at least a 76% rise in the likes on the sponsored post on Instagram in two weeks.
Due to lockdown and social distancing, not many serials or movies are being shot. Thus only old content can be seen on Television. Therefore there is nothing much they can do except being active on social media. This has affected influencer marketing directly.
Everyone is trying their luck in Influencer Marketing and turning into Influencers. Lack of employment is another reason for the high increase of Influencers in Influencer Marketing. Pandemic has affected the already lack of proper jobs, and thus, people are turning towards social media.
It easy to get into influencer marketing if you have got a decent amount of followers. They’re called Micro-Influencers. These are influencers who’ve more influence than celebrities or highly followed social media influencers. Most brands prefer them because they have a small but dedicated and loyal following which builds excellent trust and engagement. Their number increased by a lot this lockdown as there was more time to be explored by the potential followers.
Before and Aftermath of Pandemic on Influencer Marketing.
Pandemic hit everyone hard. Brands and businesses were also not spared. Before lockdown, they experimented with different influencers, but now they have started to invest in long-term term relationships with influencers. This has helped the latter to build up trust. This has lead to an increase in the impact of the brands, this time on social media. This has further pushed them into influencer marketing.
Brands have started hiring more influencers to create content for them. They get more invested in influencer marketing because they can fill the gaps, which were left due to lockdown. Their professional and engaging content is being used for marketing mix for lesser price. This had already started happening in 2020 and will only continue to grow this year.
Corona has turned Influencer Marketing into a must-have for brands and companies. The growth of this kind of marketing has accelerated a lot during this time. It has become essential in the fast-pacing digital world. Influencer marketing has further grown in lockdown because most brands and companies have turned towards the online aspect of advertising which is quickly done if they have got the right influencers.
Content creators are being prioritized more than ever because of the high competition, increasing despite the pandemic. Consumers now follow the creators more than before with a need for good content. Watching influencer marketing working and growing this pandemic has made others see influencer marketing in a new light. It has turned it into a core or effective strategy of marketing.
Influencer Marketing has continued growing into a strategy that has become a driving force for eCommerce. It has helped social media channels to increase their online brands. It has brought forward the relationship between commerce and influencer marketing.
Brands are now working to secure authentic collaborations or partnerships for actual content to get the best result. Brands are trying to turn their loyal customers and influential followers into brand ambassadors to bring genuine realness and authenticity. This is taking influencer marketing in a new direction.
New study reports on Influencer marketing’s rising influence.
There was a new study conducted by an AI-driven influencer marketing platform called ClanConnect.ai. It has been found that more than half of the companies in India have taken up the influencer marketing strategy following the lockdown.
According to their report, about 78 percent of marketing leaders have leveraged influencer marketing last year, and others are slowly planning or moving towards it. What’s more interesting is that more than 50 percent of brands have engaged themselves with more than ten influencers in just last year.
Furthermore, what’s new is that after lockdown, many companies and brands have allocated separate budgets for influencer marketing. There is at least a 40 percent increase in the money or funding spent on influencer marketing compared to 2019.
More than 50 percent of respondents saw an increase in marketing spending, which directly shows the growth of trust of companies and brands in influencer marketing and their influencers for communicating their brand message to the target audiences.
Come 2021, about 58 percent of companies or brands have started to allocate separate budgets in their marketing plans for influencer marketing and their activities.
About 52 percent of companies have decided to spend more on influencer marketing than they did in 2020. About 90 percent of companies plan to spend a quarter of their total marketing budget on influencer marketing and other related activities in 2021. Even more so, more than half of the respondents are planning to increase their budget by at least 25 percent.
Influencer Marketing is at the peak of its phenomenal growth. This survey report has shown how influencer marketing has raised so many standards and how it has affected the market popularity of influencer marketing, which has grown many-fold last year.
Thus, it’s easy to say; influencer marketing is the Future of marketing.