Trends come and go, but in the current expansive world of social media marketing, trendsetters are the new constant. Gone are the days when a movie star or sportsperson were the only influencers who could significantly impact the buying decisions of the masses. Today, that role of cultivating and promoting a particular product, service or even starting a trend has been taken up successfully by what the marketing world calls ‘Influencer’.
A relatively new stakeholder in online marketing, an Influencer thrives on its followers need to ‘belong’ to a cult, and to stay abreast of the latest in any given field of product or services. An influencer could be promoting an electric car, a new diet, a fashion product, or even a whole new lifestyle. The range and reach of Influencers are commendable and striking.
If you are looking to engage or understand Influencer marketing, read on to find out 3 ways in which social media influencers can affect customers’ buying decision:
- Using digital platforms for creating brand awareness
Creating engaging content is an art, and over the years, Influencers have become gurus at it. Be it Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or the newly emerging TikTok platform, Influencers are attuned to what works where. Visually rich images for Instagram, detailed tutorials on YouTube, witty Tweets or testimonials on Twitter, or a long post on Facebook- they know how to leverage the styles of posting content that will reach their followers and spring them into action.
An Influencer knows the pulse of their followers; they can artistically build your brand’s story into a tutorial which will result in the followers checking out your website or social media handles and buying or availing of your products and services.
- Enable peer-driven recommendations
When a product or service is accepted by the group of followers, every member of the group is more likely to choose that product. Once the Influencer is able to create brand awareness, the next step is to promote brand loyalty through peer reviews. When a peer writes a comment appreciating the product or service, it acts as a genuine quality endorsement. These reviews are perceived to be significantly more reliable than common advertisements making claims of quality.
- Providing fair opinions
An Influencer is often like an interactive FAQ. They talk about the features of the product or service, highlight its value for money or in contrast, even the exclusivity of the product. The brilliance in Influencer marketing lies in the Influencer’s ability to smoothly include your brand’s message into their own, giving the impression of integrity. “The Influencer uses this product, so why shouldn’t I”, is the thought of the follower. An Influencer’s post is viewed as that of a ‘user’ rather than a ‘promoter’.
There are certain challenges that accompany this promising medium of marketing- measuring ROI and getting the right kind of Influencer. However, with adequate effort and research, any marketer can leverage this fascinating strategy in marketing.