In the technologically advanced era we live in, a brand's ability to stay in the spotlight is a decisive factor that helps a brand gain visibility in the eCommerce market. Influencer marketing expands a brand’s reach using social media while building a strong online presence. Brands collaborate with popular social media users on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to help spread the word among the general public.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy in which brands work with industry experts, tech gurus, well-known personalities and celebrities to increase the reach of their brand/product to a more niche-specific audience.
Who are Influencers?
An Influencer is any person who has a strong reputation among the masses on social media for his knowledge and expertise in a targeted market segment. 37 percent of consumers trust social media influencers over brands rather than advertising messages they receive from other sources because they are being idolized and trusted by millions. Hence we can say, ensuring effective content dissemination on any chosen platform is the primary responsibility of an influencer.
Ever wondered why the general public trusts influencers more than publicized messages, banner ads or TV advertisements? This is because the youth of today do not easily place their trust in a myriad of products available in the market. They seek solid reasons to invest their hard-earned money and time in a particular product or brand. Consequently, most businesses approach influencers to spread the word on their behalf. They have embraced the practice of influencer marketing to increase credibility, drive sales, and boost engagement through various social media platforms.
Types of Influencers
It is quite common nowadays for individuals to share their shopping experience with friends, relatives and family. Influencers do the same thing on a mass level. They are content creators who leverage the power of social media to spread this word far and wide. On the other hand, influencer marketing is a form of social shopping where results are measurable and brands can revise their strategies to drive sales accordingly.
All sorts can be broadly classified into 5 types based on their reach or popularity:
Mega-Influencers -With more than a million followers
Macro-Influencers- Influencers with an audience of 500,000 to 1 million followers.
Mid-Tier Influencers- Followers lie between 50K to 500K
Micro-Influencers- Have followers between 1,000 to 10,0000
Nano-Influencers- 100 to 10,000 followers
To sell their products, brands must identify the relevant influencers who are involved and known in the same field to engage with their followers and their sales goals. However, there is no fixed approach or strategy to proceed with brand endorsement when it comes to promoting products or services an organization has to offer. Many sources describe how influencers interact with their audiences in order to accomplish this task. While mega-influencers have enormous reach, studies show that the rate of engagement decreases as the influencer’s total number of followers increases! This fact is also demonstrated by the illustration given below:
An effective influencer marketing strategy involves brands employing the appropriate strategies, using suitable tools and choosing the right influencers. For carrying out an effective influencer marketing campaign, the built-in tools provided on various social media platforms are just not enough. Brands, for instance, can maximize their online sales and create brand awareness using eBay branding tools. Why Influential Marketing is Considered an Effective Marketing Strategy? Apart from helping a brand stand out amongst many and create a lasting impression on the audience, some other benefits of influential marketing include-
Influencers lend a voice to your brand that results in enhanced visibility and tells the masses what you do and why you do it!
Helps resonate company’s culture and beliefs with the audience in a proper manner
Convert Hot Leads into Sales
Increases the brand’s reach to the target group of the audience in innovative ways via different social media platforms
Exposing brand’s products and services to the group of new individuals. This refers to the influencer's ardent followers who may not have heard about the brand before.
Influencers assist in driving traffic to the company’s website, landing pages and social media networking sites.
They help companies establish themselves in the market and drive sales to the business.
Pave way for earning trust and loyalty in the marketplace
Genuine product feedback from an influencer encourages his followers and millions of people to try the product.
Influencer Marketing is a cost-effective marketing strategy that saves you time if relevant eCommerce automation tools are used to boost efficiency. Influencer advertising is relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of advertising and paid ad campaigns. Influencer Marketing indirectly provides the required boost to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other related marketing campaigns.
Influencers connect with their audience and share a special bond with their fan base. This compels them to buy and try new products recommended by influencers which ultimately lays a strong impact on consumer buying behaviour.
Influencer marketing delivers 11* ROI (Return of Investment) when compared to other forms of digital marketing. Hence, it is regarded as the most viable alternative to banner ads.
Influencers inevitably create awareness of newly launched products and set trends going in the market. This is because consumers idolize the opinions of the influencers they follow.
Every influencer is well-versed with the trends and innovations.in their niche- specific segment of the market. They draw a comparison and add relevance factors to a brand’s product before introducing it to the general public.
They assist brands develop long-term relationships with their clients. It has been observed that influencer marketing generates higher CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) when compared to traditional marketing methodologies.
In the long run, influencers facilitate effective collaborations.
eCommerce companies take the help of influencers to release reviews and product information amidst their followers.
Finally, Interaction among multi-channel audiences lead to the rapid spreading of the influencers’ content. Consequently, a massive global audience gets introduced to the brand's narrative and products
Insights to the Most Popular Social Media Platforms Used by Influencers
Brand awareness can be created using several different methods and harnessing the power of various social media platforms. Recent research conducted by Olapic and Cite Research, suggested that 76% of internet users are more likely to trust brand-centric content created by ‘normal’ people (influencers) instead of the brands themselves.
The trend these days is to have your own YouTube channel and post videos with content that your followers are interested in. Users can then freely upload, like, share, comment on, and view content available on this platform. Influencers typically use their YouTube channel for starting a podcast or share their product experiences and to post Unboxing Videos of the products they receive from a particular brand.
Quora is a website where you can ask questions, get useful answers, and share your knowledge with the rest of the world. Influencers active on Quora post reviews and product information about products they have purchased from various brands.
Instagram allows influencers to click, edit and upload photos or short videos via their smartphones. This social networking service further allows applying filters and organizing videos and photos using hashtags, name tags and geographical tagging. The images that attract the most interest will be the first thing potential customers see about you—so they should reflect who you are and what makes you unique. Luckily, Wepik has Instagram templates that help showcase these features in a beautiful way.
Facebook is a social networking platform that enables people to connect with friends and family, find communities, create groups or pages, freely share ideas and grow businesses online. Influencers generally share videos and join groups on Facebook Here they can openly post about a company's products and services and how relevant they were to them.
LinkedIn influencer marketing involves forming alliances with other highly regarded professional members in that specific niche. Increasing the number of cumulative followers and combining experts' expertise is one of the important benefits. This in turn helps to increase any brand's reach and strengthen its credibility among masses.
Twitter Influencers are those industry experts that can call upon other users to start new trends or discussions about trying out new products and services sold by an organization.
Blogs provide a medium through which any organization can share information with the rest of the world. Blogging sites mainly focus on the written content.and assist bloggers in developing strong blogging networks as well. Every company that specializes or focuses on a specific segment of a broader market needs to find which platform will suit them the best according to their use and applicability. Socializing strategies need to be versatile and innovative according to the targeted group audience.
It has been commonly observed that customers prefer peer recommendations over paid advertisements.Subscribers relate and idealize the creators they follow and thus value their opinions. A recommendation from an influencer is considered equivalent to a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.Performance-based Influencer marketing is helping brands achieve results they were previously not able to via traditional advertising methods. To summarize, brands that embrace emerging advertising strategies such as influencer marketing will experience significant market gains whereas those that do not switch to digital marketing will undoubtedly fall behind.
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