Influencer Marketing

In this age of expanding digital media influence and constantly changing digital landscape, it is extremely important for marketers to adopt new strategies to increase visibility of their product. Although the marketers have tried many new marketing tactics, some of them have been more powerful than others. Maintaining a worthy digital media presence and content management are two of these exceptionally powerful digital marketing tools which aid in attracting, engaging and inspiring consumers to connect to your product. One of the marketing techniques which implement both these tools is influencer marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing?Influencer marketing is a form of marketing which involves marketing your products and services to consumers and influencing their buying decisions through individuals also known as influencers.Influencers are people who have a voice in the industry and have a known influence the target audience.

Influencers may include people with high authority like politicians, CEOs, etc., people who are subject matter experts, or people who are very active on social media and have a dedicated fan following due to their regular social media activities like bloggers, etc.

How to go about Influencer Marketing?Certain elementary steps that define the process of how to go about executing influencer marketing are:

1)      Identify the most relevant influencers and define what you are looking for- One can choose to use digital tools to identify influencers or research online using certain keywords to find the relevant influencers. Rank the influencers in terms of their importance and define what you expect in terms of results.

2)      Build a relationship with the influencers- Monitor their activities and attempt to engage with the influencers on a personal and informal basis, like commenting on blog posts, retweeting the tweets, engaging in an ongoing conversation, etc. This will display your interest.

3)      Connect and Build Brand Familiarity- Once you have interacted with them you can connect with them on a personal level through a message or an email. Provide them a brief introduction about your brand, and help them connect to the brand by sharing some brand info with them.

4)      Tell them exactly what you want them to do and what you will do in return- Communicate about your upcoming digital promotions. Offer them a sample of your product, give them an exclusive sneak peak or share a premium reward to them for their involvement. This will increase their interest and loyalty in being associated with your brand.
5)      Precautions to connect-Make sure you request and not demand.Respect the privacy in case they refuse to be associated with you.Once associated, allow them to be themselves instead of guiding them to talk about your brand.

6)      Measure your results- Find out which associations have been more helpful and have reached more audience. Measure your results, learn and iterate.

7)      Strengthen the Relationship- Thank the influencers for their association and their efforts. Continue to engage with them on later stages to strengthen the relationship.

Why use Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is unique and more authentic than traditional forms of marketing, as it is like indirect marketing. It helps you engage with the right target segment of your customers, and has a greater reach. It can be rightly named as modern word-of-mouth marketing which if presented through right influencers has the potential to reach higher number of people. The only drawback it involves is that it is uncontrollable, and if done wrongly it may end up upsetting the customer and presenting a negative brand image.

Overall, if used well, influencer marketing is an excellent way to connect to your customers and market your product.

My personal Experiences :
I myself have been involved in influence marketing, both as a marketer and as an influencer.

Being a food blogger, we were called for a lot of restaurant reviews and hotel launch parties. While some of them allowed us freedom to blog about our experience others emphasized on positive reviews. From my personal experiences, I would recommend, that as a marketer, you should understand the practical limitations of a blogger, and allow them freedom to express their opinions, rather than guiding them.

Platforms like blog adda launch a lot of competitions for bloggers, where bloggers get to experience a product exclusively and in return they have to blog about their experiences. This is the simplest form of influencer marketing.

Know that most influencers are very well-connected with other influencers in the field, hence, one negative comment can lead to a lot of negative comments and conversations centered around your product.

Remember to use it wisely and your brand will prosper!

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