The guiding principle of influencer marketing is trust. When Virat Kohli recently endorsed a premium coffee on Instagram, an element of authenticity was added to the brand (Kohli is among the most influential Asians on Instagram). Influencers are those who have large following on social media. They are distinct from brand ambassadors, as the former promote a brand in their own way, often limited to a couple of posts; and the latter have long term association with the brand put across a presentation scripted by the brand. Among the advantages of influencer marketing is the greater ROI and one of the main disadvantage is influencer fatigue ( glut of promotions by the same infludencer)
The digital age presents limitless opportunities to increase brand engagements with young consumers on their terms through digitizing new steps in the customer experience (bcg.com). Marketers should use their own branded channels and applications to carry out these. However, these won’t be sufficient on their own. The finest digital and social media platforms for brand storytelling, brand experiences, and the organic embedding of brand-consumer interactions through friends or reliable influencers, those who have a large audience of youthful demographics.
When Instagram users or other social media influencers share a photo of themselves wearing a specific apparel; it signals that this dress is a must-have accessory. These ads serve as an ideal illustration of the effectiveness of influencer marketing. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the media consumption of all age groups, especially the youth. One of the trends which have witnessed an increase is influencer marketing. Over the years, studies have proven that family and friends have a much more significant impact on their purchase decisions than celebrities and social media influencers. However, new, grown micro-influencers and instafamous celebrities are the new tribe advertisers look forward to.
Influencer Marketing Impact
It was discovered that advertisers who used influencer marketing campaigns generated $6.85 in media value on average for every $1 they spent on paid media for influencer programs. This is because we are more likely to purchase a product if a friend recommends it to us than if it is forced upon us by an advertisement (insiderintelligence.com, 2022). With the help of influencer marketing, brands can engage with customers, amplify their content, and forge more direct and organic relationships with them. 65% of brands now engage in influencer marketing, and 92% of customers prefer suggestions from people they don’t personally know over brand-sponsored material (theshelf.com, 2022).
Influencers and their categorization
Influencers are persons who post content on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, and other users start following them because of the content they post.
According to Katie Freiberg (mckinsey.com), influencers are categorized by the number of followers they have.
- Influencers who have less than 10,000-50,000 followers
- Medium Influencers: Influencers who have followers in the range of 50,000 to 5,00,000.
- Macro Influencers: Influencers who have over 5,00, 000 followers
Enduring influence comes from a small group of passionate consumers who share their ideas and advocacy for a brand or product on digital media, not from online celebrities and influencers. Leading marketers and content producers are 1.8 times more likely to invest early in niche audiences that are more likely to engage with content than other marketers and producers (bain.com). They are 2.4 times more likely to produce shareable material, encouraging early success by allowing fans to spread the news.
In adopting new digital trends, including online influencer marketing, digital out-of-home advertising, and online-to-offline (O2O) platforms, China is a leader, according to bain.com. 76% of Chinese customers follow at least one influencer on social media, according to a Rakuten Insights poll.
In year 2022, this market is projected to expand to a whopping $16.4 billion industry as compared to $13.8 billion in the year 2021, as per influencemarektinghub.com. Thus, marketers and managers need to find answers to critical questions.
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