Influence-r Marketing- Is it the next big thing in marketing?
The digital era has opened various new channels to target potential buyers and enhance engagement with the existing customers. In other words, the latest developments in technology has given an opportunity to firms to interact through new channels. The various digital marketing tools currently used by many fortune 500 companies include email marketing, social media, performance marketing like SEO, Google ads.
While all these marketing strategies are making hay for many businesses, there is one particular marketing strategy called Influence-r marketing which is capturing the attention of various firms. This tool has been implemented by various online and offline firms like Flipkart, amazon, Philips, Ponds, etc. What is that great about Influence-r marketing which is attracting many players to invest in it?
Before analysing the impact and benefits earned by investing in it, let us understand what influence-r marketing implies. Google defines it as “a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of recent practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole.” The firms indulging in this kind of marketing strategy hires influencers who have large pool of audience and followers on different social media channels, and through them firms target the potential buyers.
Influence marketing has taken over traditional marketing as it increases the credibility of the brand along with the reach. It basically is all about the on-going engagement and meaningful relationship rather than a tactical execution. It is now one of the key trends defining the digital marketing landscape alongside mobile and content marketing.
The concept of social influence has been capitalised by every firm for years now, the tools/channel have shifted as the communication technology has. In yester years, the influence over buyers were captured by endorsing celebrities, athletes as they had large followers who considered celebrities as icons. This trend is here in market for many years now and also will survive in future given the traction celebrities have on masses.
Due to technology advancement, as the consumers evolved, they understand that endorsement is an act of advertisement wherein celebrities just prescribe without even using the products.As the customers having become intelligent enough to understand that they are being tricked, it is getting difficult to convince them about their product credibility. To solve this muddle and gain credibility along with leads has invigorated firms to invest in influence-r marketing. This kind of marketing is basically done through twitter, Facebook, pinterest and other social media channels where people follow experts, bloggers, celebrities and anyone they idolise to stay update with their day to day activities and life and seek their suggestions before making a purchase.
Why are businesses investing resource in Influence-r marketing?
Evaluating the positive impacts and the costs involved in executing various kinds of online marketing like social media ads (i.e. Facebook, twitter, twitter), it is understood that the cost CPM(Cost per Millie) incurred for an online ad(Google ads, Facebook ads) is costlier than influencer marketing. Hence influence-r marketing is cost effective which is attracting various business firms to involve themselves in this kind of marketing.
The other major factor is the shift of people’s touch points. Majority of the people are active on various social portals which has created a new channel. Social media channels unlike TVC, Print ads is not a one way communication channel, here engagement takes lead and creates a positive/negative impact. As this is a very vulnerable platform where a small tweet or status update can create revolutionary impact on brand, businesses are in no intention to get it wrong for their brand.
Alongside, the generation had a very drastic shift and now they rely on expert, pundit’s experiences and also the bloggers reviews and experiences rather than celebrities who don’t use the product but just endorse. The generation has moved to a juncture where credibility is acknowledged more through the reviews and experiences shared by various people on different social media channels. In such scenarios firms find it best to create positive content and reviews online to gain its credibility and also to increase its leads.
Influence marketing campaigns taken up by various industry leaders
- Philips Air Fryer with Vah chef Sanjay Thumma–
Philips leveraged and roped in India’s biggest YouTube influencer (in the cookery domain) named Sanjay Thumma. Thumma runs a cookery channel on YouTube titled VahChef with more than 330K subscribers.
- Lenovo YoGa2bFree for Yoga tablet–
Lenovo launched a fun interactive campaign teaming up with four well-known Twitter influencers – actor Ashwin Mushran, gadget guru Ankit Vengurlekar, film critic Mihir Fadnavis and food blogger Kalyan Karmakar. But it wasn’t the regular influencer marketing campaign where the four would share features of the tablet to their followers. The four were actually trapped inside a box! The idea was to get consumers thinking – do gadgets make us free or do they in reality box us up?
- Cadbury Glow launch via online influencers–
Bollywood, fashion and lifestyle blogger, Miss Malini was roped in, along with some Twitter influencers who enjoy a decent following to trigger conversations around the chocolate. A personalized video of hers was created and posted on her wall which she reshared and created buzz around it.
- Colgate Charcoal toothbrush #WhatTheBlack-
Colgate India ran an innovative campaign driven by online influencers and bloggers. Alongside, a blogging contest of the same name ‘#WhatTheBlack’ was conducted where bloggers had to write down their wish list of 5 black things. The brand or the product wasn’t revealed.
- Flipkart #shopsmartwithflipkart
Flipkart like its other online competitors has invested in influence-r marketing during its shopsmartwithflipkart campaign. Results show that the influencer campaign done on twitter has been very successful and it trended on twitter for 1 complete day.
The major challenge for firms is to identify right influencers based on the target group and analysing their outreach on the channels. Once this challenge is addressed by companies, they can utilise the marketing strategy to its advantage. Hence summing up the article with- Influencer marketing is the latest and the fastest and a valuable marketing tactic, which firms should consider to invest in.