Role Of Influencer Marketing In Digital Marketing

Role-Of-InfluencerAs the internet empowers the consumers to make better-informed choices and purchase decisions, a segment of consumers has emerged from within who enjoy a special status among peers. These are the very conspicuous influencers whose choices, and decisions resonate with the rest of us and affect our moves. We are already looking for advice from people like us on the internet. And these influencers are just that – people like us. They are consumers like us who have already spent time and effort in researching the better options out there. They try them out and share their views with the rest of us. And we love to follow their advice when they recommend brands and services, hoping to get a better value for our money.

And the brands – the brands just can’t seem get enough of them in this digital marketing win-win for all. The influencers get to stay at the top of their game by evaluating the latest products and services and making personal recommendations; the brands get additional coverage in the digital medium when print real estate is shrinking and the television has become too crowded; and the consumers get a near honest peer review of a product they are considering for themselves.

Here’s the catch. Since digital marketing is not a one-size-fits-all deal, so is influencer marketing. Each brand and often each campaign of the brand has an image to maintain among its consumers. Here’s a quick guide to help find the perfect influencer for a brand.

Define an influencer

In the digital world, word of mouth recommendations or criticisms reign supreme and the influencers direct this spread of brand awareness to a certain degree. They are active on social media, write a blog and have plenty of followers. But that’s not what makes them influencers.

Influencers are the ones who direct actions of their followers and are not limited to just spreading brand awareness. They are brand advocates with thousands of followers, but if they do not fit in with the brand’s image within the digital marketing context, their influence is of little or no use to the brand. You can say, it does the work of brand marketing too!

Does your brand need influencers

Modern digital consumers care little for television commercials and billboards. They prefer to rely on their own research to get product endorsements from third parties instead of hearing it from the brand. While this task was performed effortlessly by print, television and radio is the past, digital medium has taken charge in the recent past to become the preferred medium for these recommendations. It’s like getting a recommendation for a job from a friend that increases your worth for the employer, even though you were the first choice on the HR manager’s mind for the position.

When a brand decides to engage with an influencer, it gets access to a network of people already talking about various things in their daily lives. And this network of people is led by the influencer who can direct this entire network towards you as new prospects through their recommendation or a story about their personal experience. They generate content for your brand’s digital marketing campaign on blogs and social media, and influence their followers into making decisions favorable to your brand.

So getting them on your side before anyone else does makes good sense when the stakes for success are high.

Who’s your audience

As a digital marketing professional, you need to stop thinking and start obsessing about your audience and the experience you want to deliver to them. You probably already have a firm grasp of the kind of audience you need to target for your brand, the kind of topics they would like to read about on blogs and on Twitter.

Therefore, the ideal influencer for your brand is the one who satisfies these three criteria –

  1. Relevance to your audience: They write and talk about the things you wish your customers to read and hear about
  2. Relevance to your industry: Their choice of topic is relevant to the industry your brand represents, e.g., fashion, FMCG, food etc
  3. Active communications with their network: They share content with their network at regular intervals, keep it relevant to their audience at all times, and are forthcoming in assisting their network in brand related decision-making process

Influencers don’t need to be forceful in their communications with their audience, nor do they compel their audience to take action. They like to maintain the ‘opt-in’ camaraderie of their network, enhancing the need for communication and engagement with their audience. And that’s precisely why brands must keep a contextual fit with the influencers in mind when strategizing their digital marketing for best results from an influencer marketing program.

To promote your brand through your industry influencers, contact us.