The concept, in itself, is not anything new. Influencers have always been around. In the olden days, there were "wise old men", which had enormous influence on their communities. Today, they have taken the shape of multiple passionate young or even sometimes old, men and women on the internet who have used digital platforms to create a substantial following around their interests, thoughts, or personalities.
The companies are now aligning with these content creators to seamlessly thread a message about their products or services in order to reach the following amassed by these one-time brand ambassadors.
"Influencer marketing used to exist in an offline manner, but it has just gone digital. Now, you can influence millions of people at one instant. There used to be a few thousand influencers in India but today, Instagram alone has 600,000 influencers on its platform; worldwide the number is around 44 million influencers," says One Impression, founder and CEO, Apaksh Gupta.
Influencers are now being targeted by international brands and small companies alike to reach their target audience more effectively than mass advertising ever did.
However, before you jump on the bandwagon, you should keep the following points under consideration.
One size fits all?
A social influencer amasses a following around a specific type of content which provides a curated list of target audience for a product/service. However, there are some products and services which respond better to the influence of these social influencers.
"Influencer marketing is about creating an excitement for your product and taking it to the right consumer. So, for any industry which involves impulse buying behaviour, it's a great idea to start influencer marketing on Day One. However, in case of B2B industry it may be a better strategy to focus on SEO, Adwords, and look at influencers when you have hit the growth stage," opines Gupta.
For instance, fashion industry is extremely receptive to influencer marketing, but for a company operating in the financial industry it may not be the best strategy in the initial stages.
Spend monies or DIY?
A business can go either way, depending on their marketing budget. If you have a basic understanding of how social platforms like Instagram or YouTube works, accessing the influencers is not going to be an issue.
"It is very easy to access the influencers directly. In fact, identifying or accessing influencers is not why people come to us, but for expertise, speed, reliability, and for ease of doing business," adds Gupta.
And, while there are agencies which can chart out the entire strategy of a business and charge accordingly, a small business can opt for a smaller local agency or even a freelancer to set them on the path.
Go big or stay local?
It is not only the businesses which have woken up to the effectiveness of influencer marketing, social savvy individuals have turned it into a profession. And, the content created by these influencers is extremely diverse and informative. The choice of influencers should depend not on the number of their followers, but the kind of audience you want to tap into.
If your business needs access to a local audience, it is better to reach out to local influencers.
"Micro is very important because you see more engagement from a micro influencer than from someone who has more followers and thus, are more expensive. Micros are very relatable and much more grassroot. They tend to be more responsive to their followers," says Gupta.
This personal touch can be harnessed by a company for a better chance of transforming a target audience into a consumer.
The more followers an influencer amasses, the more difficult it becomes to access them. In fact, there are more influencers who have 1000-10,000 followers or subscribers than there are those who have over 50,000 influencers.
How to find them?
The easiest way to find influencers whose content aligns with your marketing message is through hashtags. In fact, social platforms tend to throw suggestions once you start typing the industry your business operates in.
"That is how we started as an agency. We did not know how to find influencers and through platform suggestions, we build an entire pool of hashtags and through these, influencers working in different industries," shares Gupta.
For YouTube, you can type in keywords which are specific to your industry of operations.
Once you find these influencers, you just need to send a text. If you encounter trouble in receiving a response from the influencers, Gupta suggests finding a local manager in the network and approaching her or him.
"There are people who have grown in the network and they tend to become unofficial managers of all local influencers and they typically know everyone else in the network. It is a good strategy to approach them and seek their help in accessing others," says Gupta.
Beware of fraud
"A lot of places where people tend to go wrong in influencer marketing, especially during their early days, is they get heavily misled in terms of fee charged. If the average charge for a post is Rs 10,000; new businesses are told an inflated charge of even upto Rs 50,000," shares Gupta.
In order to avoid becoming a fraud victim, it is better to seek interest from more than one influencer and to speak to businesses employing influencer marketing.
"An influencer who charges Rs 50,000 for a post will at least have around half a million followers, 200,000 impressions and possibly also some celebrity status," adds Gupta.
Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/security-tech/technology/influencer-marketing-5-things-to-consider-before-spending-your-money/articleshow/64299115.cmsThanks you for read my article How To Use Instagram To Grow Your E Commerce Business (With Zero Budget)