With other forms of marketing on the wane, many corporations are turning to Influencer Marketing to promote their brands and products to drive up sales.
Digital display ads are still very prevalent but it is this prevalence that has led to its downfall. In a digital environment that is becoming increasingly saturated with digital ads, a brand’s message will get diluted and consumers will eventually become desensitised to the advertisements. With an average click through rate of 0.05% for display ads and 60% of clicks on mobile banner ads being accidental, it is clear that digital ads are hardly leaving an impression on consumers. Furthermore, with ad blockers becoming more widespread, display ads have become an even more ineffective marketing tool.
On the other hand, marketing to people through conversational marketing at events is extremely effective at convincing people to purchase your product as you can better understand your audience based on their reactions when interacting with them face-to-face. However, the problem is that it is extremely challenging to reach large audiences through this method, which is why it is not the most popular when marketing to consumers.
For many brands, Influencer Marketing has been extremely effective and is now a key marketing strategy. Take Daniel Wellington as an example of how an aggressive influencer marketing strategy is able to catapult a new, relatively unknown brand to stardom. Let us take a look at why influencer marketing has become such a powerful tool!
1. Target Desired Audience
Influencer marketing allows brands to target a specific group of people that their product caters to instead of a random pool of people. If a brand has chosen an influencer in the right niche, the influencer’s followers will likely be interested in the brand’s product as they followed the influencer out of interest in that niche area.
A fitness influencer would be followed mostly by people that have an interest in sports and fitness. Hence, it would be ideal for a sporting goods company to select the fitness influencer as their ambassador as most of his/her audience consists of the demographic that they wish to target. An example would be Under Armour hiring local fitness influencer, Natalie (@nattylifts) as one of their ambassadors to reach out to her followers who are mostly expected to be interested in sports and fitness.
2. Improve Brand Sentiment
Brands are mostly thought to be run by large emotionless corporations, whose sole objective is to make you part with your hard-earned money. While these corporations are still profit-driven, having influencers representing brands will give a face to brands and improve brand sentiment in the eyes of consumers. Influencers, being people just like the consumers, help to bridge the trust factor between brand and consumer by bringing a personal context with stories and experiences in relation to the brand.
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With ambassador programmes where influencers are hired in the long run, it is possible to build brand loyalty among consumers who associate their favorite influencers to a certain brand. For example, you would associate popular footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with Nike and not with any other brands due to the long-standing partnership between the two parties. Fans of Cristiano Ronaldo would hence, prefer to purchase Nike products, which their much endeared athlete wears.
By forging a positive brand image, corporations will be able to attract more consumers as they will be more willing to associate themselves to the brand.
3. Human Connection
In this technological age where product reviews are just a click away, consumers are highly unlikely to be convinced by conventional display advertisements. It is common knowledge that these conventional ads are put up by companies themselves so whatever content present in the ad to convince you to purchase the product is bound to be highly biased.
On the contrary, influencers are considered external to brands and hence have greater credibility in the eyes of consumers to provide judgement of a brand’s products. Furthermore, its is simply human behaviour to trust other humans (influencers) instead of inanimate objects (advertisements). When a consumer builds enough trust in a brand’s product, he/she will be more willing to purchase it. This is most effective with micro-influencers that have more authentic, friend-like interactions that will build greater trust with their followers.
Influencer marketing is able to combine the positive aspects of the aforementioned marketing methods by having the human touch and authentic interactions of conversational marketing and being able to be applied on a large scale like display ads. It is this scalability and ability to target desired audience, improve brand sentiment and the human connection involved makes influencer marketing such an effective tool!