There is no doubt that influencer marketing has been gaining significant popularity, with an increasing number of brands relying on influencer collaboration to promote their marketing campaigns. According to Financial Express, the influencer marketing industry is anticipated to grow to ₹2,200 crores by 2025. But who exactly are influencer marketers, and why are they becoming so important?
Influencers are typically social media users, but what makes them influencers is their ability to persuade, establish credibility, and their massive amount of followers. They hold the power to convince their followers to buy a product or service based on their recommendations. Therefore, influencer marketing is an organic way of seeding branding in content pieces that intrigue people and make them want to purchase.
Why should you consider influencer marketing?
Now that you know the hype around this buzzword, let’s see why your business should consider influencer marketing to achieve exponential growth. Influencers are easing the lives of brands as they bring creativity to your brand campaign and help you achieve your top 3 goals:
1. Increasing brand awareness
This is done by getting more relevant eyeballs on your brand, making an excellent way for brands to communicate their message to the target audience through their favourite bloggers.
2. Lead generation
Influencers turn these eyeballs into future customers and help brands achieve more sales. They have loyal followers who regularly consume their content and look up to what they suggest because people trust the recommendations and experiences of people they know.
3. Creating brand advocacy
Influencers help many businesses build brand loyalty as it’s easier for them to catch the audience’s attention. Most of the time, it can be more effective than brands doing the same thing by themselves.
How to Run a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign in India
If you want to build brand awareness and reputation, and reach a wider audience by launching influencer marketing campaigns, check out some of the tried-and-tested influencer marketing tactics performed by other brands. You can replicate the same strategy and see the magic in your business. These tips will help you achieve your goals and ensure a successful influencer marketing campaign for both parties.
1. Don’t try to sell products. Sell stories.
As a business owner, remember that influencer marketing works because influencers have an authentic connection with their followers. This authenticity is what makes the audience listen to recommendations delivered by them. Hence, you should allow creative freedom when creating sponsored posts and let them weave a story around the product to hook their audience.
This way, posts will be ensured to fit with the tone and direction of the creator’s profile and make it look more authentic. Inauthentic content affects the creator’s bond with the audience, potentially hurting your brand’s image. To avoid any of that, choose an advocate that matches your brand’s standard and speaks to your brand’s mission.
Picture this. A fitness freak with a 9 to 5 job who finds it difficult to maintain his calorie intake and gym sessions will be easily convinced to buy protein bars if promoted by a fitness influencer they follow who has a similar routine. The exact strategy was adopted by Yogabar, an online retailer of health foods and drinks, when they introduced their range of products and chose fitness influencers to market their products.
2. Try not to impose rules.
When you collaborate with an influencer, you expect them to talk about everything positive about the product, sometimes even providing them with a script of what is to be said and what must be avoided. Sure, this is important, but by being so rigid, you take away the essence of the post, and it doesn’t look natural and appealing to the viewers, who can easily see that.
Instead, try to understand that each influencer has their way of approaching content, so do not impose any rules and give them some decent amount of control. This doesn’t mean that you should not maintain oversight of influencer campaigns. Just avoid micromanaging influencers and let them bring their creativity to light. Remember that the idea is to create engaging content and not advertisements.
Unacademy, an education platform, excellently does this job as it gets promoted through teachers and speakers with a great online presence, each with its unique way of explaining the platform’s benefits. Karan Shroff, Chief Marketing Officer at Unacademy, says that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been the significant platforms they have leveraged influencer marketing.
3. Conduct product giveaways.
Who doesn’t love free products? As a part of the collaboration with an influencer, you may ask them to conduct a giveaway of your product or services to a few selected followers. Some common criteria for giveaways are asking your audience to follow or engage with your brand on social media handles, asking your friends to do the same, posting why you want to win the giveaway, tagging your brand, etc. This itself acts as a promotion.
Giveaways work well, especially in the initial stages of any business. You can also organise giveaways on special occasions to drive more traffic and sales, like the one done by Namyaa and mCaffeine on Instagram handles.
4. Keep it simple by tapping into everyday concerns.
One of the ways to keep your brand authentic is to keep it as raw as possible so that it becomes relatable to the audience. Use real, unfiltered images that connect with the audience.
Consider this. Earlier, money talks were a hush-hush topic in every household, and elders refrained from discussing it openly. But due to the rise of fi influencers (finance influencers), people are becoming more aware and discovering different ways to save and invest. Seeing this, financial service platforms such as Groww and Zerodha are leveraging this by collaborating with these finance influencers, making boring finance topics more exciting and further using their services.
5. Use unique hashtags for campaigns.
Hashtags run social media for discoverability among the right audience. It’s more important to be seen by the right individuals than it is to be seen by a large number of people. A lot of businesses are coming up with unique hashtags that highlight a particular campaign. This also serves as a unique jingle for your brand.
You can see this with brands like Mamaearth that come up with new and unique hashtags like #ShaadiWalaGlowEveryday during the wedding season. Similarly, Gillette Venus came up with #whatsyourrepeat campaign featuring multiple celebrities and other Instagram influencers with a huge following base in their respective niche markets. Likewise, Sugar Cosmetics too adopted the #boldandfree in their latest campaign.
6. Build long-term influencer relationships.
Consider focusing on long-term relationships instead of one or two sponsored posts. This benefits both parties and establishes credibility in the audience’s minds when they see their influencers talking about a product for a longer duration. This will also ensure that the influencer will invest in your brand and produce high-quality content.
It also shows the influencers that the brands trust them completely and opens up new collaboration opportunities. Product collaborations are a great way to build a great long-term partnership.
Mamaearth’s brand integration is widespread throughout social media channels. From your favourite YouTuber to a well-known Instagram influencer, you’ll probably see this brand all over. The brand mainly relied on its influencer marketing initiatives to expand its reach, and the increase in profits is evident.
7. Choose the right influencer.
Getting the right influencer is pivotal in expanding your customer base, as it can significantly increase your sales. But who is the right influencer? Is it the one with millions of followers? Probably not.
You should look for influencers who have knowledge in their field. An expert will bring credibility to the campaign, whereas a generic social media star might advertise anything that might not be that reliable for the audience. Further, your brand should be represented by people who genuinely believe in your product or service, that is, a niche influencer.
For instance, let’s talk about Nykaa. Instead of going for expensive billboards and TV ads, they chose to work with micro and macro beauty content bloggers on Instagram and look at how seamlessly it changed their game.
8. Check the track record of the influencer.
Further, don’t forget to check the track record of the influencer you wish to work with. Look at their past collaborations and content and how people have engaged with it. It’s highly recommended to look at the previous campaigns that they have done instead of simply focusing on their number of followers.
Check how they have promoted products or services for other companies and ensure that the content aligns with your own. This way, you can ensure that the campaign will be relevant and effective in addition to the popularity of the influencers.
Start with your own influencer marketing campaign.
Now that you know how rapidly you can grow your business by running an influencer marketing campaign, the next big step is to find the right influencer. At Expand My Business, we help you connect with the right social media influencers and take care of your marketing campaigns. Feel free to reach out to us for your social media marketing concerns.