Increased internet penetration and the rise of social media has led to the genesis of Influencer Marketing or ‘Digital word-of-mouth’. Influencer marketing is a collaborative brand marketing strategy wherein retailers partner with social media ‘influencers’ to create authentic engagement around their products. According to research, Google searches for the term ‘influencer marketing’ increased by 325% over 2017. Influencer marketing has become the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method. Influencers are extremely active social media users who have established great credibility in their industry and have access to a large, impressionable audience. They act as leaders in particular niche categories such as fashion & lifestyle, parenting, food and more, and have loyal followers and high engagement.When a brand appoints them to spread a message about their products, they relay this message to their vast group of dedicated followers.
Influencers vs. Celebrities: Why consumers trust influencers
As customers become smarter, they do not fall for glitzy celebrities promoting everyday products. They realize that celebrities are paid huge sums of money to use products on screen. Owing to these evolving consumer mindsets, brands are foregoing the traditional celebrity advertisement route and employing social media influencers to promote their products. Influencers, unlike celebrities, actually use the products they promote and share their experiences with their followers. They not only praise the pros but also enlist the cons of products so consumers know that the reviewsare authentic.
In order to create quality influencer pieces about their brands, companies are now approaching platforms such as Momspresso that have empanelled bloggers for this purpose. The content creation platform has on board over 6000 mom bloggers and 400 experts who create insightful opinion pieces, blogs, editorials and videos around products and services for mums, adding a moreauthentic and relatable touch to the information. When mom bloggers share their personal experiences with brands such as Dettol or Pampers, more mothers are likely to trust them and buy the products being promoted.
This kind of consumer-to-consumer marketing does not rely on hard-selling. It focuses on building relationships, credibility and trust. Influencer marketing also helps brands target the right pool of customers by offering highly segmented promotions. Influencers help brands become household names by promoting them to people who are the most likely to require and purchase them. Their follower lists consist of people who are looking for relevant recommendations. Needless to say, when influencers suggest a product, people go out and buy it.
Educating consumers through influencers
Numerous brands are now employing bloggers and influencers to spread awareness and enhance the brand recall for their products. This is especially true for innovative products that incorporate technologies that are new to the customer base. Influencers can create videos or host events to promote these products and demonstrate their working, usability and benefits. Influencers can also educate customers about the industry as a whole. Recently, popular Ayurvedic beauty products brand, Forest Essentials, invited beauty bloggers from Momspresso to spread awareness and start a conversation about their newly launched mother and child care line of products. These influencers created content aroundthe products and shared it across mother and baby micro-communities on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. Through the campaign, influencers collectively reached over 1 million social media users, exceeding the objective of the brand. Evidently, influencer campaigns have the potential to drive very high engagement and increase brand awareness across the target market.
Using regional languages to reach potential customers
Brands that recognize the power of influencers are now partnering with themto reach out to potential customers across the country. Content creation platforms are collaborating with not just English language bloggers but also a host of Indian language content creators to spread the word about brands in multiple dialects. Through regional content about their offerings, brands are trying to cut through fierce competition in the industry. A report by Google-KPMG suggested that 88% of internet users respond more proactively to advertisements in Indian languages rather than those in English. Thanks to this trend, brands are able to grasp customer attention and affinitymore efficiently through Indian language content and increase sales exponentially.
Interestingly, Hindi language internet users are projected to surpass English language users by 2021. Further, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi are estimated to gain the highest traction among Indian language users. On Momspresso’ the consumption of regional language content is 1.5 times higher than English.Brands are therefore more inclined to tap these Indian language content consumers by promoting themselves in languages that a majority of users are more comfortable with. By providing local language content such as advertisements, brand blogs and reviews, brands stand a chance to strike a chord with more customers and escalate sales.
Driving sales as well as recall through influencer marketing
Brands frequently contact influencers to review their product offerings and inform potential consumers about their USPs such as superior quality and affordable price. Brands also sponsor Giveaways that are contests run by influencers wherein winners receive the brand’s products as prizes. At the growth stage, brands tend to work with numerous influencers to tap into previously unaware groups of followers. Brands also disseminate news about new collections, special offers, seasonal product launches and more through influencers who drive more conversions than the brand possibly could using traditional methods. This not just increases sales but also spreads awareness about the brand, increasing brand recall among the target market.
The connection between social media and commerce is a strong driver of sales and profits for brands today. All brands need to do is to look for the right influencers with creative ideas that are aligned with their brand personality. Through carefully-curated content, influencers can help a brand reach unattainable heights, throughnothing but likes, shares and comments.
The article has been penned down by Prashant Sinha, Co-Founder and COO, Momspresso