Word of mouth has always been one of the most valuable marketing tools, as it is a form of communication that cannot be altered by companies. By no means a new phenomenon, it has assumed a renewed importance in the age of online marketing. When customers give their honest opinion about a certain product, other customers consider the references and factor them into the equation when they decide to buy the product. Don’t we all make sure to check in the reviews of genuine buyers before purchasing a product from an e commerce platform?
The internet has made it easier for customers to share their views about a product or a service. Electronic word of mouth has become a significant component of customers’ shopping habits. The democratic nature of the medium has made it easier for people to rank and evaluate the goods they buy. Plenty of studies have shown that customers tend to listen to other customers’ advice more than advertisements because they are coming from an authentic source. It definitely has a greater influence than seeing another ad from a company that wants to sell its goods. This also means that customers might form negative opinions on traditional advertisements owing to a lack of trust.
The power of influence
Influencer marketing is a process which uses key leaders, popular icons and influential individuals to drive your brand's message to a larger audience. Followers tend to trust their idols a lot more than advertisements. They look to them for ideas and listen to their advice as they feel a very strong connection with them. Influencer activity is the strongest electronic word of mouth. With the onset of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, influential people have millions of followers and hold a significant sway over them. While brands have since ages used icons and popular influencers as brand ambassadors for traditional advertising, influential marketing uses these people in a more subtle and sustainable way. Brands should try and convince influencers on the value of their product. In other words, they should be treated as the target customers who in turn will generate a multiplier word of mouth effect. This approach brings more credibility and lasting success as compared to traditional advertising. Since influencer marketing primarily leverages the connection consumers feel with the influencers themselves, making use of their assets, such as their beliefs, appearance, ethos or diet, it also reduces the pressure on brands to drop the price of their products or run special offers.
Marketing niche products
It also presents an interesting opportunity for brands that specialize in products from trending categories, like gluten-free, whole grain based foods or vegan food. With the help of influencers, brands can influence their consumers with a greater degree of certainty using influencers to endorse their products through their personal platforms. This personal association is one of the most powerful aspects of advertising and combined with a single click link for purchase, it is a very interesting way to drive the engagement for offbeat FMCG products.
Authentic is the new chic
As more and more consumers demand greater transparency from corporations, FMCG companies can take the lead and set themselves apart by centering their influencer marketing campaigns around social responsibility. If your brand is promoting a positive attitude or a healthy lifestyle, your marketing team should ensure that they work with influencers who live by your core message. Not only will it help you achieve authenticity in the eyes of your customers, it will also help them focus on the message that you are trying to convey. For example, if you are marketing a low sugar product beneficial for people with diabtetes, it would help to convince and take onboard a celebrity who has diabetes through a campaign that not only markets your product but also raises awareness about diabetets prevention.
The article has been penned down by Amrinder Singh, Director, Bonn Group of Industries