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Influencer Marketing: Everything you need to know

Many of us have been chasing the mirage of Influencer Marketing without truly knowing what it entails and how it can make or break our online store. Influencer marketing is really not a fancy concept invented by marketing gurus - it is the basic tactic every marketing strategy is built on – “People Follow Other People.”

There are always some people we look to for the latest trends. These “opinion leaders” are the authentic sources for showing us how to use the product and highlighting its benefits so that we can form a holistic opinion before using it ourselves.

Let’s imagine that our trusted opinion leader has a huge fan base on social media. They have the power to influence others - simply put, they are who we call an influencer. When they post on social media about the benefits of a product that they absolutely loved or a video of how to use a particular product, would anybody from their huge fan base want to miss out on this tempting experience? Definitely Not!

A brief history of Influencer Marketing :

“Influencer Marketing works on a mixture of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and Word-Of-Mouth marketing”

Influencer Marketing works on a mixture of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and Word-Of-Mouth marketing, and it has been driving sales from the very beginning. It is based on the age-old concept, that people want what others have, or what others are benefiting from. Though this erm was coined in 2010 and was added to the English Dictionary only last year, the first true influencer dates back to the 18th century.

Josiah Wedgwood, born to an impoverished potter, rose to become the then tycoon of the pottery industry, through constant innovation and experiments. After winning a competition to design a “Complete Set of Tea Things” for Queen Charlotte, he marketed his products as ‘Queenswares’ because the Queen herself had used his products. He understood what many others of his time didn’t - the Queen was the most significant influencer of the time and people wanted what she had. Simply by claiming that his products were associated with the Queen, he sold the idea that his products gave a taste of what the Queen’s life was like. Propelled by his innovative techniques, his brand achieved enough fame to keep it popular over generations to come. Thus, he had birthed the idea of using people’s desire to be like others to promote his product; and with that, he had birthed what would become an era of Influencer Marketing.

Brand Ambassadors or Influencers – A comparison
Josiah has shown that an unfailing idea is to get others to market our products for us. But the next logical question is – whom should we use for the promotion? Some hire celebrities in hopes that their popularity will benefit the brand, just as Pepsi has hired Beyoncé to be its brand ambassador.

A brand ambassador is someone, usually a celebrity, with a long-term contract of promoting the brand. They differ from influencers in that they are not necessarily opinion leaders, nor do we target their fan-base in particular for your product. For instance, by using Roger Federer as brand ambassador, Rolex is not targeting only tennis enthusiasts or those who follow him, rather he is the face of exclusivity that Rolex wants to promote.

On the flipside, let's consider the example of MKBHD and Unbox Therapy, tech reviewers with millions of subscribers on different social media platforms. They are people like us who have gained credibility through honest feedback about the benefits and shortcomings of products. As a result, whenever they endorse a product its sales rockets because of their influence over people's buying decisions.

“The reason Influencer Marketing succeeds is that it uses real people, with authentic stories, that we can easily relate to, unlike the extravagant lives of celebrities”

Why Use Influencer Marketing?
The most effective marketing does not feel like marketing. That is why, when an influencer promotes a brand or claims that a product has worked wonders for them, we find it more believable than when the company itself advertises the product’s benefits. This is how influencers contribute to the colossal sales growths of the companies they endorse.

Still don’t believe in the power of a positive user experience? Look at some stats:

Influencer Marketing has grown exponentially, with more than 380 new influencer marketing-focused agencies and platforms established in 2019.

Searches for Influencer Marketing have increased by 15 times in Google in the past 3 years. This popularity has not gone unnoticed, as around 78% marketers stated that they had a dedicated budget to influencer marketing in 2020.

89% of marketers say influencer marketing ROI is as good or better than other marketing channels, bringing 11x better Earned Media Value as opposed to the 2x higher ROI of other digital media.

There is no doubt that Influencer Marketing will boost your sales better than most other marketing campaigns. But is it enough to jump right in?

Stay tuned to learn how you can use this boon that Influencer Marketing is to your benefit.