Social networks are increasingly entering our society, no longer only on a personal level: companies, gurus, brands, etc. social media is becoming a serious business, too. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram are presently utilized every day to talk straightforwardly to buyers or expected customers.
From these channels, a real specific figure was born: The Influencer.
These are people, with a very large following of followers on social media, more or less authoritative voices in a certain field, or more simply people loved by the public.
Brands entrust these figures to convey their messages to the ranks of followers, these figures lead to increased Brand Recognition, increasing sales in a short time, this is because the public identifying with the influencer wants to emulate the character they love.
Influencers have the skills to turn people into customers.
Such communication strategy can lead to Brand Awareness, Business Leads (i.e. the increase of all those contacts that can turn into customers), Sales (the actual sale of a product or service). The businesses promote products on social media with these influencers.
That Influencer Marketing is a field definitely destined to expand.
What is Influencer Marketing and who are Influencers?
The Influencer carries and amplifies brand messages to their target audience. They are therefore not chosen on the basis of how famous they are, certainly, it is an important factor for certain strategic choices, but above all for the type of reputation they enjoy, how much trust their followers have in him, and therefore how much – precisely – he influences. the action of those people who follow him.
Influencers convey messages, generating conversations, word of mouth, relationships, this leads to giving visibility to the brand by carrying one’s reputation on it.
Influencer marketing can therefore prove to be a winning and effective strategy, but for this to happen certain key elements must be present:
- The reputation of the chosen Influencer must be consistent with the values that the brand transmits.
- The Influencer,s authority should not be underrated, in fact, it is best to choose someone to acknowledge as a efficient and reliable person in his section and in the brand section.
- The Influencer must have certain skills and abilities in their sector.
- The Community is also important, it is that network of followers that the Influencer has created around him, but not only, in fact, the relationships that this has with, precisely, his community also count.
- Word of mouth is definitely important in Influencer Marketing, in fact through this tool a network is created, through trust, respect and affection, so the massage can become viral.
- The ability of Influencers is to influence opinions and decisions, thus stimulating precise actions such as the purchase of a product or service.
The important points on which to base the use of an Influencer Marketing strategy: the frequency of exposure (the more we interact and the more we follow a character, the more easily we would be influenced by this); the more the Influencer presents himself as human and therefore close to his audience, the more he makes himself “ imitable”; the proximity with him and therefore the equal similarity with those who follow him creates a sense of belonging to a community with common interests.
Therefore, the choice of the Influencer must refer to his authenticity and closeness to the public and to the values that the brand pursues.
Do you really need Influencer Marketing?
The Influencer is a hybrid between a testimonial and a consumer, in fact, he is not commercials (even if the final purpose may be the same), but welcome advice. Authenticity, storytelling, and normality are the keywords that must be behind a successful Influencer Marketing campaign.
For the choice of the right Influencer, it is essential that the chosen person shares socio-demographic characteristics similar to the brand’s target, they must also be perceived as normal people, close to the public, their storytelling must be intimate and personal.
There is no obvious and safe answer for all situations, but it is certainly a strategic tool that if well exploited can bring value to the brand.
By exploiting the virality of his messages and word of mouth, he can increase the knowledge of the company he has contacts with.
Building one’s reputation is certainly a complex operation, which is why the Influencers’ words take on all that value, his followers will have faith in his words and his opinions will convince users-consumers who are still in doubt. Influencer Marketing is a valuable ally regarding Strategy Lead Generation or the conquest of new contacts and turning them into customers.
They also help in the sales stimulation process, because the Influencer’s opinion and advice are perceived as selfless and honest by his community.
Influencer Marketing and trust
The Influencer’s audience thinks they can trust him or her when it comes to purchasing a product or service.
Influencers now have the obligation to mark paid contents that are published on their personal profile, in fact, it is mandatory to use hashtags such as #sponsored or #adv. This ensures greater transparency and to keep track of the sharing of this type of content, it is about over 200 thousand posts a month of this type, this number is related only to Instagram.
Influencer Marketing can help the brand to become a reliable benchmark in the field that belongs to him, because thanks to all Influencers that convey it, the effect is to be recognized as competent, experienced, and credible.
Having therefore decidedly positive effects on reputation and consequently on sales. Influencer Marketing is therefore a decidedly powerful means and it is advisable to follow it, only if you choose the right Influencers, those who enjoy an excellent reputation and with an image consistent with that of the brand that is represented.
A User Experience conveyed by Influencers provides emotions to remember, effective storytelling, and at the same time creative and memorable: in essence, the focal point is to excite. Stories on Instagram are one of the favorite ways and most traveled by Influencers, eye contact, more participation, and more naturalness.
Why Influencer Marketing Works
An influencer is a person like us who tells a story or who shares his daily life on Social Networks. Nothing more. So why does it work?
The reason is simple, the public feels more attracted to someone who tells without filters what has been done during the day, from morning to evening, every single movement. Someone similar to him but from whom he can still learn something.
It is a sort of fiction, a TV series where there are no superheroes as heroes except for individuals like us. It is like a virtual friend but at the same time real to whom we aspire or who seems very similar to who we are or who we want to become.
And this is certainly the great strength of this tool, the fact that these people, so-called influencers, are easily reachable and live our own daily life (or almost), not like the great cartoon heroes, impossible to go to sleep today and wake up Batman tomorrow.
The influencer as well as showing us his days and his life slowly fits into our day without stealing too much time, the platform used is in fact the one we usually open every day: Facebook and Instagram.
Going to take a look at what our influencer has written or said that we value the most is as quick and easy as drinking a coffee. Marketing saw us well and it was immediately understood that this could be a great way to sponsor any type of product.
Leveraging Emotions: A New Way of Marketing
The influencer is based on strong engagement, and this term refers to the emotional involvement that is established between himself and his followers. Here, storytelling is the way that must be leveraged for evoking feelings and emotions.
The user normally returns to the same pages of the Social Network because he recognizes in the person he “follows” the values he holds dear, even though he has never met an influencer in person, he feels tied to him by sharing the same passions.
The real victory of a marketing campaign in this area is the transformation of an occasional customer or in any case a generic user into a regular and totally loyal customer.
The Three Protagonists: Brand Value, Influencer, and Followers
1. Brand Value is the value of its brand. This, through the strategy of influencer marketing, is automatically increased and gradually improved. Through the Social Network platforms, it is quite simple and fast to create a name and an identity: to become popular.
The dissemination of knowledge about the company and the products it sells is effective in this area. Since it is mainly based on trust it is much more lasting and effective than a simple online advertisement.
The reason why it tends to be more impressive is that it is created by a strong Community that through stories or simple viral word of mouth spreads the Brand more and more.
- The second protagonist is clearly the influencer. A figure not necessarily famous but who reflects the right ideals of a large number of people who decide to follow his life and his daily life. He must clearly be a credible and genuine person.
3. The followers. These are the ones who give success to influencers, after all, they are the ones who have the decision-making power to give popularity to a specific person or not. However, it is the users who can transform themselves into potential customers if the marketing campaign that is implemented is successful. These users are the ones who create the benefit.