‘What’s in a name?’ a famous thought once, is slowly losing its lustre as the world moves towards the horizon of familiarity. In the present day, a lot revolves around a name from the content marketing perspective.
Content marketers would agree that a celebrated, yet relatable name, synonymous with outreach is all the leverage required. A splendidly contagious way to leverage brand outreach today goes by the name of Influencer marketing. It refers to the introduction, recommendation and engagement of brands with target audiences through third party individuals.
How did the ball get rolling?
The concept in its raw form originated in Ancient Greece, when celebrated athletes had ballads written about them. These athletes were made accessible to the public by some master crafter’s words and ideas. Similar was the case with famous painters, artists and actors, all of whom rose to prominence with words by gossip columnists or recommendation experts. Taking a leaf out of their books, advertising companies began to implement the ‘Rule of Seven’ by nit-picking celebrities who used their words to drive brand engagement. These celebrated figures came attached with luxurious lifestyles that the common man overtly craved thereby increasing contact points for the brand.
The big shift
World Wide Web and the Internet, two by-products of globalisation expedited the way people came to recognise brands and brand ambassadors. Soon this phenomenon shifted the focus from individuals with a coveted lifestyle that promoted a product to what and who appealed most to the common man’s conscience. This prompted the industry to take an engagement-oriented approach. The spotlight shifted from product-based marketing to people-based marketing. Several industry reports highlighted the trend of peer purchase where brands were able to convert customers through engagement driven by familiar faces.
What does an influencer bring to the table?
‘Just another @radhikaapte fan account’ was a clever way by Netflix to get in on expanding their fanbase through a name. This would be the tip of the ice berg when it comes to influential content marketing as an influencer can bring forth a lot more.
Here are three ways your business can benefit through an influencer:
1. Third-party objectivity
The way you view your brand and products can sometimes become stagnant. An influencer will be able to put forth content for their ‘family’ of followers and accelerate your business. Your brand, thus, gets exposure from an ‘audience’ which rates loyalty over everything else. iDiva is a national women’s beauty and lifestyle brand which promotes and recommends Qtrove, a website that curates organic products among others through its quirky, yet cleverly crafted satirical videos on YouTube to a niche audience obsessed with a quality lifestyle.
2. Reliable experiences that can be marketed
There is a great difference between you, as a brand, putting forth your experience and an influencer promoting your brand on your behalf. It is a generally held opinion that brands and their presence must be considered with a pinch of salt, which is contradictory to how an influencer is perceived. Influencers reach the pinnacle of their relevance through the real experiences that they sell. Their real experiences are often curated through collaborations with other influencers. The latter are generally leaders in their niche, which prompts customers to replicate these experiences with your product at their heart. Similarly, you can expose the humane side of your brand just like Coca Cola does through its ‘Selling Happiness’ campaign by directly collaborating with influencers. For instance, holding a video session with a few influencers discussing their experience with your product/service in a neutral environment will boost brand recognition.
3. Authentic reviews
Social media is replete with unboxing videos and product reviews, both of which have proven to be massive crowd pullers. Target audiences can get better acclimatised to a product when it comes across to them as a friendly recommendation or a free yet useful tip. The onus of creating this genuine ‘free’ tip is on you. An influencer who writes a real-time product review about you, discusses it through their live-chat or even through #askmeanything activities can benefit your brand greatly. The power of authentic reviews and the way they can affect a company’s operations is quite visible through Uber and its consistency of keeping customers at the central point.
Once set in motion this process of influential marketing proves to be a highly viable one for brands as they can create genuine awareness, generate reliable interest and convert loyal customers. Brands and influencers alike aim to create a niche space for themselves, as well as to stay relevant in a world riddled with changes. Moving away from being customer-centric to being more people-centric is the norm today and what better way to do so with your customers playing the most instrumental role in content marketing your brand for you.