In this competitive and continuously evolving globe, the marketing sector witnesses new additions and modifications. Marketing is one key component of any productional sector that seeks to launch its products or services for the people. In a very generic sense, marketing is the activities involved to promote, distribute and create a retentional customer base. Marketing has continuously shifted in terms of activities and the set of institutions involved. It went on from the traditional mode of advertisements to take over the social media platforms prominently. One of the latest yet profound additions to the marketing kind is influencer marketing. However, this term continues to remain new to many ventures and organisations who seek to know what is influencer marketing.
Generally, influencer marketing is a branch of social media marketing that promotes a product through the image of influencers. In this article, there will be a brief and initial introduction to social media marketing. Further, there will be a very detailed explanation of what is influencer marketing. This article will also attempt to know the current scenario of influencer marketing and its growing need. Lastly, this article will release a brief pros and cons points of influencer marketing meaning.
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Social Media Marketing- An Overview
Social Media Marketing or SMM is the latest addition to the marketing sector in the mainstream trade world. Earlier to this pattern of marketing, the promotional, distributional and exchange of products or services were carried traditionally. This traditional mode of marketing was highly cost induced and could only pertain to a certain region or country. Social media marketing brought in a shift and higher accessibility to industries, ventures and organizations around the world. It not only opened the domestic market channels but also provided channels to penetrate into the global market.
The main contributor towards the increase in social media marketing is the reach of social media. In between 2004 to 2022, the reach of social media platforms has dramatically increased. It has transformed into a hub for knowing information, interaction and finding interest-specific domains. In a way, social media has become an integral key to bind people from all corners of the world. The popularity and usability of social media has definitely surpassed the reach of both television and radio. It is a more personalized and easy-to-access medium for the masses. According to the reports by Investopedia, in the first quarter of 2022, 4.6 billion users were active on social media.
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The sole reason for the increase in social media usage, has paved a profitable path for various brands, ventures and sites to connect on these platforms. It has also led these entities to incorporate various marketing strategies on social media. These strategies are brought into effect to enhance the customer growth rapidly and effectively. The need to be promoting, selling and growing through SMM has also induced modifications to these platforms. Currently, social media platforms provide the tools to enhance marketing as well as track the success of it.
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Social media marketing is promoted and driven by three core capacities. These are connection, interaction and customer data.
Social media marketing has amplified the connectivity of various ventures and brands with the customers. While connection always remained, the role of social media marketing turned out to take this connectivity and an increased level. Not only did the ventures and brands connect, but the social media platforms also provided various channels to do so. The connection was built through various tools such as online pollings, microblogging, vlogs and virtual snippets about the product or service. Through these, the brands and ventures were able to gain connections that were diverse, yet had similar interest points.
Social media marketing has enabled and bridged communication of various ventures and brands with its customers, both existing and new. A mere like, or a direct message, allows the entities to understand the interest in their products or services. Social media platforms allow this to be leveraged through eWOM or electronic word-of-mouth. This medium not only drives the customer band, but it also records the communication on virtual platforms. The brands and ventures can also leverage an understanding of their competitors and what new factors can be induced, as per the customers’ appeal.
Social media marketing provides brands and ventures with the prominent tool of customer data. This customer data helps the entities to understand the growth for their product of services. It provides them with information, in regards to the increase or decrease of customers for a particular product or service. This form of marketing also has tools that help in data extraction, which is important for modifying the marketing strategies. It also becomes indicative of how new strategies can be implemented in the current ones.
Social media marketing has truly revolutionised the channels open for marketing. One segment of SMM that has recently evolved and continues to see a trend is influencer marketing. The complete elucidation to what is influencer marketing is highlighted in the next section.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is one of the dimensions of social media marketing, where “influencers” are completely engrossed in promoting advertising a product or service. Influencers are those people who are expertised in a particular field and harbour a major social influence. In other words, we can say that influence marketing is a mix of old and new marketing strategies. It uses the old pattern of endorsing celebrities in advertising and the new strategy of achieving growth through social media platforms. The only difference in influencer marketing is that the celebrities are replaced by influencers.
The influencer marketing definition indicates two main components grouped together- influencer and marketing. Influencer, as we interpret, is the specialised entity in a field who has a massive social influence. Marketing is the medium through which a brand or a venture takes out the product or service to the masses. In influencer marketing, a brand or a venture takes its product or service to the customers through an influencer. A person is said or defined as an influencer, when:
- The purchasing decisions are reasonably shifted towards the brand’s product or service. This is done by the person’s sharing of knowledge, position and relation to the masses on a social platform.
- A follow up on the niche of the influencer. The niche is unusual most of the time and it depends on how much is following up on it.
An influencer marketing strategy must involve a face as an influencer who is not a celebrity. Most of the time, brands might induce a celebrity as an influencer, however, that cuts out the entire differentiation point of influencer marketing. In this domain of marketing, a brand’s role is limited. It cannot pester the influencer or impose any kinds of restrictions. If such a scenario arises, the brand might have to see both the influencer and the potential customers moving away.
The best part about influencer marketing meaning is that influencers can be anyone. They do not require to be someone known or a celebrity. In this type of marketing, anyone specialised in a field and has a vast band of knowledge, becomes an influencer. So, a cyber blogger, a photographer or an interior designer, all stand a chance to be an influencer.
Another criteria required to be an influencer is having a vast body of followers. It must be considered that when an influencer is hired for marketing purposes, he or she are assigned to divert their followers’ attention towards the brand. The more the body of followers, the more will be the customer reach and increment for the brand.
Influencer marketing meaning does not suffice to find anyone with vast followers. Only when a person is skilled, knows how to access social media and works towards creating the brand image, then he or she is an influencer. Though the steps for influencer marketing is easy, it will take time to yield the best results. Influencer marketing requires a consistent sharing through social media and access to it to the customers.
Further, the results must be continuously assessed to know what new modifications can uplift the brands and their products or services. To implicate the must version of influencer marketing, it is necessary to never generalise one strategy. This is because each brand has a differentiated product and accordingly, the influencer marketing strategy should be implicated.
In a nutshell, from the influencer marketing definition, it implies a marketing strategy which harnesses growth through influencer and social media. The key role in this form of marketing is executed by the influencers.
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Why Influencer Marketing Trends?
There are a multitude of reasons why influencer marketing is trending these days. All of these reasons that have been uplifting influencer marketing are linked to one another. These reasons are:
Influencers are trusted by the large community of followers that they have. As such when a brand or a product is promoted by an influencer, it instantly gains a rise in its credibility since people see someone they trust promoting an item and put more trust in it. It takes away the most difficult part of marketing, gaining the audience’s trust, since that is already done by the influencer.
Increased Brand Awareness
Influencers also have a substantial amount of audience. This means that when they promote a brand or an item, they instantly grow the audience of the item or brand. This means that the item will see an increase in the number of prospective people interacting with it. This also means that people in the future are going to remember the brand or item and when they require the service or product that you offer, they will come to you.
Attract Younger Customers
Influencer marketing is aimed towards the Gen Z. This is the generation that spends the most amount of time over social media and hence influencer marketing is one of the best marketing tricks to reach the millennial audience. By promoting brands over social media one can reach the younger generations while they are already spending their leisure time.
Improved Lead Generation
Social media in itself is a very important method in building leads. But with influencer marketing, you can see an increase in the amount of traffic to your website and signups. This is because influencer marketing gets the people thinking about a brand or item and generates curiosity which then helps you generate leads.
Influencer Bring Customers
The best thing about influencer marketing is that brands do not need to search for customers. Instead, the customers are brought in by the influencers. When the product or service is promoted by the influencer, his or her followers copy the same. This is because of their trust and loyalty to the influencer. Hence, a particular brand, when it promotes through an influencer, gains the customers readily. It does not have to launch a separate strategy to bring in and expand the customer band. However, the influencer marketing strategy should be conceived in a manner that brings in the customer indirectly towards the brand.
Penetrating into Various Demography
Normally, the traditional mode of marketing by a brand would focus more on one demographic unit and exclude others. But with influencer marketing strategy, brands can aim at different demographic units simultaneously. This is because an influencer is connected to people of all ages and groups. Thus, when a product is promoted by the influencer, it reaches out to various groups of different age, gender and region. Therefore, a brand expands its customer band with all the diversity at one go.
These are the reasons why influencer marketing is trending these days. Due to the increased use of social media and the connectivity, influencer marketing is the best marketing option. It not only expands the reach of the brand, but also ensures that the reach surpasses one static region.
The above article discusses well on what is influencer marketing. It also discusses how the idea of influencer marketing is conceived through social media marketing. Further, the article also interprets how social media began and the connectivity on it contributed to influencer marketing. The influencer marketing definition means the marketing strategy that promotes a brand through an inflever. The main component of influencer marketing is the influencer. An influencer is a person who has massive social media influence and is expertised in the field he or she is promoting.
This article also elucidates on the reasons due to which influencer marketing is trending. These reasons revolve around social media connectivity, influence of an influencer and target to various diverse sets of population. These reasons are:
- Increased Credibility
- Increased Brand Awareness
- Attracting Young Customers
- Influencer Brings Customers
- Penetrating into Various Demography
Commonly Asked FAQs
- What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is one of the dimensions of social media marketing, where “influencers” are completely engrossed in promoting advertising a product or service. Influencers are those people who are expertised in a particular field and harbour a major social influence.
- What is social media marketing?
This traditional mode of marketing was highly cost induced and could only pertain to a certain region or country. Social media marketing brought in a shift and higher accessibility to industries, ventures and organisations around the world. It not only opened the domestic market channels but also provided channels to penetrate into the global market.
- What are the reasons for influencer marketing to trend?
The reasons for influencer marketing to trend are:
- Increased Credibility
- Increased Brand Awareness
- Attracting Young Customers
- Influencer Brings Customers
- Penetrating into Various Demography
- Is influencer marketing the same as social media marketing?
Influencer marketing is a part of social media marketing. However, it is different in terms of its operations. Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that works to promote a brand through an influencer. It endorses a person who is expertised in that particular field but also has a massive social influence.
- Why are the benefits of influencer marketing?
The benefits of influencer marketing include:
- Increased Growth in Customer Band
- Enlarged Reach to Diversified Customers
- Cost-Effective and Time Saving
- Already Built Trust and Credibility