Is Getting Influencers On Board Enough?
Empirical research has shown that WOM plays a great role in influencing consumer purchase decisions, and the overall perception of the brand. As a matter of fact, dissatisfaction among consumers is seen to generate more negative WOM than satisfaction among consumers generating positive WOM. This is why more and more firms are trying to reach out to influencers who can help positively impact the decisions of the consumers to favour the brand.
IDENTIFYING AND GETTING THE INFLUENCERS ON BOARD
Influencers act as the messengers between the brand and the customers. This is why it becomes necessary to identify the right influencers who’ll be able to take the brand forward in terms of an amplified customer base, heightened brand awareness and ultimately escalated sales. An in depth understanding of your current target audience aids in locating influencers whose thoughts and opinions resonate with theirs. Further, ensuring that the larger target audience of the influencer is similar to the firm’s targeted customer persona increases the firm’s chance of finding the right influencer. Alongside, scanning other parameters such as the influencer’s presence on various social media platforms, follower base, past collaborations, style of writing, tone of voice and content buckets/themes is paramount.
Once the right set of influencers have been identified, they need to be roped in by the brand to extract maximum benefit from them. This can be done by showing how it'll benefit them as well as your brand simultaneously.
The most common way of getting influencers on board, especially for food, fashion and lifestyle bloggers is by providing them free samples that they can use and then promote on their blog and other social media channels to boost authenticity of the product/service.
Building a genuine personal relationship with the influencer as opposed to a mere professional one is another manner of connecting with influencers. This involves interacting with them on a regular basis, tagging them in relevant articles, commenting on their posts etc.
INFLUENCER MARKETING: WHAT’S NEXT?
With an upsurge of paid influencer marketing, brands are perpetually looking for honest and passionate influencers to collaborate with who genuinely want to promote and engage with the brand. Finding influencers who actually believe in what your brand wishes to say effectively communicates the same to your target audience, instils trust and confidence in them as regards the product/service and follows up regularly is of prime importance. To further the precision in terms of the kind of audience they wish to target, brands are now looking at Tier 2 influencers, also known as ‘the power middle’. These tier 2 micro influencers help reach the core target consumers who further scale the brand’s message & engagement via positive WOM as opposed to the bigger influencers.
After exhausting their marketing through celebrity influencers, many firms are now shifting to employee advocacy as a way of brand building. Brands are increasingly looking at their current employees in the light of new brand ambassadors. They are making use of their employees as a medium of gaining trust from the consumers by asking them to promote the brand by sharing brand related content on their social media platforms & reaching out to relevant industry influencers and consumers.
User Generated Content:
UGC portrays the actual experience a fellow consumer had, good or bad, after using the product. This helps a prospective consumer in shaping his purchase decision because he’d rather believe a fellow consumer’s honest experience rather than a paid for marketing message. Moreover, UGC is always unique since any two consumers will never encounter the exact same experience while using the product thereby creating new, unique and authentic content.
Tools for analysis:
Tools such as ‘Sherlock+’, ‘Nimble’, and ‘The Ready Pulse’ help conduct data driven analysis. They map the relevant influencers to track, their audience size, the kind of content created, the revenue generated along with the overall success of the campaign. Certain tools like Talkwalker even help you sort the data on the basis of the reach created, the sentiment aroused, the engagement generated etc.