Potential Of Influencer Marketing
An influencer comes in many forms, not just the Instagram celebrities who have risen to fame because of this concept. At one point in everyone’s lives, the word influencer has proven its real-life impact on various sections of individuals. A person could be influenced by an author, a poet, a politician, a professor, a close friend, or a celebrity. Influencing is a highly impactful force and is not a new concept, but the rise of digital marketing has put this concept into full effect.
Influencer marketing strategies come into play when it comes to businesses and using the right influence to convince viewers into becoming paying customers of your brand. The best digital marketing companies leverage influencer marketing to make a brand’s authority rise through the ranks and circulate impactful messages that lead to conversion.
Influencers are quickly rising to fame and impact, rapidly gaining the trust and loyalty of their vast follower base. In a 2019 study, it was noticed that 87% of shoppers made a purchase based on a prompt from an influencer. However, the right influencer needs to bring out the right message to the right target audience from a brand perspective. The essence of influencer marketing revolves around hitting all the right notes with the right tools. With the evolution of technology, marketers have access to the proper range of tools that can help them perform various activities, from assessing the right influencers to creating the right message that benefits all parties involved.
Parameters to Ensure The Full Impact of Influencer Marketing:
The top digital marketing service providers worldwide cannot stress enough how crucial it is to play your cards right with influencer marketing. One of the main causes for this is that the audience, no matter what section of society they are from, does not engage with direct or paid advertisements.
There are five critical parameters for marketers and businesses to consider when they leverage influencer marketing. Following these parameters can ensure that the campaign reigns in the required results and can help companies avoid any pitfall or backlash from this form of marketing.
Growth Pattern/ Follower Patterns:
Apart from finding influencers relevant to a brand’s identity, it is essential to discover organic reach influencers. It doesn’t matter if it is Instagram, youtube, Facebook, or other influencers; their growth rates indicate how fast their follower base grows. This growth rate can only have a positive value if the new follow vs. the unfollows ratio is healthy. The growth rate of influencers is a great metric to see if the influencer’s content brings value to people and if the followers genuinely pay attention to their content. The suspicious growth rate in the following base is one of the most significant indications of inorganic results, which cannot bring a business too many benefits.
When analyzing growth rate metrics, here are some critical patterns to look out for that can highlight red flags companies should avoid:
- Loop Giveaways:
Giveaways are among the most popular forms of promotion on social media, which assures high engagement and brings in more followers. These include contests where celebrities give away a gift/hamper/voucher for their services/ a trending product or others to winners. Giveaways build follower engagement and raise traffic on the influencer’s channel. The method is one of the quickest ways to grow on social media. Still, the audience participating in such contests is more interested in the prize than the influencer’s content.
When influencers have these contests on loops or rather frequently, you can notice sudden spikes in the number of followers. These numbers gradually go down, of course, once the giveaway is over. Influencers can lose up to 30% of their subscribers within the month after a giveaway if the audience is only interested in contests. Companies should avoid such influencers, as it is often a clear indication that the audience is not interested in the content and will not convert to paying customers of your brand.
- Sudden Growth of Followers:
When a celebrity goes viral, it is common to see a sharp spike in the number of followers in no time. When this happens, the chances of the audience sticking with the influencer for their content are high. However, it is a red flag when you see influencers who have done nothing noteworthy but still see a massive spike in their numbers. Today, some numerous apps and websites allow individuals to ‘buy followers. Most often, these are spam accounts or accounts run by bots.
While the number of followers does increase, the influencers have no real power over an audience. The best way to authenticate this is by checking the followers’ accounts and checking the influencers’ posts. Bots and fake accounts do not usually comment on these posts so that influencers would have thousands of likes on a stick but a few to no comments on the same. Instagram flags and removes the accounts of such fake profiles and can even suspend the influencer account. On this basis, companies should stay away.
- Losing Followers:
Influencers can only command or influence their audience if the audience receives constant engagement from the influencer. If the celebrity is losing followers rather drastically over time, it could mean that the audience has lost interest or has ceased to remain engaged. If an influencer is involved in controversies, this is also a cause for the audience to unsubscribe from them. For brands, associating with such individuals can be very risky as it tarnishes the brand’s image and safety. Looking at growth patterns, unfollowing patterns, and general audience engagement can be vital for brands that invest in influencer marketing. A great campaign can undoubtedly bring high gains, but a bad one can severely damage a brand’s reputation.
The engagement rate is a metric that factors the overall engagement on a social media post, including likes, dislikes, and comments. The more engaged an influencer’s audience, the more likely they would be to interact with paid or partnership promotions. Nano influencers tend to have a higher engagement rate than macro-influencers and are usually more eligible in bringing reliable, loyal, and engaged audiences to their posts. Nano influencers see this possibly because fewer followers are easier to manage and engage with regularly than with tens of thousands of followers.
Understanding influencer engagement rates by looking at the kind of feedback and engagement their posts have received can be an excellent way to establish the extent of influence. Another thing to see is whether the accounts have comments but not much interaction from the influencer. In such cases as well, the audience is less likely to engage in the paid posts.
Always check how authentic and transparent an influencer is before trusting them with your business. Look at the influencer’s style of engaging their audience, their personality, and how genuine their posts are. Also, check to see if the influencer has bombarded their social media with paid promotions. In these cases, the audience would not be likely to fall in, believing the influencer as a paid-off one. Authenticity in posts and content is also what keeps the audience engaged and continuing with their subscription. If the influencer is plagiarizing, it will taint their reputation and the brands associating with them.
Digital Marketing revolves solely around technology, and influencer marketing is no different today. Digital Marketers struggled with finding the right influencers relevant to the brand that is associating with the celebrity. However, using technology and various tools, marketers can discover relevant influencers and determine if they can bring actual value to a brand. With the help of technology, marketers can evaluate all the factors mentioned above, check the ROI of campaigns, gauge the follower base’s reaction to paid posts, and even understand influencer power on consumer behavior. Modern-day tools allow marketers to figure out cost estimates for sponsored posts and even spot bots and flaggable behavior on social media posts. The ability to track user engagement, influencer growth rate, the likes and dislikes of consumers, motivating factors, trending hashtags, and more can empower marketing campings to hit suitable targets and find the most relevant follower base for your brand.
Today, influencer marketing is no more a ‘behind the curtains’ concept but a broadly accepted digital marketing practice. However, this space is still in its inception phase, and the leeway for being flagged or having a bad reputation is much too high. Using professional digital marketing services can help companies avoid flaggable offenses with ease and avoid losing money and reputation in fragile marketing campaigns. Under the right lens, influencer marketing can be one of the most powerful and quick mediums of seeing great results in building brand reputation and authority, but only when done right.