Influencer Marketing the new in-thing in Digital Marketing !

Influencer Marketing the new in-thing in Digital Marketing !

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Influence Marketing is gaining ground in India and a lot of new age as well as brick and mortar companies are embracing it..here is what it is all about for our readers..

What is Influence?
Influence is the capacity to create an impact on someone. For e.g., If ‘X’ influences ‘Y, it means ‘X’ is impacting ‘Y’’s perception of an individual, a thing or an idea.

What does an Influencer mean?
Influencer can be a person or a group that has the ability to impact the behavior and opinion of others in a significant or an authoritative way, mostly in context of a purchase decision.

Who are Influencers?

Influencers are people who have the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of their real/perceived authority, knowledge, position, or relationship.

What is Influencer Marketing or Influence Marketing?

Influencer Marketing also known as Influence Marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals or types of individuals rather than the target market as a whole.

What are Influencer Relations?

Management and development of relationships, with those deemed influential, for marketing or public relations campaigns are considered as influencer relations. These influencers can be bloggers, journalists, celebrities or just people who are highly regarded in our social circles, marketplaces or industries.

What is Social Media Influence?
Social media influence is a marketing term that describes an individual’s ability to affect other people’s thinking in a social online community. The more influence a person has, the more appeal that individual has for companies or other individuals who want to promote an idea or sell a product.

Who is an Influencer on Social Media?
Social media-influencers are the people who build relationship with the target audiences through their blogs and social networks that the brand may not be able to establish.

Why Social Media Influencer Marketing?
• Action and social mentions are driven more effectively by “power middle.” Mid-level influencers like bloggers have a smaller but more loyal audience and drive 16 times more engagement than paid media and “mega influencers.”
• Having influencers to discuss the brand experience is crucial. 88% of buyers consider online reviews “very influential” when making a purchase decision.
• Millennial represent an enormous segment of the purchasing population yet are drastically different from other verticals when it comes to how to market to them. They vet purchases and a brand’s story more than other buyers.
• 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 33% trust ads.
• Thinking a step beyond buyer personas and developing influencer personas is a valuable way for marketers to be sure they are reaching the right influencers.
• The most effective influencer marketing strategies build and foster strong relationships with current network, happy consumers and new influencers who are active in relevant verticals.
• Since influencer marketing is about building strong relationships, a strategy that values a mutually beneficial relationship is the key.
• Consumers want authenticity from the brands they interact with. When marketers equip influencers with an entire experience to share about a brand or product the posts are more engaging.
• Develop relationships with influencers before you need them. Relationship building takes time and once the connection is there, activating influencers becomes a lot more seamless and effective.

Key benefits of Influencer Marketing –

1. Social reach: Influencers are able to reach millions of consumers through their social channels and blogs.
2. Original content: Influencers produce original, and oftentimes effective, marketing content for the brand.
3. Consumer trust: Influencers maintain strong relationships with their audiences, who have a certain level of trust in the influencer’s opinions.

Progression in Influencer Marketing –
• Identifying influencers, and ranking them in order of importance.
• Marketing to influencers, to increase awareness of the firm within the influencer community
• Marketing through influencers, using influencers to increase market awareness of the firm amongst target markets
• Marketing with influencers, turning influencers into advocates of the firm.
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Key steps of an influencer marketing strategy –
• Identify the topics of influence that speak to the brand’s target buyers.
• Vet the influencers who are a good contextual fit with the brand. Look for content quality, reach, engagement and an alignment of values with the brand.
• Relate and engage with to the target influencers via email and other social channels. Ask them to partner with the brand and offer them compensation to create mutually beneficial relationships.
• Measure all earned media and identify which influencers and which topics lift the brand the most.
• Repeat once you’ve identified who and what works best for the brand and the brand can build a stronger influencer marketing strategy each time around.

Model for ranking business influencers –
• Market reach – number of people an individual has the ability to connect with.
• Independence – whether an influencer has a vested interest in promoting a particular point of view.
• Frequency of Impact – the number of opportunities an individual has to influence buying decisions.
• Expertise – how much of a subject matter expert is the influencer.
• Persuasiveness – the degree of consequence in ignoring an influencer’s advice.
• Thoroughness of role – the extent to which influence is exerted across the decision lifecycle.

What are the ways used by influencers to create an impact on business?
In today’s social web, there are a three major ways an influencer can have a big impact on business:
1. They can write a blog post / article about the brand.
2. They can share information about the brand in their social media accounts.
3. They can ask the brand, or permit the brand, to guest post on their site.
4. Or, any combination of, or all of, the above.

What to look when choosing an Influencer Platform?

Tools available in the platform to niche the influencer list
What tools and metrics the platform offers to discover and filter out influencers so that the brand gets a great sample to use for the campaign.
Influencers quality control
Does the platform accept anyone with a big number of followers even if those accounts are just copying popular content or does the platform focus on high quality creative content from authentic creators?
Briefing mechanism
How is the briefing process and how easy is the platform to ensure the selected influencers present work against brief. Does the platform offer proven mechanisms to inspire their influencers to deliver high quality work? Does the tool send auto responses to influencers who submit content to be reviewed?
Deals negotiation process
How does the platform set price for each influencer? Do they have an algorithm in place to set the price in relation to their influence rank or any other method? How easy and fast it is to negotiate deals with all the selected influencers and make corresponding payments.
Project management tools
What tools the platform offers for project management and communication with each influencer.
Campaign results and insights
What tools, metrics does the platform offer? (aggregated reach, audience engagement, influencer audience data, engagement to a topic, contribution to the overall brand conversation, sentiment, share of voice, top content, affinity to the brand). Does the platform offer visually friendly dashboard that presents the campaign results and offer insights that can be applied for next influencer campaigns? Does the influencer platform offer an app to see real time results?
Copyrights
Does the platform help the brand to have clear copyright agreements with the brand’s influencers?
Productivity
And finally, does the influencer platform really reduce the time it takes to do all of the above?
Measure Return of Investment (ROI)
What type of results can be guaranteed: sales? number of visits to advertisers website? number of mentions? brand recognition lift? recall lift? number of views on the influencer branded content? increase in e-newsletter subscriptions? or grow the brand social following to XXX numbers?

Major influencer marketing platforms

Eleve Media – This tool enables brands in leveraging the power of word of mouth on social through blogs, social media platforms and high ranking publishers.

Blogmint – The influencer marketing platform that helps marketers connect to bloggers according to the nature of the brand and the campaign.

GetEvangelized
– This tool presents brands with right set of data points to pick the most engaging influencers and micro celebrities.

BlogAdda – BlogAdda is a blog directory that empowers marketers and bloggers to connect with each other. You can discover popular Indian blogs, interact with them and read about them through articles and interviews.

IndiBlogger – A network of Indian bloggers, IndiBlogger allows a directory search of bloggers through demographics such as city, beat and more.

Fromote – Fromote empowers influencers to en-cash their social media popularity while brands can advertise to promote their brand organically through the platform.

Terareach – Tango by Terareach allows brands to deploy influencer outreach campaigns through registered influencers on the platform. Marketers can also monitor their campaign through this tool.

Influencer.in – This platform helps marketers pick influencers in line with the brand’s objective. Brands can further push their content through these influencers and track its reach.

Top Influencer Marketing Campaigns Of 2016

#ChaloMPwithHolidayIQ – HolidayIQ
In partnership with Madhya Pradesh Tourism, last November, HolidayIQ took ten travel bloggers/influencers on an all-expense paid trip to Madhya Pradesh (MP) – fondly known as the ‘Heart of India.’ This trip was a part of their influencer marketing initiative – #ChaloMPwithHolidayIQ. Lakshmi Sharath, Nivedith Ganapathy, Harish Thota, and Ruby Singh were among the travel aficionados who travelled around MP with HolidayIQ. The travel influencers helped the brand to generate more images, reviews, and vlogs about the lesser known places in MP.
#KhulKeKheloHoli – Parachute Advansed
Parachute Advansed came up with this heart-touching video that is on the point about festivals and family time. The video was uploaded on YouTube and was shared across fervently by users and influencers in all social media platforms, especially in Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, the brand also invited social media users to make and share Dubsmash videos on Holi. People who made creative videos were rewarded with exciting prizes. Finally, bloggers were asked to blog about stories of their childhood Holi Festival celebrations, which were welcomed well both by influencers and other users. The video and even the whole campaign was quite successful.
#AxisThoughtFactory – Axis Bank
The third largest private sector bank in India, Axis Bank, collaborated with various technology bloggers in Bangalore to promote and create awareness about their latest initiative, The Thought Factory. The first-of-its-kind digital lab, The Thought Factory, will be working closely with pioneering, brilliant, and diverse start-ups. Amit, Sreejesh, Shabarish, Santosh, and Amarendra were some of the popular technology bloggers who attended this event. The influencers wrote blogs about their experience at the launch event and shared the same across various social media platforms.
#HexaExperience – Tata Motors
When the Tata Motors planned to launch its Hexa range of cars, they chose influencer marketing to create awareness about the new launch. 60 travel and lifestyle influencers from various cities in India were invited to be a part of the #HexaExperience campaign. On October 22nd and 23rd, these 60 bloggers were invited to Hyderabad. The event included a brief presentation about the product line, an overnight stay, dinner and cocktail, and an off-roading experience. The influencers shared their experience through blogs, vlogs, tweets, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Owing to the event’s success in Hyderabad, within two months, in December, the same event was held in Bangalore. Even celebrities like Rahul Bose and Rannvijay Singh were part of the #HexaExperience campaign.
#LatestSeLatest – Craftsvilla
Craftsvilla is one of the Indian online marketplaces that sell unique Indian products. From handmade, ethnic products to organic, natural products, their products retain the traditional roots of India. In the months of July and August, Craftsvilla teamed up with some fashion and beauty influencers in India to create brand awareness via blogs and social media channels. Gia Kashyap, Anshita Juneja, Debashree Banerjee, etc. were some of the famous fashion influencers who collaborated with Craftsvilla to share their thoughts about the brand’s latest collection on their blogs, Twitter, and Instagram.
#DirtyLittleSecret – BBlunt
BBlunt took the help of influencers to make a successful digital marketing campaign for its care and styling products. With an attractive hashtag, BBlunt took influencer marketing to an all-new level when they roped in the India’s popular fashion, beauty, and lifestyle (FBL) bloggers to feature in a video alongside Adhuna Bhabani, BBlunt’s founder.
#RightfullyHers – Bajaj
One campaign that completely swept the netizens off their feet this Mothers’ Day was the #RightfullyHers campaign by Bajaj. This campaign made users to demonstrate their love for their mothers on social media. What’s more, it was in the most simple yet in a profound way.

Influencer Marketing Outlook 2017

• 90% of marketers will launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the next 12 months.
• Influencer marketing is the fastest growing channel of digital customer acquisition.
• Twitter remains favorite for influencer engagement, while Facebook and Blogs are picked up strongly.

Compiled by : Jyotiprakash Patra

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