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Amit Mondal, Founder, Pulpkey.
As a result of Covid19, influencer marketing (and all marketing) increased both in 2020 and in 2021, despite initial concerns. Many industries, such as tourism and airlines, initially had to retrench dramatically, but others adjusted their models to survive in the post-COVID world. There is even some renewed life in the more Covid-affected industries.
Unlike influencer marketing in 2017, influencer marketing involves much more than finding people with large social media followings to promote your products. Today it’s performance and purpose-driven -that needs both art and science.
Influencer marketing is projected to touch 2.85 billion by 2025 growing at a CAGR of 8%. Creator Economy Market Size is estimated to reach $104 Billion in 2022. The Indian market is becoming fairly regulated as well as digital marketing budgets are growing significantly.
My experiences with influencer marketing for the past four years have led me to the following insights about how startups can consider influencer marketing:
The Influencer Industry is expensive
It’s obvious that it’s not an inexpensive medium. If you are a new startup with limited resources, it can be challenging.
Create an influencer-led affiliate army
If you have a great product, either hire a partner or by yourself, try to create a very niche list of micro influencers. Contact 500 influencers. Tell them you want to send your product for free. 100 will give you their address, send the products. 30% will post because they actually love the product. The influencers have posted because they love the brand and product. Build an affiliate relationship with as many as possible.
Set a goal for your influencer marketing strategy
When new marketers get into influencer marketing, they sometimes consider it a conversion strategy. No, it’s not. It’s a brand awareness play. While this isn’t the ultimate goal, if you compare the campaign to getting a return on every dollar spent, no purpose-driven impact will be realized. The stronger community you’ll create the better the return will come eventually.
One-time activity doesn’t work
One-off social posts are a thing of the past. Long-term and authentic partnerships are gaining traction right now. Brands, influencers, and their followers are more likely to trust each other if influencers are treated as brand ambassadors. As a result, you get better engagement with your audience, more creative content, and a greater return on your marketing budget. An influencer’s audience grows continuously, promoting your brand.
Content creators & influencers
The top 20-30 top influencers are easy to discover, and brands with good budgets are all in for spending money on them. These influencers are essentially like a newspaper or television show or a TV spot between IPL matches, but finding your niche is key.
Create briefs that either entertain or educate
The most unsuccessful influencer marketing campaigns are those in which brands force their thoughts onto influencers. Although influencers do those for money, the end result is a boring sponsored post on their feed. It’s not about telling the influencer what to do, but about giving them a detailed brief that helps and educates them about the brand. The ideas should be open ended so that influencers can get something out of it that suits their audience, since not all influencers are great creatives.
Only-video strategy is overrated
In today’s fast-paced society, everything is snackable, but don’t we binge a 10-episode series? There are many advantages to using short forms, but it depends on the message you want to convey and the type of influencer you want to reach. If not educational, it must be entertaining. Either of these works well when someone consumes the content.
Treat Influencers as both brand and partner
Brands like Zomato and Groww have been successful in co-creating with influencers on their own channels. We live in a world where children would rather become a YouTuber than an astronaut in 2022. Your audience will think you’re cool and progressive if you hire influencers to create content for your YouTube channel or Instagram feed.
Purpose driven influencer marketing are on the rise
These days, our favorite influencers are those who stand for something, not just talk about how beautiful their lives are, but provide us with value that is relevant to us. When creating an influencer marketing strategy, brands should keep this in mind.
The quality of comments and engagement metrics determine success Engaging metrics are more important than followers when prospecting. Ideally, we should examine the comments on the last sponsored post in order to get a pattern of how sponsored posts perform on the influencer’s feed.
The size of the influencer is often more important to marketers than their level of engagement.
Beware of affiliate marketing and don’t misunderstand it
Brands often assume that sharing revenue will entice influencers to work with them, but that assumption is incorrect if you assume that influencers’ audiences buy everything they promote.
Audiences can tell if an influencer promotes something that does not generate value and instead pushes a brand down rather than raise it
Podcast influencers are going to be more prominent in the future
The passive nature of audio makes it a great medium for today’s world. Considering the fact that we are all always busy and that influencer marketing in podcasts is going to be a big thing for a brand that wants to maintain a meaningful long-term association with a large audience, influencer marketing is going to be a big deal.
Final thought:
It’s essential for a startup to find product market fit early on, followed by building a strong community that’ll promote its product, so using influencers efficiently will help kickstart it into a great standalone brand.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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