It is believed that if you can ‘influence’ the mind, you can conquer the world. Trust is a very important element of social media marketing. Nicely quoted by Seth Godin " People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic"
When your brand/product is advocated by a trusted channel to the audience, consumers sit up and take notice. This ‘trusted channel’ is the influencer who has worked his charm amongst people and his/her marketing campaigns are genuine and authentic. Influencer marketing is a social media marketing concept where brands use the name and credibility of an influence to reach out to his/her followers. Your brand will look more authentic if an influencer markets your product. Well, of course, to make a campaign effective, we need the right “influencer”.
Could anybody have imagined that this video could have gained such immense popularity? Nick Offerman (Parks and Rec character Ron Swanson) is featured in this 45-min video. He sits and sips whiskey without saying a single word. THAT is the campaign. Yes.That’s it. The young generation loves Offerman and he was the perfect influencer to connect the product with the audience.
As per the figures of Salesforce, 70% of the brands will increase their social media marketing budgets this year. People expect brands to strike conversations, inform and entertain them. Hence it’s all about creating right strategies and striking the correct chords with the audience. Influencers are powerful sources that seduce audiences through marketing campaigns that include videos, memes, gifs, stories, pictures and many more marketing modes.
Influencer marketing has experienced a whopping growth in the last few years. Though experts say that Influencer marketing is currently an arbitrage, with too many influencers in the market, this is the right time for the brands to tap the market.
7 Influencer Marketing Trends to Follow in 2017
As an influencer, if you have an ardent fan following, use videos to captivate the viewers. In 2017, it is predicted that demonstration videos will be quick 15- sec videos that compel the audience to buy. Brands partner with influencers as they drive the audience towards them and the influencers receive something valuable in return.
Clinique uses influencer marketing techniques to sell its beauty products. The fictional American animated TV series character Patrick Star shows how to remove makeup using Clinique cleansing products. This Instagram and Youtube sensation simply nails it with his marketing techniques and has earned a name for him in the beauty blogging world. Moreover, he interacts with his audience through chats and personal calls and he has a massive audience who follow him religiously.
2. Stories Are an All-Time Hit
Some brands have stories weaved around their products. These products are projected as an intrinsic part of people’s lives and they influence the audience in a big way. A major shift of audience is seen from Snapchat to Instagram in the recent times. Brands are using Instagram to show a glimpse of the lives of celebs and weaving stories to influence them to buy products.
Google’s “The Web is what you make it” series of ads were an instant hit. The ad shows how the Google products are engrained in our lives and are a part of every interaction we make.
The influencers here are ordinary people who touch the chords in the hearts of the audience. The father- daughter bond is adorable and leaves a huge impact. The Google video re-enforces the company’s jargon that they create experiences and not just a “product” or“software”.
3. Micro Influencing
Celebrities do have a huge audience base but the impact of micro and macro influencers is growing. They are rightfully called the Power Middle and have high rates of conversions. They target a niche audience and are at times, more powerful than celebrity endorsements.
The Human Finance Project campaign by TN Ameritrade features stories of investment advisors. It focuses solely on these individuals who share real stories. The average audience instantly connects with the ad. These ordinary people become heroes as the viewers look up to them for suggestions and advice. Our influencers do not necessarily need to be famous celebrities; they just need to make the right impact on the audience.
When searching for micro influencers tools like Grin are a huge help. Grin has organized millions of micro-influencers on Instagram by metrics important to advertisers. It’s a simple way to find, outreach & get in touch with dozens of micro-influencers at once
4. Celebrities and Tastemakers
Some conventional methods never go out of style. Celebrities like movie stars and models have been role models and will always continue to be so. An ad campaign of a beauty product/apparel is best endorsed by a fashion icon. These celebs have millions of followers on all social media channels who crave to get a glimpse of their divas and icons. Anything they endorse becomes an instant hit.
This Lord & Taylor dress was endorsed by 50 influencers on Instagram. It sold out the following weekend. Influencers make the audience believe in the brand which leads to conversions. Even lesser known brands can sell out well if they are endorsed by renowned personalities.
The content shared by influencers is powerful and authentic. A non-profit organization ‘Truth’ recruited some famous YouTube personalities for their non-smoking campaign. These influencers shared the content with their followers. The organization wants the youth to quit smoking and created a song called “Left swipe dat” to spread awareness. They used these popular social media celebrities to get their messages across. The #LeftSwipeDat was so effective that it became the # 1 worldwide trending topic.
5. Paid Ads Will be More Authentic
In a study conducted by the research firm Yankelovich, on an average, an American comes across 5000 ads every day. It is difficult to say that this figure is scientific but certainly the exposure to ads is huge. Another study suggests that only 14 % people remember the last ad they were exposed to. The audience will no longer believe an influencer if he randomly advertises a product without giving it a ‘feel’. There are numerous social media and other marketing platforms which are used for influencer marketing. The consumer is tired of the conventional marketing experience and looks out for more. The ads do not have to be a jargon of words. It’s is an experience where the audience gets interested and involved.
Jon Stewart uses a quirky way of promoting Arby products. Stewart has been making fun of Arby and the brand has taken this in its stride. This resulted in a fantastic influencer campaign for the company. In fact the brand contacted Stewart saying that he could work for them once he left his daily show. Stewart worked with the brand to create commercials for promotional purposes. It was the brand’s sporting attitude that transformed a joke into a thriving influencer campaign.
Here the famous Neil Patel’s interactive video on entrepreneurial marketing and content marekting insights.
The upcoming trends see influencers, beauty bloggers and vloggers being tapped in for lucrative partnerships where they would be the spokespersons for the brands across various media platforms.
6. Attention Spans Will be Shorter
The attention span of people has declined and they need to be swayed passionately to notice products/services. People are deaf to commercials and ignore billboards. There has to be something important that compels them to notice. Artificial Intelligence is the new technique for consumers to navigate and search. All content will be quick, sassy, effective, and smartly portrayed.
7. Long-Term Partnership With Influencers will Work
It’s a small world with cut throat competition. If you do not treat your influencers well, they will sure be advocating for competitors. It’s no use hiring influencers for small terms as the results will not be satisfactory. An influencer must feel involved, understand the product and believe in it to promote it effectively. If you treat an influencer correctly they will look forward to working with the brand in future. 2017 is predicted to be the year of peer specialists and niche marketing. People are deaf to commercials and ignore billboards. There has to be something that compels them to notice.
Chriselle Lim is a fashion blogger and has a massive Instagram following. She took over Nordstrom’s Instagram account and is seen on every marketing platform advertised by the company. From the Paris fashion week 2017 to Nordstrom’s poster ads, she is featured everywhere.
Some visionaries had predicted the rise of influencer marketing. Those who went by the expert’s analysis are reaping huge profits. Influencers use call-to-action, live videos, questionnaires, blogs and contests to interact with the audience. These personalities effectively utilize their followings on YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms.
We cannot overlook the fact that influencers are consumers too. They use the brands they are promoting and give honest opinions. 2017 could be a pivotal year that sees an expansion in the trend of live videos. These mediums like Facebook live and Instagram Live are popular as they can quickly receive user reactions and feedback. The consumer today is educated and aware and likes to receive authentic opinions about products. This increases the work on the part of the brands as they have to strive harder to convince their audience.
2017 is the year that will see a boom in influencer marketing. Mobile devices will offer smarter apps and Instagram will become a stronger social media platform. Companies will use defining voices as their brand influencers and advertising campaigns will become more passionate than before.