The Power Of Influencer Marketing

Written by Ali Seca on April 18, 2016

The Power Of Influencer Marketing

In an ever changing society where digital technologies reign, brands have had to adjust to a shift in consumer behaviour. The birth of ubiquitous connectivity to digital devices has unhinged consumers from brand loyalty, as consumers now have access to a multitude of brands. Therefore, connecting with consumers in the digital age has to meaningful if brands want to regain brand loyalty. What brands need to realize is that connection after purchase is now vital, since consumers take to social media sites to rave about their favourite products and share stories about their experiences with a brand. This connection is unique and did not exist pre-digital as consumer engagement with a brand dissipated after purchase. Today, this is not the case and earned media (customer curated channels such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, where consumers become brand advocates) matter more than paid media (ads, commercials) ever could. So how does a brand build its earned media? The answer is simple: influencers.

earned-media

Influencers are experts in a given field with a large or dedicated following. Influencers can come in many shapes and forms; some have blogs, some have YouTube channels and some have Instagram pages. For a brand, influencers are a way to tap into lucrative markets and demographics. Since influencers have a dedicated following, they are perceived as trust worthy and have a certain level of authenticity that brands don’t have access to. For instance, when an influencer makes a recommendation, their ‘followers’ will view it as more genuine than an ad that came from the company itself. Most importantly, influencers create brand communities that are essential for acquiring earned media. Influencers foster word of mouth advertising that re-establishes brand loyalty- something that is very difficult for paid media to do in the digital age. But its not all fun and games for brands wishing to connect with influencers. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. Although consumers trust influencers, they are perceptive of the relationship between brands and influencers. Therefore, brands need to be sure that their relationships with influencers fits well not only with their brand but also with the influencers brand. Sending a fashion blogger on a trip because he/she has over 500,000 followers not so good, sending a travel blogger on a trip because your brand and the influencers brand align-much better.

In short, the influencer-brand relationship is a win-win for both parties. Brands increase their earned media and access lucrative markets and influencers get the chance to try out awesome new products. Influencers are a new phenomena and rather than fight this reality brands need to go with flow and figure out how they can incorporate influencers into their branding strategies since it is their key to staying relevant in a fast-paced digital market.

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