7 Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Work Wonders In 2017
Influencer marketing has come a long way since the conception of Social Media and the implementation of marketing techniques within the same. Like all successful marketing techniques, influencer marketing will go through the annual rinse and repeat formula as more and more marketers are using the technique in various ways and for various purposes.
2017 is a promising year for influencers and marketers looking to collaborate with them. The technique is evolving and maturing to become more standardised and streamlined, so let’s look at seven trends of influencer marketing that could prove fruitful for marketers if used effectively.
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In the past, marketers would lure influencers into their pockets with the promise of a hefty paycheck. That trend is changing now with high-value influencers demand an exchange of influence for their services. After all, an influencer is on as good as the influence he/she can spread, and marketers can strengthen an influencer’s networking by sharing their own. If used well, this exchange of network pays off handsomely on both sides, as brands reach more consumers and influencers expand their fan base.
Leading gourmet herbs and spices company, On1y invited food bloggers all over the country in a meetup staged at The Raintree. Bloggers were asked to taste-test a newly launched variety of gourmet spices and share their reviews on social media. Not only did it generate quite a lot of buzz, but it also expanded the network among food bloggers.
Small over big
The increase in the number of social media platforms has prompted many influencers to earn their name rather than rely on cash to get their influential content flowing. This opens a chance for marketers to connect with multiple small-level influencers, which ultimately leads to an incredibly wide reach to target audience. After all, balancing the budget is an integral part of marketing and having a big database of small-level influencer helps manage cash flow compared to hiring one high-value influencer. Small-level influencers may also be consumers of a particular brand, so if marketers reach out to them for promoting that brand, they get an added layer of authenticity and trust the influencer can guarantee.
Axis Bank teamed up with Thought Factory to experiment with emerging technologies like blockchain, cloud, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and mobility. 18 technology influencers who attended a Thought Factory workshop in Bangalore were asked to tweet about their experience of the same. The result was impressive, with over a thousand views on each blogger’s expanding social media presence. Apart from the 18 bloggers, Axis also connected with 100 other micro-influencers on Twitter to promote the hashtag #AxisThoughtFactory, which trended nationwide on August 27th.
Building a strong relationship with influencers is becoming a priority for marketers. One way to establish a bond with an influencer is to make them a part of a brand’s loyalty programs. Instead of paying money, marketers can reward influencers with brand-specific goodies, tag their social media pages with every product promotions and even go as far as inviting to be a part of a product launch. One such example in effective use today is Amazon’s loyalty program; they invite anyone who purchased a product to write a review. Based on the review’s response rate, Amazon rewards the reviewer with a unique gift.
An influencer campaign for Gehna; first of its kind personalised jewellery makers in Chennai, proved to be a big hit as it reached around 46,000 with over 3,700 post engagements, ultimately resulting in almost 1000 site visits. Such was the success that Gehna rewarded the influencers by letting keep the products that were initially used for promotion.
Dedicated influencer management team
Much like customer relationship management, companies who bank on influencers to promote their products need to establish a dedicated team of influencer relationship managers. It works very similar to customer relations, as companies will build a database of all the influencers they worked with. Linking customer relations with influencer relations management will give companies the huge bonus of being able to connect to either database on a deeper, more personal and trusted level.
Long term engagement
Influencers are not like brand ambassadors, the latter of which requires brands to sign high-value contracts for a limited period, use the in ads and then sign them out. Influencers are like the general public, people who are keen to use a brand as much as they would love to promote it. Developing and maintaining long-term relationships with influencers will further enhance the trust and loyalty they show towards the brand and give them a reason to keep coming back for more.
Reputed leisure hospitality company Sterling Holidays constantly engages with bloggers to guest blog on their site. The topics vary, giving an open platform for bloggers of travel, food, lifestyle, destination, technology, entertainment and wellness. This method of giving an open 3rd party platform has boosted the awareness of the company.
Quality beats quantity
We all know the love marketers have for numbers. When social media first rolled out as an advertising platform, the algorithms stressed on quantity; the number of people your ad was capable of reaching determined the success of your campaign. Today, the tables have turned; marketers have come to the realisation that quality matters more and this especially true for influencer marketing as it is heavily based on content marketing.
Expansive content strategy
An emerging trend that could provide a huge marketing boost is for brands to focus on attracting influencers of varying categories to talk about their product. Say for example you are a fashion brand which has come out with a gadget-friendly clothing accessory. If you contact influencers who focus on things like fashion, technology and lifestyle, you have created a larger, more varied audience base that is about your product.
Being a self-publishing platform, Notion Press can reach out to multiple influencers who all share the same love of a book. Their recent event gathered wannabe authors and educated them on how to go about publishing their work. This strategy opens the floodgates to loads of social media feeds from multiple micro-influencers, giving Notion Press loads of publicity.
Influencer marketing is evolving every year, and with technology getting more advanced; the methods of promotion will expand. Facebook’s push to newer ways of communicating is proof to that and is yet another reason why influencer marketing will become a mainstay among to marketing techniques.