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The 411 on Influencer Marketing

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Let’s go back to ancient Rome…

Here, gladiators endorsed products. Successful gladiators were often considered celebrities and endorsed products like wine and oil.

This. This is what we call Influencer Marketing.

The ‘Gladiator’ posing, arms crossed, next to the quote, “Countrymen, lend me your ears! I’m here to tell you why this olive oil and wine are worth fighting for.”

Fast forward to Disney’s Inside Out.

Influencer marketing or selling has always been a natural method of acting or persuading humans. A piece of information coming from a person of authority, love and respect tend to capture our attention much quicker than from unrelatable sources.

The following clip is an example of how something as organic and humane as feeding kids/babies also had a process of ‘influencing’ them. Railey is disgusted by broccoli at first instance, but when her dad makes a story or a narrative of an aeroplane approaching her out of the same, she is bound to enjoy it.

See that? That right there was also an example of Influencer marketing.

Let’s revisit our childhood days…

Remember how we all wanted to possess ALL school stationeries of our favourite cartoon shows, characters, superheroes, movie stars etc? We wanted to be associated with characters we held so closely to heart at all touchpoints.

If we had to examine the behaviour, we would realise it was more than just fandom. It was about relatability and identity. We happened to associate with these characters in a way that every communication from their end was absolute and just!

The science behind influencer marketing - why do we get influenced?

How do we get influenced?

We must keep in mind that the action of persuasion can be extremely efficient.

The two routes of persuasion are the central route and the peripheral route. These two routes help people to perceive, understand and decode the information.

Central Route

The Central Route helps the viewer to comprehend the quality of the content and advertisement. Both of these cues can be used either together or interchangeably, depending on what the marketer believes to be the most effective method for the specific product that they are attempting to sell.

Peripheral Route

Peripheral Persuasion is usually more effective - for example, if one glances at an advertisement with a celebrity on it that they find particularly attractive, their eyes will be drawn to the advertisement, triggering their cognitive processing in relation to the product displayed alongside the celebrity. The Peripheral Route is concerned with the allure of the content and advertisement. One must note that Central Persuasion is usually more effective among those who find the product to be relevant to them.

A flowchart of persuasive messaging with sections for ‘audience’, ‘processing’, and ‘persuasion’ in central and peripheral routes.

The rise of Influencer Marketing

It is no doubt that Influencer Marketing is giving Traditional Marketing a run for its money.

According to a Forbes article, in 2022, the global influencer market recorded a value of $16.4 billion.

Forecasting is challenging for marketers and analysts, which is definitely something that must be acknowledged especially after the pandemic, global warfare, soaring inflation rates, political turmoil, and economic uncertainty.

The pandemic has uprooted our lives, and with it, a new era of financial consciousness has emerged. Young people, in particular, are awakening to the need for financial independence and security. In this shifting landscape, influencers like Akshat Srivastava and Sharan Hedge have become role models in raising financial consciousness and guiding us through the stormy waters of personal finance.

Their words of wisdom and practical advice have empowered us to take control of our financial destinies and chart our course towards a planned future. As we navigate the dynamic landscape post-pandemic world and the geopolitical challenges, these influencers will continue to light our way, providing a compass to guide us towards financial freedom and stability.

In 2020, brands scrambled to update their marketing and advertising campaigns to resonate with their target audience that was overnight stuck at home.

While no one can accurately predict 2023’s strategies, it is safe to say that influencer marketing will continue to be at the forefront of advertising and marketing conversations.

It’s expected to reach $22.2 billion by 2025.

While the numbers of the industry seem to be only rising, we must go back in time to remember that the school of traditional advertising was not far off from tapping into the human psyche to influence the purchase decision.

One of New India’s earliest influencers and most spoken about campaigns is ‘The Maharajah’ of Air India. Not only did he represent the brand and its Indian origins quite obviously, but the mascot also represented the newly-free India in the 1950s, on a global stage.

The caricature of the Maharaja was very native to the citizens of India and also a representation of possible passengers of the airline through the stark colours of his outfit and the swirled moustache! The campaigns that followed showed the mascot travelling around the world targeting international travellers.

But are there steps to this marketing tactic?

Is your business planning to implement influencer marketing? Are you not sure where to begin? We’ve got you.

This very marketing strategy has evolved in recent years from ‘oh-this-is-nice’ to ‘this-is-a-must’ for brands in various industries. With ever-changing shifts in shopping behaviour and social media algorithms, the only thing that has remained constant and consistent is consumers crave authentic and engaging content. Marketers have found that influencers provide excellent content and increase opportunities for brand awareness, trust, engagement, and sales.

While all of this sounds great, how do you get started? Let us begin to break it down.

Text: Guide to getting started with influencer marketing? with steps - research, network building, assessing net worth, engagement, and fostering relationships.

#1: Research, Research, Research

As a business looking to collaborate with influencers, it's crucial to conduct thorough research. Not only should you focus on the influencer's content and audience reach, but you should also evaluate how well their values and goals align with your brand. By analyzing metrics such as engagement rate and sentiment, you can determine if an influencer is the right fit for your business. Remember to strike a balance between your business objectives and your target audience's interests.

#2: Build Your Network

Collaborating with influencers is a mutual partnership. They want to ensure that your brand resonates with their niche audience, and you want to differentiate your brand. Consider working with a diverse range of influencers who have different beliefs, locations, and audiences to broaden your reach and increase your ROI. Remember that not everyone will be interested in your brand, and that's perfectly normal.

#3: Your Network is your Net Worth

Once you've identified potential influencers, it's time to start reaching out to them. Prioritize establishing a rapport with them, regardless of whether the collaboration is paid or not. Develop a legal contract that clearly outlines expectations and ensures that all parties are aligned to avoid miscommunication.

#4: Be Active and Engage

Now that you've signed on influencers to represent your brand, maintain active communication and regularly observe their interactions that impact your brand. Identify ways to increase engagement, such as resharing content to boost exposure. Remember to consistently review the performance of your influencer partnerships and adjust your strategy as needed.

#5: Foster Relationships

Nurturing relationships with influencers is vital for long-term success. Offer support, engage with them regularly, and provide opportunities for growth. By investing in these relationships, you can foster a mutually beneficial partnership that drives business growth. Remember the next three words: improve organic engagement.

Last thought to ponder on…

A new era is here.

An era filled with AI and CGI influencers like Miquela, Kyra, and Shudu. This is just the beginning.

Is it wise to conclude that the future of Influencer Marketing is almost beyond human influencers?

Let us know your thoughts!


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