Influence marketing is no news to marketers; It was, in fact, implemented by brands, as early as the 1960s, to promote their products and services. Channeling promotional messages through social influencers instead of targeting the mass consumer to shape their purchasing decisions can be an effective marketing strategy. Nowadays, with the advent of social media and advancements in mobile technology, a new group of social influencers have emerged who can effectively impact the attitudes of their peers, largely due to their interest and expertise in a specific subject matter and their devotion to social sharing. These group of influencers are regular customers who most often enjoy an extensive following, who highly trust them and are influenced by them.
The Psychology of Influencer Marketing
Based on our natural inclination towards social harmony and groupthink, we tend to believe in the virtue of a statement that is shared by many people, regardless of our relationship with them. This explains how social media significantly disrupted the traditional marketing channels, such as TV and radio. These social networks are shaping and impacting many aspects of our lives, from values and trends to purchasing habits and decisions. Millennials now spend the majority of their day on social networks to find information about nearly everything. Marketers often turn to social networks to identify social influencers who can amplify their brand’s message and improve their brand awareness.
Reach, Relevance, Resonance
To shed more light on how social influencers are capable of shaping consumer’s purchasing habits, we can focus on the three pillars on which influence marketing is based on: reach, relevance, and resonance. Reach is the extent by which the message is traveled across a certain channel. Influencers offer high reach as they often enjoy an extensive followership. Relevance refers to the degree of similarity which is incredibly high in such social communities as they are formed around a specific topic. Thirdly, resonance describes the level of engagement that the viewers have with the influencer-created content which is based on the first two factors, relevance and reach. Based on the high degree of these three pillars in influence marketing, social influencers are able to effectively shape the behaviour of consumers.
Targeting and Tracking
Other aspects that influence marketing offers that make it more than just a marketing fad is its targeting and measurement capabilities. Channeling your promotional message through traditional media, such TV, radio, and newspaper, can reach millions of people. However, marketers cannot target a very specific audience, who closely matches their consumers. Influence marketing, on the other hand, offers great targeting capabilities due to the uniformity of the viewers of these online social groups. Also, tracking the performance of influence marketing campaigns are relatively simpler compared to traditional methods. Reach, engagement, and ROI can be measured by many online platforms that are now available to marketers.
Due to the recent changes in how people access and share information these days, and the numerous advantages that influence marketing offers, it is realistic to say this marketing method is not just a fad, but it is here to stay.
Written by: Yasmin Ebrahimi