Every B2C company needs some quality marketing to stay ahead in this highly competitive world. And marketing is not just the usual standard routine that has been in existence for years, with the advent of technology the way marketing is done has changed considerably. Social media is the new marketing mantra that marketers swear by and if you want to stay ahead of the competition you should jump in.
Social media has been helping companies to create brands and build a presence in the digital world. Information about new products and services are made available to potential and prevailing customers easily. In fact, the company is able to engage with their customers better and even have useful conversations with them. Social media presence and engagement by the company is fine, but what is taking the world by storm now are social media influencers.
Who are social media influencers?
The term social media influencers may make you think of a celebrity endorsing a product or service. Though celebrities can be called social media influencers if they post something about your product or service, we are not exclusively talking about them. We’re talking about people who have a following on social media, the normal people, the bloggers, the groups and forums with dedicated followers etc. The people who have a lot of followers on social media can influence their followers by putting out a tweet or message about a product or service and influence their followers to at least read about it or try the product or service. If what is posted seems like advertising, you won’t be able to generate leads because people distrust advertising and are wired to ignore advertising on most digital platforms. Social media influencing should be a part of your marketing strategy but not your only marketing process.
How to launch your influencer marketing campaigns:
Influencer marketing may be a new term but the concept has been in existence for long. Celebrities endorsing brands can be termed as influencer marketing as people buy the brands because they are influenced by the celebrity endorsing it. But social media influencing is new because social media itself is a new and evolving platform. When you launch an influencer marketing campaign on social media you should:
- Be clear on what you want to do. First and foremost, you should your marketing team what they are trying to achieve by influencing social media. What is the goal? How will they go about achieving it? How will the normal marketing channels benefit by using the influencer route? Strategize and re-strategize and come out with a clear cut plan.
- It is essential that you know who your target market is. If you do not know your target market you will never be able to succeed despite the number of marketing campaigns you undertake. Your target customer demographic should be at your fingertips. You should know what they like, how they interact, how they hook up with others on social media, how they purchase, whether they are impulse purchases or do they take their time. Once you know your target market and their behavior you can plan your campaign accordingly. If your targets are impulsive buyers your campaign should be such that they take their decisions immediately and if your targets take their time then your campaign should make them think and let them decide, you can frequently aid them in their thinking with other campaigns too.
- Once you are clear about what you want to achieve and your target market, the next thing is to find the influencers. Social media influencers are many and there are people with doubtful profiles too, you need to sift the good and the bad and select the right ones for your B2C company. You need to go through profiles of people who are speaking to your target market. You need to check if they have the requisite number of followers. You need to see if they are speaking in the same language as you. You do not want to partner with someone whose ideology is different from yours. In short, you need someone who will help your brand grow and who thinks similar to you and can understand the effectiveness of the product or service you market. Also, it is imperative to have a conversation with the influencers you choose. If an influencer is going to speak about your product or service to his audience then he or she may have some questions, you need to answer those for them. You need to provide them insights so that they are able to tell about your product or service better. If the influencer has some insights, you should be willing to acknowledge and accept them as it will help you significantly in your marketing campaign.
Today nearly everyone has a smartphone and they are connected always. When your social media influencer puts out something then the target audience is able to view it almost immediately. This is the real power of social media. For example, a group that is fitness oriented and is always on the lookout for fitness gadgets and apps and you come along with a fitness app aimed at this demographic; just think of the reach that you are getting. Just envisage the effect it can have on your sales or downloads or whatever you are aiming at. This is the biggest advantage. From not knowing who your buyer is during standard marketing practices to targeting people waiting for a product or service and giving them their need, this is the advantage. The followers of an influencer will also speak about your product or service in their respective networks and this will create a viral effect and your brand’s reach will increase. Another advantage is the cost-effectiveness of these campaigns. You can save a lot of money doing these campaigns because when you consider other traditional channels these are a lot cheaper.
If your social media influencer is influencing others a lot, and if the messages seem like click bait then it could hamper your brand too. Some influencers may have bots as followers rather than real people and this could mean a hit on your ROI, so you should do some thorough research before selecting an influencer.
Which platforms to use:
There are many social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc., and there are the traditional blogs which people visit now and then. So you may be in a dilemma as to which platform to use. A study conducted by Tomoson.com has found that blogs are the best in terms of influencer marketing, followed by Facebook.
(Image Source: https://blog.tomoson.com/influencer-marketing-study/)
The others have a presence but not to the extent of blogs and Facebook. Hence you should concentrate more on blogs and Facebook followed by the rest. You should use the other platforms too because you never know when a small campaign will become viral.
Influencer marketing should be part of your overall marketing strategy and not the only marketing strategy. It is a beneficial process when you give it time and effort.