The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Gone were the days when bloggers used to rule supreme. "Influencer" is the new keyword now, and they have the power to influence your target market. From Facebook, Instagram to Youtube, these influencers are practically dominating our social media platforms. We see brands collaborating with influencers whether on a long-term ambassadorship program or a short product launch, these influencers are celebrities and media all rolled into one.
Image source: Owlmetrics
So what exactly is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is basically content that may be framed as testimonial advertising. Credible and relatable, the content is a personal account and message on the product or brand. More often than not, influencers provide an account of their experience with the product, as a customer or a potential one. An influencer has a large social media following who identifies with the influencer's personality traits, tastes or lifestyle - and in turn trust the influencer's judgement.
Instead of focusing on large groups of consumers with mainstream digital media, brands are choosing to sponsor and collaborate with 'influencers' to get the word out. The best part for brands is that working influencers can turn influencers into brand or product advocates.
How does Influencer Marketing work?
It's straightforward, really. With the increased usage of mobile devices and apps, users are finding themselves spending more and more time on the phone, where they follow influencers and read about their shopping or fashion choices.
Here's a screenshot of socialite Kylie Jenner's Instagram post, featuring her posing with a product that has garnered over 1.9 million likes.
First, get the brand or product associated with an influencer of your choice. It could be a press conference, product launch or an exclusive sponsorship.
Second, list down the performance metrics and your team's expectations with the sponsorship, including any other terms, for example cash reward, impressions count, etc.
Third, monitor performance based on the metrics and if affiliate marketing is also thrown into the mix, you can track the effectiveness based on sales or a simple hashtag campaign.
Of course, there are different ways you can make an influencer's post better, for example rewarding his/her followers with a coupon code, or send out free samples.
Why is this important to marketeers?
Many companies don't even have influencer marketing on their radar as it is relatively new and companies often have no control of the message. Marketeers who are entrenched in traditional marketing often fail to understand the importance of interactive and emotional advertisements, whereas digital advertisements lack a personal touch.
The tech-savvy millennials are now a big part of the workforce, and according to Wired.com, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030. In order to capitalize on this growing market, marketeers need to understand their target market's behavioral traits and select the right influencers for their brands.
Some of Malaysia's top influencers are:
1 - Jin Lim (@jinnyboy)