Influencer marketing has become the new media mainstream. Before we go into details, let’s first understand the concept of influencers. We all know what brand ambassadors are – they represent an organization who hired them for longer terms on a contractual basis. However, influencers are spokespeople who are hired for a shorter-term campaign and inside information is shared and their pay depends on the size of the audience they reach. With the evolution of media to social media, influencers are typically found on social media with or without a massive following, however, they should be able to create an effect, change views and behaviors, and ultimately drive quantifiable results online.
Influencers Are the Rising Stars.
Gone are the days when we had to watch whatever was on TV. Digital media has changed the dimensions for viewers, people can now design their own viewing experiences. We have Netflix where Generation Z can decide what they watch and when without the annoying interruption of ads. Netflix, however, is restricted to movies and TV series, whereas YouTube allows people to share their own content and start their own channels that range anywhere from tutorials, how-to video reviews, tarot card reading, gossip and educational channels – the list of genres is never-ending. People who run these channels are influencers for their audiences, and marketers have identified that conventional ads are not sufficient enough. In fact, they have recognized the new module for it too, which is influencer marketing, to win the hearts and pocketbooks of their potential customers.
Influencers to become their Personal Brands
We’ve all witnessed the celebrities who typically get noticed through TV or sports because they endorse multiple brands and cash in on their name and fame. It is about time that digital influencers are recognizing their potential and ability to create an impact, which is why we see them successfully endorsing products and services through reviews or whatever means they find convenient. And this is exactly how personal brands can influence their followers. They know that there are plenty of opportunities for them to sell products they want to endorse.
Influencers to Produce Content for Brands
This point comes as a challenge for both the influencer and market. How? Since the influencers are known for their authenticity and their original content; they will have a hard time accepting and endorsing commercial content which is not made by them. The same thing will bother companies for relying on influencer’s content and not using their own content. The influencers will be encouraged to produce unique content exclusively for brands with an emphasis on getting more and more reach, which will make shareable content more common.
Brand-Influencer Long-Term Relationships
Just like brand ambassadors’ plans, in the future brands are going to find and lock market influencers for long-term relationships in which exclusive campaigns will be designed to get the best out of them. It comes with greater risks, so brands will have to find someone with ethics or follow them in public. Nonetheless, the benefits are greater when we compare the investment of YouTube or Instagram with TV ads or billboards; digital marketing is more cost-effective.
Influencer Marketing Campaigns on Multiple Platforms
By the end of 2017, it became quite evident that companies with big pockets are not just going to rely on a single influencer, in fact, they will market utilizing a cross-channel approach. Through this approach, they will get endorsements from multiple market influencers telling the same story in their own unique way. Brands are concentrating more on using a marketing mix in which they will use celebrity – macro and micro – influencers as different tools to entice a diverse audience into the campaigns. Businesses are expected to mix and match influencers and a select range of social networking sites to meet their goals. The ultimate goal will be to reach a wider range of influencers through different channels.
Greater Emphasis on Unique Visuals.
While conventional marketing content has always been TV, radio and newspapers ads – marketing influencers will modify it according to the nature of the business. However, everything is moving more towards visuals where the focus is primarily on images and videos – that means less written content and a more pictorial approach. The only thing that makes branding campaigns stale is repetitive pictures and the free images taken from same stock websites, therefore, originally produced content is encouraged and get more attention. This is going be one of the biggest challenges for mainstream media, where the competition for standing out in the crowd of ordinary marketers and bloggers who usually produce their own content either video or pictures.
The bottom line is:
Influencers are the new marketers, making their own impact by becoming their personal brand – they are going to challenge conventional brand ambassadors and give them a run for their money. Not only are they going to encourage ordinary people to find this field as a brand new career but marketers are going to get better at promoting their brands with maximum benefits at a cost-effective approach. Besides all the mentioned points, Instagram stories will continue its meteoric rise; again highlighting the more visual approach and brands would be placing further stress on genuine performance metrics. Consumers are most likely to notice the campaigns online than anywhere else. Also, if we see someone we know and respect using a brand, chances are we feel safe to give it to try. Plus, 89% of people will try a product or service based on word of mouth, and influencer marketing totally supports this type of promotion.
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