“The world is closing in… The future’s in the air. I can feel it everywhere, blowing with the wind of change.”
This evergreen classic number by the Scorpions becomes synonymous with the drastic transformation in the marketing arena over the years. The same can be said for Influencer Marketing, which has now become an essential part of every major brand’s marketing strategy. One could even say that a wind of change is blowing over brands across industries with the coming of Influencer Marketing.
The world is so connected today, that when a person is buying a product belonging to any brand anywhere in the world, more often than not, they get influenced by reviews from buyers all over the world whom they have never met or communicated with earlier. For example, while buying anything from an e-commerce platform, a customer would refer to and trust the feedback of other buyers. A study even suggests that before purchasing a product, about 62% of consumers search online for reviews and information and a whopping 90% believe and trust brand recommendations from friends and family.
“Influencer” is a term we often hear these days which is cutting through the world of marketing and communication, creating noise in almost every industry and sector. It is also becoming a word very dear to both the brands and the consumers. These influencers are a new breed of people who are using the digital universe as their new found forum to share their experiences rather than getting seduced by traditional ways of marketing.
In a world that is increasingly becoming precision-focused, we seem to have no time to sit and browse through a multitude of products and services. Instead, we are becoming a tribe of followers – we trust what our close ones tell us to do. So, it is amusing to hear elders talk about trust disappearing from the world today. On the other hand, we are living in a micro universe where we are confident of each other. We choose to dine at restaurants which have higher positive reviews, fly award-winning airlines, shop for clothes after looking at Instagram feeds and stories, and purchase gadgets that are recommended by our favourite tech reviewers.
This is a fantastic time for brands to establish themselves as a part of this circle of trust and be part of a consumer journey from initiation to maturity. In today’s age of technology, conventional Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line (BTL) based marketing is passé. Technology and social media now rule the marketing sphere.
Influencer marketing is not only the future of evolution in marketing, but it is currently expanding at the speed of light as you sit and read this article. Many top bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers and relevant digital influencers can make prfeature on their platform, to sell out faster. Let’s face itoducts, which they endorse and ; a lot of our purchases, at least in the last one year, have been made as a result of someone talking about it in the social space.
Come to think of it; most of us do not watch TV anymore. For us, visual content is no longer a push service but a demand and a pull from our end. We choose to watch what we want to watch on YouTube and other online video portals. Since our consumption of television has considerably reduced, there is no way brands can push advertisement down our throats anymore. Therefore, peer-generated content has now become a crucial source of information and awareness about various brands.
Now, since this is the case with most of us, the question that arises is – in this entirely altered marketing landscape, how can the brands overlook the power of influencer marketing while promoting their products and services?
The answer is simple – they cannot.