Influencer marketing, Why Brands Should Care?

If you work in the digital space, you’ll have heard people throwing around the word “influencer”. You would probably know what that means but how is it relevant to you or your brand? We’re going to break it down for you into a few simple questions.

What is influencer marketing?

At its most basic, influencer marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools – taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign. This
works. Why? Because people listen to people, not brands. In fact, 75% of people don't accept
advertisement as truth, and, as media spend on digital advertisement increases, so have ad blocking plug
ins. That’s why platforms like Uber, Buzzfeed and TripAdvisor, which rely on user-generated content and
referral marketing have thrived in today’s digital economy.

So how can brands reach and acquire customers?

Over the past two years we’ve witnessed an increase in a phenomenon called native advertisement
consumption. This is the subtle infusion of sponsored content in the form of storytelling and content, as
opposed to banner ads, posters and billboards. And this is where influencers come in.

Who is an influencer?

Anyone, anywhere can be an influencer. They range from celebrities to experts in specific fields, to
Instagram models and lifestyle bloggers. What makes them influential is their large following on the web
and social media and high engagement rate with those followers. They can influence opinions and buying
decisions of a specific group of people by demonstrating their knowledge and expertise in a specific
subject and distributing the content on their own platforms.

Why is it relevant?

In the past 3 years, the multi-billion-dollar influencer marketing budget in the USA has become one of the fastest growing customer acquisition channels. Here in Kenya, it’s been growing at 15% annually whilst digital ads become more expensive and traditional advertising stagnates. Although it’s still viewed as a complementary marketing channel, there has been an exponential increase in lifestyle bloggers and micro-influencers engaging with local brands more and more, so, the potential is limitless…

What does that mean for brands?

By tapping into this growing industry, brands stand to increase their customer base without drying out the marketing well. It provides the opportunity to build their brand personality and discover new opportunities in the Kenyan market through unique influencer narrative. Influencer could help to unpack your brand story in a way that would resonate with your target audience. And they are most likely to be believed in being an actual user of your product and service. And if it’s done right, ROI and campaign performance can be measured systematically and accurately – which is a struggle faced by most marketers.

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