Influencer marketing is anticipated to expand to an enormous $16.4 billion industry in 2022 and thus it becomes important to understand some of its key aspects and functions
The collaboration between the Swedish clothing giant H&M and the well-known Indian fashion brand Sabyasachi was all in the news until recently. The announcement of H&M x Sabyasachi took the internet by storm and their website nearly crashed with the collections almost sold out. Even though some pieces in the collection were mocked for their ordinariness, the collaboration was a massive success.
Now the question arises. Why and how did it happen? The answer to this is social media marketing. With the use of various social media platforms and collaborations with numerous up and coming influencers, H&M x Sabyasachi managed to effectively reach and engage its consumers. Their collaboration is a prime example of using the power of social media and influencer marketing in order to build up a brand.
What is Influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with an influencer to promote one or more of its products or services. It uses endorsements from individuals who have a devoted social media following and are viewed as experts within their own fields. According to Influencer MarketingHub.com, an influencer is an individual who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience. Influencers improve brand recognition and increase customer traffic. Thus, collaboration between brands and such content creators allows businesses to develop and expand.
Food and travel influencer, Conrad Barreto, says, “I think influencer marketing works because it provides more visibility, feedback, and sales. Followers are very likely to trust our opinions and try out the different products and services that we promote via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.”
Indeed, due to the very same reasons, the market that amounted to about $1.7 billion in 2016 is projected to expand to an enormous $16.4 billion industry in 2022.
How do they do it?
Social media influencers moreover share content about a wide range of topics such as art, beauty, fashion, health, fitness, food, travel, and technology. Some influencers, besides being content creators, are also employed in various daytime professions.
One such individual is Dr. Linoshka D’Silva, who is not only a certified doctor but also a talented Youtuber and make-up enthusiast. She has promoted many brands over Instagram as well as on her YouTube channel. When asked about the main reason that brands approach her, she opines, “Brands approach me because I offer a unique form and style of story-telling using reels, posts or videos in a way that’s relatable to most people.” Thus, there has been a boom in the number of companies investing in influencer marketing. It is proving to be a cost effective marketing method that generates more customer traffic and is much more effectual than other marketing mediums. This form of social media marketing essentially works due to the bond and trust that influencers have developed with their followers. Hence, customers thus attained turn out to be more loyal to the brands as compared to those acquired through traditional marketing and advertisements.
Shawn Kenneth Fernandes, a well-known digital creator, is approached by a multitude of brands due to his experience in the business, technology, and music industry. He states, “My experience in various fields serves as an interesting and appealing combination to brands looking to break the mould and carve out an identity for themselves.”
According to Shawn, there are different ways in which certain brands are promoted.
“Most corporate brands find coverage on LinkedIn or other business-oriented platforms while a variety of lifestyle brands typically benefit from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. I usually promote and assist in development across sectors that have the biggest impact on people. Having worked with more than a hundred brands for over a decade now, I can definitely say that it is a very intriguing and diverse mix of audiences!”
Driven by customer values This diverse mix of followers is transformed into a loyal customer base through the use of give-aways. Influencers give away free products in order to increase the number of followers as well as augment brand awareness.
Nyeree Viegas, an Instagrammer and the creator of the YouTube channel The Nyeree Diaries, only promotes brands that align with her values. When questioned about give-aways, she says, “I do give-aways to express gratitude to my followers for supporting my content throughout the years.” True to her words, she has collaborated with various brands and services including Flydining Goa that has not only increased her fan following but also enhanced the brand’s recognition.
As people, we are often influenced by the things and individuals that we come across. Hence, we endorse those products and services that have been recommended to us by influencers whom we devoutly follow. Since it is the modern age of advanced technology and global communication, it becomes easier to be influenced thus giving influencer marketing a real edge in the present scenario. In conclusion, influencer marketing is turning out to be the go-to solution for all marketing problems. Gone are the days when product promotions only involved high-profile celebrities and sportsmen, now it revolves around individuals who are well-recognised on social media platforms and are followed by thousands of enthusiastic people!