Social media has made deep inroads into our lives. We constantly see opinions made, shared, tweeted, challenged, etc. the threads keep making rounds. While most people see it as a medium for networking and rewinding themselves, or keeping themselves updated, others take things to a different level. They participate in things to make their voices heard. They gradually start making sense to some group of people and amass a substantial following. This they nurture with care. They ultimately become highly popular among their followers that their voice becomes a guiding light. They now get the power to influence the decisions of their followers. These could range from simple purchase decisions to forming opinions about some of the most pressing issues of the day. Hence the influencer marketing was born.
These influencers came as a boon to the businesses that were unable to get their message across to the audience, despite the constant pumping of funds in advertisements and other marketing channels.
Let us take things to a new lateral and dig a bit into what an influencer marketing really is.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Before we jump to the strict definition, it is important to get some things straight. Influencer Marketing is neither content marketing nor social marketing. However, it can be said to be a deadly combination of the same. It has actually descended from the celebrity endorsement domain to the digital space that was hitherto ruled by content. Content that was already making waves in the digital space, when it met the influencer, it took to a new tangent altogether. The synergy that was created was unmatched and unthinkable before.
In all the influencer campaigns social component and content component each have a special role to play and not in any way synonymous with it.
Why has Influencer Marketing recently grown in Importance?
Influencers have completely revolutionized the whole buyer journey and wield a great impact on the way buyers make their purchase decision now. It has been found that almost 67 percent of buyers rest their purchase decisions based on some influencer push. Even the marketers are increasingly using influencers to make their mark and redefine the whole marketing dynamics. As the demand has grown over the years so has the whole influencer ecosystem that offers many streamlined solutions. It has also now embraced many tools like the influencer networks and influencer platforms.
Let us take this one step further and discuss these platforms in detail.
An Influencer Marketing Platform is a software solution that is specially designed to assist the businesses in their Influencer Marketing Campaign. These platforms act as one-stop-shop for a variety of solutions like management of campaigns, influencer marketplace, relationship management, content amplification of influencers, influencer discovery tools, etc.
Some of the top-notch Influencer Marketing Platforms are:
- Upfluence: It is basically a self-service platform that lets a user adjust the pricing in a way that can be afforded by both the small and medium businesses. It has a huge database, which has over 500 million types of content items, Facebook spread, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Businesses can actually browse through the same to get to the best influencers that match their profile. The database has ample information about every influencer.
- AspireIQ: It is another highly popular platform that operates on both YouTube and Instagram and has nearly 150,000 influencers. If the influencers are able to match the criteria mentioned in the site, they can get entry into the database and can also see proposals from the businesses and brands.
- CreatorIQ: It is another Influencer Marketing Platform that simplifies the marketing process and also solves the problems that are a part of the industry for a long time. Many known industrial names form their client list like Dell, Tiffany & Co., Disney, Ralph Lauren, etc. They widely proclaim that they have elite clients only. It is exhaustive in both its scope and expertise. It has integrations with many social APIs and also has an AI-powered algorithm that runs its analysis over 1 billion social accounts.
- Socialbakers: It had originally started off as a social media marketing agency in 2009 and it was only in 2018 when it had launched its influencer-specific tools, that were available in the top-level service. It is highly instrumental in gathering insightful data about your audience and once you have the personas ready with the help of AI, it also helps them to find the best influencers as per the campaign.
Hence, influencer marketing is a slow approach but it works if you are put on your tasks. Unlike other approaches, businesses have to be completely updated about the influences and should be ready to invest both time and money into the same. Also, you will not get the results in clear dollars but in terms of some effective brand loyalists. This again will be dictated by the influencer outreach strategy. So, it is a tough call to be able to measure success but it does work at times.
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