What is influencer marketing and how it can help scale your startup?
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Photo Credit: Shutterstock, Vector digital marketing concept in flat style

The best way to do it is to let the influencers design their own content in their style

Influencer marketing is a way of marketing where your brand’s message is delivered by key leaders, public figures or influencers. It’s unlike traditional marketing where you intrude into people’s lives and push your product or service down their throats.

Mostly, influencers market through their social media channels, including Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and LinkedIn profiles. Sometimes you have to provide the marketing content on your own, but in other times they write it themselves.

According to a study by Twitter, “40% of Twitter users say they have made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer.”

It is clear that influencer marketing goes side by side with Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing, but it doesn’t make them all synonymous as all of these strategies still differ in many ways.

How influencer marketing differs from other marketing strategies?

Another marketing strategy that might seem so confusingly similar to influencer marketing is Advocate Marketing and Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM).

Influencer marketing leverages influence among fans and followers, whereas WOMM depends more on your existing customer base to champion your cause and create an impact amongst their acquaintances. Advocate Marketing, on the other hand, consists of encouraging satisfied customers to give positive feedbacks publicly which can be in the form of ‘reviews’, ‘personal experience posts’ or ‘using certain hashtags.

In contrast, influencer marketing focuses on influencers to spread the word and not the current customers (the majority of whom are unpopular or less influential). Another major difference is that advocates are not paid whereas influencers are paid with either an amount or through free products/services.

So the marketing strategies – Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, WOMM and Advocate Marketing – may be used interchangeably, and side by side with influencer marketing, but they all cause a different rate of reach and impact to generate the same result.

How influencer marketing can help your startup?

Mouth chattering won’t help a lot so let’s have a look at some most recent facts and figures about Influencer Marketing.

Tomoson reported in 2015 ‘’Businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing”. And only 13% of the Influencer Marketing campaigns fail to generate revenues. Another survey found that 59% of marketers intend to increase their Influencer Marketing budget next year.

51% that is more than half of the marketers believe they get better and long term customers through Influencer Marketing and 67% of the marketers tend to increase their budgets, 16% of them are unsure, 11% will maintain, and only 10% will decrease the budget.

On a daily basis, 4.2 billion users like different posts on Instagram. Currently, a sponsored post growth rate is 2.4 Million. Due to this huge amount of users Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are the most reliable platforms to invest on these days.

Despite the large numbers, when surveyed Blogs were found the most effective online platforms for influencer marketing with 37% effectiveness rate, Facebook was second with 25% of effectiveness followed by Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter showing a dramatically decreasing rate of effectiveness respectively.

And Google has received up to 325% more searches for influencer marketing in past 12 months. There are several good platforms out there, for example, HYPR’s influencer marketing platform (one of the largest platform with database of over 10M influencers), to help you overcome such challenges and achieve a breakthrough reach for your startup.

The biggest challenge!

Generating million dollars of revenue and dozen percents of profit seems great thing to dream about after knowing the amazing reach possible through influencer marketing. But each strategy takes time and constant learning, the day you finally catch the flow only then begins your day. In the same way, this has some odds too – 11% of the marketers think they get worse customers from influencer marketing. There must be a thing they are not doing right, and on studying we find following factors that have the power to inverse the effectiveness of Influencer Marketing.

The same way influencer marketing has some challenges too, one of the biggest challenges is to find a relevant influencer for your product or services.

A study found that, “Of the marketers they surveyed, 67.6% acknowledged the difficulty in finding relevant influencers.”

You cannot make Britney Spears influencer for an enterprise software. Celebrities and public figures have a connection with their fans. The followers know his celebrity so well and an irrelevant product would only make it awkward, it shouts a loud ‘I do not belong to him!’ So, getting the right influencer for the right product is the key.

Another great mistake many marketers do is to create a content which is less creative and more obvious about being an advertisement.

The best way to do it is to let the influencers design their own content in their style because today’s customers are smart enough to tell if it is an advert or a personal recommendation. Authenticity and Credibility are the keys here.

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