Why Influencer Marketing Is Here To Stay

Some have predicted its demise but reasons point to influencer marketing’s continued relevance in this digital age.

With the prolific rise of social media, it is inevitable that there will be multiple stakeholders keen to leverage on such a widespread digital phenomenon, to profit – not essentially monetarily – in one way or another.

Platforms like Instagram, YouTube and to a certain extent, Twitter, have managed to transform unknown individuals into huge personalities and stars, creating environments that foster multiple communities.

These individuals who are placed on the social pedestal are commonly known as “social media influencers”, wielding influence in their respective digital communities.

With time, influencers have become the go-to marketing spear that brands wish to possess, but sometimes, the journey can be a double-edged one.

As with all forms of businesses and industries, there are black sheep: Individuals so caught up in the social rat race that they have resorted to Machiavellian means to gain fame, fortune and followers.

The tangible and intangible benefits of being associated with influencers have not been lost on marketers, who are finding it tough trying to implement brand efforts that can be dispersed to targeted audiences in this social media age.

Being able to penetrate and break through the noise, then, is key to tapping on the huge fan bases that social media influencers have. Such a need, or desperation, has translated into allocating huge sums of money for influencer marketing campaigns, a tactic that does not seem to ebb anytime soon.

This sentiment is based not just on figures alone, but also on the very fact that social media fosters and facilitates human emotions extremely well.

Why are brands so keen on influencer marketing?

The strong presence and power held by influencers is a goldmine for brands, making influencer marketing even more relevant. In a poll conducted by Invespcro, marketers rank what they would want to achieve with social media influencers:

  • Improve Brand Advocacy (94%)
  • Expand Brand Awareness (92%)
  • Reach New Targeted Audience (88%)
  • Increase share of voice (86%)
  • Improve Sales of Conversion (74%)
  • Manage Reputation (68%)
  • Drive Lead Generation (67%)
  • Accelerate Digital Transformation (64%)
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction (63%)

What’s more, influencer marketing can deliver up to 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing, making it even more convincing for the former to be implemented.

With pros, there are cons

With any marketing campaigns, there are certain downsides to it as well. Marketing Land listed three main risks when it comes to influencer marketing:

  • Brand damage: If an influencer gets into a scandal for example
  • Influencer fraud: Some influencers may have follower and engagement counts that are not legitimate (buying fake followers for example)
  • Brand Safety and Control: While most brands would prefer their influencer campaigns to be scripted, the lack of authenticity can reveal itself. However, it is both a higher risk and higher reward to allow the influencer to interpret the brand’s instructions.

Brands are similarly stoked to have reputable influencers as their ambassadors or spokespersons, but fees can be hefty for those with a huge follower base.

And this is where the middle ground jostles in: A group of aspiring social media influencers who are there, but not quite there yet. An interdependent relationship ensues to fulfill each other’s agendas – the brand’s thirst for awareness and the influencer’s hunger for sponsorship.

It is however, safe to say that the pros of influencer marketing do outweigh the cons, where potential benefits are so juicy and tempting that it is hard to turn away.

Importantly, due diligence must be made by agencies or marketers who appoint the influencers, and as long as sound strategies put in place to execute a campaign, influencer marketing will persist to become a powerful weapon for years to come.

The Road to Social Stardom

Don't be shy — say hello and we'll be glad to kickstart your next exciting digital marketing journey.