Vue45, Does influencer marketing work, kim kardashian west, influencer marketing

Does Influencer Marketing Work At All?

Has a fashion blogger influenced you to shell out precious bucks for a product by simply looking good in their photo? Insta-famous fashionistas and youtube personalities are believed to be earning in at least six figures on a regular basis thanks to sponsored content. The idea is to target these online superstars to promote a brand and ‘influence’ the common people into buying products from that brand. This new-age form of testimonial branding has a sure-shot footing in the industry. Some millions of takers in the form of subscribers and followers are happy to lap up products that are innovatively endorsed by social media celebrities.

Vue45, Does influencer marketing work, kim kardashian west, influencer marketing
Kim Kardashian West. Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

What is Influencer Marketing?

When brands decide to promote their products and services through popular content creators online, it automatically becomes influence based advertisement. Almost ALL  major brands today are collaborating with online personalities, that is, people with a large following on Social Media to increase their reach. Given the rise of social media usage in our day-to-day lives, it is easy to see why influencer marketing has risen the way it has, for it channelizes the power of social media to promote the product to, crucially, the right audience

Does Influencer Marketing Work At All?

In 2017, Lenovo roped in Blogger Kileen to endorse their Adaptable Multimode ultrabook – Yoga 3 Pro. Kileen was just one from the group of bloggers, youtubers and social media influencers that Lenovo worked with in this campaign. They posted genuine blog posts and videos about their “day with yoga” to create awareness through online platforms. They also gave out details of a giveaway contest through their sponsored content. According to a report by influencermarketinghub, “The campaign generated 51 million social impressions and became the number 8 trending national topic on Twitter. The giveaway also received 61,000+ entries”.

Lenovo could have used that budget on a 30 second TV ad, but the fact is that the ad wouldn’t have been able to translate the real sales that the influencer campaign did. This is because influencers are considered by the audience to be someone they can relate to at a personal level, someone real. So the audience is more compelled to convert their recommendations into an actual purchase.

The Downside of Influencer Marketing

Although influencer marketing might seem like the best marketing strategy for small and medium sized businesses today, it is important to tread carefully and devise a campaign that is well thought out and abides with the local laws before it is released. In the US, for example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2013 declared that celebrities need to mention when they put up posts of paid endorsements. It is also important to remember the debacle that Kim Kardashian faced with The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States after they sent her a warning letter about a post where she was paid to promote morning sickness pill during her pregnancy, since she didn’t mention any of the side effects that could be caused by taking these drugs. This backlash must have cost the company a substantial amount of money as the insta-star was forced to take down the post.

It is also important to ensure that the post comes across as genuine and for that to happen, ensure that your product aligns with the influencer’s interests, as opposed to blindly choosing an influencer just because they have thousands of followers. A tech influencer’s recommendation for a phone or an app will have a greater impact on your sales than a makeup or beauty influencer’s.

Finally, it is of utmost importance to be sensitive – going back to Kim Kardashian (are you sensing a pattern here?), she had recently put up an instagram post where she endorsed an appetite suppresant lollipop. Let’s not forget that she is followed by millions of impressionable young women in an age where their bodies are given more importance than their minds. The campaign was met with a lot of criticism and although we say all publicity is good publicity, the event created an unnecessarily negative image for the brand. Does this mean only certain brands can employ influencer marketing? Certainly not. Every product has its place. The key is to find the most appropriate influencer to channel it though.

Even five years ago, no one would have believed that the world could be powered by pocket-size devices that reign supreme. Influencer marketing is undoubtedly a very powerful medium of spreading awareness and grabbing the attention of an increasingly young and upwardly mobile audience. With the world busy scrolling through their new media feeds, there is no doubt that influencer marketing is an effective way of reaching out to people. However unless the brand spends time and thought in choosing the right influencers for their product, revenue generation will be a far cry from expectations.

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