The power of social media has made brands come closer to their customers and what better way than having brands engaging with communities to build curiosity, drive sales & have customers become brand loyalists.
Are influencers who talk about your brand are genuinely invested in your brand? Maybe. However, to create content, help consumers instill brand trust, loyalty it’s important to have an approach that is more long-term & sustainable. Rather than having a transactional one-off post, brands are trying to have sustained growth by building brand loyalists who become brand advisors and speak about the brand often as genuine consumers of the product or the service.
Now, because this has become really helpful and beneficial for numerous brands, it is very important for influencers to communicate about the brand that they really believe in and trust as this is the process through which brand loyalists are born.
What are the aspects one should consider while going for Influencer Marketing as an advertising medium?
Identifying yourself with the community
As a brand, if Influencer Marketing is part of the marketing mix, it is important to understand your brand ethos, product USP’s and objectives to be achieved. This is an important step because you would want to find the right kind of influencer community that more or less resonates with your brand mantra who understands what works well for your brand. No matter how small or big the community is, it is important to identify your niche, the communication that needs to be put across via influencers and how they can help in influencing the audience to talk about your brand on a constant basis. It is also necessary to keep communicating with your influencer community and offer them relevant information, in order for a fruitful and long-term relationship.
Organic & Authentic content
Today’s consumers want to be involved in the process of developing a brand. So modern brands are changing the way they build products, serve experiences, and tell their stories by co-creating with their customers. It is important for organizations to search for influencers who upload high-quality content which is organic such that it fits with the brand aesthetics.
Deep understanding between the Brand & the Influencer community
The brand and the influencer should be on the same wavelength while communicating the product/ service offered by the brand. The brand has to figure out influencers whom they think can portray their product or service creatively and at the same time conveying the USP’s of the product/ service offered by the brand in a more authentic way.
The content should be crafted by the influencer in such a way that the consumer is stimulated to purchase the product/service. To make this happen, it is necessary for both the brand and the influencer to be on the same page with regard to a deep understanding of the product features, brand objectives, and communication.
Benefits and programs offered
While it is also necessary that organic content is necessary, it is equally important to engage your audience and influencers to make them feel that they are a part of the brand community. This could be done by giving fringe benefits, affiliate programs or earning through an affiliate program etc. Influencers could also be provided along with similar benefits than they already are getting paid for the paid partnership.
Such programs or benefits could be offered to increase engagement and make the audience stick to the brand’s product or service for a long period of time.
Consistency is one of the key elements in achieving the desired results. It is important that influencers upload content on a regular basis. The influencer community is not something that is built overnight. It takes tremendous time, effort, brand positioning, connecting with the right kind of influencers, communicating about the brand, and getting associated in a way where the brand association with an influencer doesn’t seem to look like an ad and looks more like a testimonial or review of the product or service done by the influencer because they resonate with the same and they are talking about it time and again.
What are the benefits of building a brand community?
Better brand awareness
Influencer marketing helps build loyal brand ambassadors who enjoy talking about the brand on a constant basis and hence a long-term relationship or association is built over a period of time and with the kind of frequent posts uploaded, helps in high reach which in turn results in higher sales. Hence building an influencer community makes it more viable because it’s not just one influencer who vouches for your brand, but an entire community of influencers who vouches for the same. This helps in creating or developing top-of-the-mind awareness among the audience which results in them constantly communicating or talking about the product/service offered by the brand.
Help resonate with the brand value
Even though brands associate with influencers on a paid partnership basis, the content uploaded by the influencer is such that it doesn’t look like something that is done for the monetary benefit of it, but done out of love and like endorsing the brand as it resonated with your content. This could be achieved only when the brand understands or decides what the campaign objective is, what the campaign feedback is and what is the end result or KPI’s should be achieved while building an influencer community. This is very important to get right before getting into the influencer marketing system.
Being part of the influencer community
Every brand’s main objective is to either – drive sales, build brand awareness, or increase reach and engagement. Influencers are a great medium to achieve the same as they help in leading conversations around the product or service and influence their audience to join or be part of the conversation through engaging them with contest alerts, giveaways, Instagram lives chats, and events, polls, content videos or reels etc.
This will help in fostering a long-term relationship with the audience and the brand.
With the right influencer community, brand positioning, objective, and communication, brands can voice their product or service USP’s to their desired target audience.
Authored article by Ramya Ramachandran, Founder & CEO, whoppl.