Influencer marketing, to the uninitiated, it just sounds like a popular buzzword that seems to have gained a lot of traction in the past 5-7 years. But what exactly is it? To put it simply, influencer marketing is when brands use influencers to publicise their products/services to the masses. But hasn’t that always been the case though? Honestly speaking, putting out ads through traditional media such as television, radio and newspaper has always (at least, more often than not) included the use of a celebrity, especially in a country like India. From film stars to singers, using celebrities to market one’s brand has been an age-old tactic for as long as we can remember. So what changed?
In 2019, the world saw a global pandemic hit, which hit the traditional media, and by extension, advertising in traditional media in a very big way. From newspapers being impossible to deliver to television shoots being cancelled one after the other, marketing using traditional media was becoming more and more difficult and expensive than it was worth. As a result, brands and marketers turned to the one source that had always been proven efficient, effective and economic when it came to being used as an effective marketing tool, and that was influencer marketing.
Soon after, brands started turning to online influencers who could help brands reach a wider number of people than traditional media (considering the situation) while also being able to target very specific audiences due to the added advantage of the digital medium. With all these factors coming together, influencer marketing saw a huge boom and even had A-list celebrities turn into influencers. Many started their own YouTube channels while others used their Instagram followers to their maximum advantage. Speaking of using different social media platforms, how do you, as a brand, know which one is best for you? Influencers from which social media platform would be best for your brand? The answer, all of them!
But here’s the catch. While yes, promoting your brand on YouTube, Instagram, and even LinkedIn is a great idea if you have the budget, but which platform do you pick to tap into influencers? That totally depends on the kind of brand you are. For example, if you are a brand that is offering products such as clothing, shoes, etc., Instagram might be a better brand for you where people can use those products in a more “lifestyle” context, which could really help attract customers who associate with those influencers, and by extension, with your brand and the products you are marketing via those influencers.
On the other hand, if you are a brand offering any services or products which are tech-related or automotive-related, then video platforms like YouTube might be more useful when it comes to influencer marketing. This is because such products and services require a more in-depth explanation. When it comes to these platforms and such kind of products, influencer reviews are one of the major things that gives brands a major boost when it comes to product sales, or at least getting more people interested in the product and taking the initiative to make time and go to the showroom or any official dealer to check them.
Having said all that, when it comes to choosing the right platform for influencer marketing, all that a brand needs to know, is themselves.
Article is authored by Gautam Madhavan, CEO & Founder, Mad Influence.