Most of the time, we are online scrolling through a gazillion posts and reels on social media while we are bored or want to take some time off. It is impossible to not have come across an influencer post amidst all the posts we see. Influencer Marketing isn’t limited to celebrities and bloggers like it was a decade ago; any of us could be an influencer and live our dreams of having an impact on a large platform and audience. 

Social media influencer is a legit job that allows you to exercise your creative freedom over your social media platform and get paid to advertise products entering the market. In the blog, we will discuss influencers in 2022, their strategies and how it helps businesses online stay relevant. 

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing is a form of social media marketing and advertising through which influencers advertise their products or services of other brands to bring in sales for the product. This is more like online advertising but with more information and visual samples. It is a form of modern content marketing where people engage with these posts to show their interest and are influenced by these personas. 

An influencer has the power to influence purchasing decisions of people online because of their position, knowledge and relatability with the audience. These people are also called influencers because of their following for the niche they dabble in; this is also a form of testimonial advertising. They assure their audience about these products by trying them on and showcasing the product’s effectiveness. 

Rise of Influencer Marketing in 2022

The world of influencer marketing is growing every minute as we speak, and as per surveys, nearly two-thirds of our population in India follow an influencer on a social media platform. 

  • The Rise of Reels

Short-form content is the most voted form of content to keep the audience engaged and trending. It all started with trending dances and stories on Tiktok. Soon, all the other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms began following  this format. Instagram introduced reels, while Youtube came up with Youtube Shorts. 78 percent of social influencers use Instagram as their advertising platform for brands. 

  • Covid 19 Influencer Marketing 

There was a 60 percent increase in social media usage during the pandemic as everyone had to stay and work from home. Brands took this advantage to collaborate with influencers in order to keep in constant touch with their consumers.

  • Influencer Of Instagram

According to the Influencer Marketing Report, over 48 percent of brands collaborate with influencers on Instagram. 94 percent of influencers advertise their paid products on Instagram. Influencers and celebrities make short vlogs about their skincare routine or always add the hashtag #ad for a paid advertisement post. 

E-Commerce and Influencer Marketing 

Influencers are a tremendous asset to the marketing industry. They have dozens of followers who care about their opinions and follow through with a brand because of their influence. There are many types of influencers out there, such as  mega influencers (celebrities), macro influencers (TV personalities), mid-tier influencers (YouTubers, bloggers, fashion influencers), micro-influencers (freshers on promotions) and nano-influencers (less engagement). Their followers range from 10k to a million followers and e-commerce stores could benefit from these influencers for their social media presence. Some of the tactics we would recommend are listed below.

  1. Promote Your Online Store 
    The most obvious way of marketing for an e-commerce company is to promote their online store through the influencer’s account on a social media platform. They can add videos of the product and provide a link through their bio or stories. It is much easier to click on  a link than give directions to the store. You could provide specific codes and links to the influencer, which would lead the audience to a particular place.
     
  2. User-Generated Content 
    People trust other consumers  who have used the brand, more than the actual brand. Therefore, brands could collaborate with influencers who would post content on their website so the brand can repost it on their own social media account. This could also include promotional posts about a product by the influencers about a viral campaign or the product’s launch. This would show a good partnership between the brand and the influencer, which in turn leads to a good brand image. 
  3. Testimonial Advertising
    Every brand needs testimonials to attest to the product. People usually use a product but forget to  leave reviews on the website. You could plan a testimonial with your influencer and provide social proof to your customers so they feel confident about the purchase. 
  4. Promotions
    All of the above points come under promotion but discount codes seem more effective during purchases. Influencers could track conversions through these discount codes and meanwhile, you could also negotiate a percentage sale by the influencers. People purchase when they also have a way of saving for more. 
  5. Micro-Influencers
    There are many types of influencers who could either  have a small number of followers or a huge following, but without engagement, there is no traction for brand growth. Micro-influencers have a small following but they have constant engagement due to their continuous interaction with their followers. Always look for influencers who have more engagement than followers, as people buy followers for the blue tick recognition mark. The direct message technique connects the customers more and encourages them to make that purchase. 

Interview with the Influencer

To get an insider perspective about Influencer Marketing for brands, we interviewed Raksha Somashekhar, a celebrity influencer, who will walk us through the nuances of an influencer’s job. 

Who is an “influencer” according to you?

Influencer seems like a fancy term, but in social media and networking, that could be a word to describe us because we create content for our following, which could influence their choices for a particular product or service. We love having a platform and using our voice for all the right reasons, so it is anyone who loves creating content for their passion and encourages people to do what they love. 

How does a celebrity influencer’s impact on a brand differ from a brand ambassador? 

The brand and the influencer’s goal is to sell the product when they’re confident about it. I do not tag myself as a celebrity when I endorse a product, and it is more about my comfort with the product. Do I feel good about the product? Or is it the right choice for my skin or my style? When I know a product is credible, I recommend it on my platform and encourage people to go for it as I am social proof of it. Brand ambassadors work to endorse the product by the company while I do it if I like that product, so I believe it’s on the point of relatability where we differ.

Do your brand-sponsored posts get as much engagement as your everyday posts?

Engagement on any post is possible if there’s a certain comfort level on your platform for people to interact with you. My everyday posts could be about positive affirmations or my work schedule; it is about letting people know that they can drop their schedules on my platform without hesitation. Sponsored brand posts bring credibility to the product, and it all depends on our creativity in the post. Nobody wants to see Ads everywhere, but when we promote them, our tactics for creative posting can assure engagement.

How has social media helped with your personal branding?

In my opinion, social media has uplifted many brands as this is the current gold mine. Once you impact social platforms, there’s no going back as people expect more, and if you want to keep your brand active, you should engage more. There’s no point if my followers are fake or if I sponsor a brand just because it has a name; credibility on both sides is vital for personal branding. 

What is the future scenario for Influencer Marketing?

We live in a digital age, and the platforms are headed towards a period of unprecedented growth. As someone who handles a marketing firm, I hope that Instagram starts rolling out features which could help brands cumulate their image on Instagram and get more content creation and marketing platforms. We get many brands in India who are just starting, and our media helps them and  vice versa. We get product-based benefits out of it, so this is a mutually beneficial platform. 

Influencers add to the future of digital marketing and it would be a good opportunity for brands to dedicate a certain percentage of their budget to their marketing. Like any other brand strategy, influencer marketing can start as your social strategy, and can make sales, convert in huge numbers and get the word out for your business.

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