Influencer marketing is a new-age marketing technique to disseminate a brand message on digital platforms. It is a medium to create a brand’s social media presence. The ideal approach is to tell the right story (through content creators) in the right place (their social media handles) to the right people (consumers).
Today’s consumers have multiple choices on the content they want to see or listen to on digital channels. So, new-age marketing focuses on seeking the right audience and retaining their attention through continuous engagement.
Brands can gain customer loyalty by creating appealing and entertaining content. Brand marketing roles have switched too. Earlier, brands would talk to consumers; but today, consumers talk to other consumers about brands (peer-to-peer networks) in the ecosystem. This marketing strategy rests on the psychology of trust and authenticity.
Aarushi Sethi, Business Head, and Director, Pollen (Zoo Media), tells us more about how influencer marketing has changed.
“We live in an era of democratic media consumption and an attention economy.”
● Prioritizes the brand’s business objectives
● Cultivates and nurtures new-age creators and their ecosystem (identifying their content objectives)
● Tailors business objectives to the audience’s needs using creators as a medium for branding.
“The entire influencer marketing ecosystem has become extremely structured that follows a data-driven approach.”
● Germinate: Assimilate the brand’s potential and positioning (value and size of their audience on digital platforms)
● Pollinate: Choose the right influencers and build actions for the brand
● Fruitate: Measure, analyze, and re-assess the impact of the influencer marketing campaigns
“Brands must differentiate between branded and non-branded content before leveraging engagement rate.”
- Influencers are personal brands with a unique branding style. They have earned the media and its audiences through “paid partnerships” or “collaborations” on social media.
- Content creators are interested in long-term, symbiotic relationships with brands. They want to grow with the brand as they relate to it and trust it. Thus, they are the brand advocates who exhibit long-term loyalty to the brand.
- Influencers are not the only medium to reach your audience. Brands need to identify whether they are using influencers to get more of their current audience or build newer ones
They also need to find the right fit by doing data-driven research to get insights into the influencers, past collaborations, and relevance in the ongoing pop culture. Brands also need to find their voice by resonating with the influencers.
“Influencers themselves are brands today with guidelines, tonality, and content strategy.”
- They need to have a plan and structured conversations with brands to understand the macro digital marketing ecosystem. Influencers must comprehend the business objectives well and the markets or audiences they need to target through the context of their content.
- Mutualism brings more to the table. Creators need to deliver more than the reach by making attribution strategies (ROIs and market expansion). They must build resonance with the audience to create a loyal community. At the same time, they must understand the paid-media ecosystem to promote content to a targeted audience.
- Creators need to build new audience personas for themselves. They must keep reinventing themselves and experiment with diverse audience cohorts by understanding their content preferences.
● Social commerce will entail creating content on social media platforms and converting it into purchases, i.e., merging content creation and commerce ecosystem to drive online sales.
● Branded creator IPs will scale in the new-age influencer marketing system. There will be an equity partnership where brands will provide content distribution for the influencer and get sales-driven content and packaging from them in return.
Note: This blog is an excerpt from a session on New-age Influencer Marketing with Aarushi Sethi, Business Head, and Director, Pollen (Zoo Media). The session was part of Elevate–a global virtual content summit organized by Pepper Content, bringing together industry leaders in content marketing.
Check out the video of the interview here.