INFLUENCING THE INFLUENCER
Don’t be surprised if we tell you that Influencer marketing isn’t a new phenomenon but an old one, and marketers have been using it to up their sales since ages. The term ‘Influencer Marketing’ might have found its way into the mainstream marketing vocabulary only a few years back, however influencer marketing made its entry into the marketers’ repertoire long back.
Consumers have long been acting on the recommendations of experts (read influencers) and buying products/services, thus affirming that influencer marketing isn’t new.
Simply put, an influencer influences the end-customer to the extent that out of the many options available, they are most likely to buy the products suggested by the influencer. Please note, influencers are different from celebrity brand ambassadors. For e.g., an influencer can be an architect, interior designer or mason when it comes to building materials, a plumber when it comes to bathroom fittings, or a mechanic when it comes to automobile service & spares. Teachers and principals are definitely influencers when it comes to educational products/services.
So what should a brand do to engage with its influencers?
Our experience suggests that a brand must do the following to influence the influencer:
1. Increase brand awareness and engagement with the influencer community
2. Equip and Incentivize influencers to swing end-customer purchase decisions
3. Help the influencer to grow his/her business
A mix of economic benefits, skill development & certification, product training, and personalised engagement is seen to work well with various influencer segments.
The proportion of these tools must be calibrated on the basis of the profile of influencers and salience of the business. But be it any segment, surprises such as celebrating a personal milestone of the influencer, or even a simple birthday greeting has been proven to go a long way in cementing bonds with the influencers.
Ease of doing business is something influencers value. E.g. contrary to conventional wisdom, we have seen wholehearted adoption of mobile apps by influencers such as masons and plumbers because of the value and flexibility it brings to them.
The challenge that most brands face is to acquire, engage and activate influencers at scale. We at NetCarrots would be delighted to partner you in your journey to forge newer ways of engaging with your influencers pan-India.
As always would love to hear your thoughts. Please do post them in the comments section or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/traits-that-make-a-leader_n_5959298