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Why Influencer Marketing is the Game Changer for Business Its merit as a marketing tool lies in how modern consumers pay less attention to a brand unless it's promoted by a peer or trusted source

By Amber Dermoudy

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Finding the right influencer is essential for your market positioning and campaign success. It's no secret that the easy days of TV to shelf marketing are long gone. Consumers of today are smart, savvy and connected shoppers — they have a plethora of choices available to them. Due to this, marketers have had to enhance their creativity to lure them towards their products and services. One such emerging method is influencer marketing.

Know the Basics

Influencer marketing is a product of many content-driven campaigns that have characterized the digital era up to this point. It capitalizes on the social media followership of an "influencer" who is usually an authority on a particular niche. In contrast to traditional celebrity endorsements, influencers are seen as potential consumers themselves. Its merit as a marketing tool lies in how modern consumers pay less attention to a brand unless it's promoted by a peer or trusted source. A study by US-based influencer marketplace Tomoson shows that businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for every dollar spent on influencer marketing campaign. According to another survey, 67 per cent of marketers believe that influencer marketing helped them expand their audience reach. On the customer side, a whopping 92 per cent of consumers say they trust an influencer more than they do traditional advertisements.

Return on Investment

If you've implemented influencer marketing or have been thinking about using it to grow your business, here are three ways to maximize return on investment:

Know your target audience: Your target audience will determine the characteristics of the influencer you need, the social platforms they use and also the offers that would appeal to them. Research your target audience, understand their sentiments and know their consumption behaviour before choosing any type of influencer-led marketing. A great tool for discovering some deeper insights on your audience is Facebook's Audience Insights tool, as it helps you discover demographics, likes, interests and activities of your particular audience.

Define success: It's important early on to establish your method for measuring your campaign's success. The most common indicators of return on investment, or ROI are, audience reach/impressions, engagement, follower growth, traffic increase, qualified leads and product sales. While at it, get hold of tools you can use to analyse the metrics you identified. For instance, Google Analytics gives valuable insights about website engagement and online sales. Try to also see the big picture when considering ROI and avoid fixating on a single metric.

Vet your influencers extensively: Any influencer worth its salt would know its audience, and would not sabotage its relationships by delivering content it doesn't believe in. There shouldn't be a conflict of values as you're enlisting influencers to create a dialogue with your target audience. It is thus, one must never give in to the lure of a large number of followers. There's a big difference between popularity and influence. It's common for influencers these days to buy likes and followers to boost their numbers.

There's no denying that influencer marketing is a powerful tool and when used properly it can have a big impact on both brand awareness and your bottom line.

Amber Dermoudy

Senior social strategist, APAC, Spredfast

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