Influencer marketing or influence marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. This kind of marketing often targets thought leaders and popular figures that have influence over potential buyers.
It is not uncommon to see musicians, entertainers, public figures advertise a brand. Wizkid and Tiwa Savage’s Pepsi Long throat campaign; Hafiz Oyetoro (a.k.a. Saka) in Etisalat and MTN campaigns. They help the product/service gain momentum.
With the rise of social networking platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, the number of influencers can only be on the rise. For every area of endeavor, you can think of, from education to women rights to business to pets and even sex, there are influencers.
Why do should you care about Influencer marketing?
Robert Greene in his book, the Art of Seduction, revealed that people want to be lead; they always want to look up to people. A brand should capitalize on Robert Greene’s revelation to promote their goods and services.
You should care about Influencer marketing because of the bandwidth of the influencers’ social connectedness, authentic content, and earned consumer’s trust of long years of the relationship established between the influencer’s brand and your target market.
Influencer50 postulates a model for ranking influencers, and they include:
- Market reach
- Frequency of Impact
- Thoroughness of role
It is important that you ensure that your ‘influencer’ is perfect. A single unmarried lady serving as your influencer for a baby care product will be deemed a square peg in a round hole. Tiwa Savage championing the Pampers #MomKnowsbest campaign is a type of influencer marketing done right.
Influencer marketing can be very expensive. Getting an influencer to tweet, share your photo, or write a post or do some video about your product or service will cost a lot. This phenomenon is a thorn in the flesh of startup entrepreneurs and small-sized businesses.
It is also difficult to measure the influence of the whole marketing efforts. It is highly recommended that influencer marketing be used for the purpose of brand-building majorly; other reasons may be to launch a new product.
Lessons for the Nigerian Business’ ecosystem
As business owners, you need to choose the best influencer for your products. They are different kinds of influencers according to Keller and Berry:
- Activists: These are influencers that get involved with their communities, political movements, charities and so on. E.g. Oby Ezekwesili is an activist for girl child education to women rights and everything in between.
- Connected: These are influencers with very large social networks.
- Authoritative: These are influencers that are looked up to and trusted by others. Seth Godin is a perfect example of the authoritative influencer.
- Active minds: these are influencers with multiple and diverse interests. Leke Alder is an example of an Active Mind influencer with his interest spread across business, branding, religion and relationship management.
- Trendsetters: These are influencers that tend to be early adopters in markets.
The question remains what kind of influencer is the perfect fit for your business. Think about it, don’t assume!
Like it has always been stressed, a good influencer will not make up for a bad product/service; rather it will blow the deficiencies out to the world.