Influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing and widely accepted apparatus of marketing. This unique type of marketing is one which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market. This type of marketing identifies influential individuals whose influence over potential end buyers is huge.
Influencer marketing comes in diverse forms, one of which may either be framed as testimonial advertising where influencers play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties.
Influencer marketers also come as the regular but prominent people such as;
- Professional advisers
Brands are evolving in terms of marketing. While putting an ad on television has a high cost, working with an influencer has a negligible cost in relation to the possible benefits it can receive.
For example, if an influencer has 200,000 followers on Instagram and a company gives them a product on the condition that he exposes it to his audience, this company would be making an investment of the cost of a product in exchange for reaching at least the large most followers of the public figure.
More and more people are using the Internet and more importantly speaking in terms of marketing, more and more people are using online platforms to make purchases.
This increase in the number of online purchases forces some companies to invest more resources in their general advertising on the Internet and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or those already named Instagram and YouTube among others.
One widely used form of influencer marketing in Nigeria is the Brand Ambassadorship which has been the well-known form of marketing.
Brand Ambassadorship is basically influencer marketing in disguise. However, the goal at the end of the day is to get a person of influence to indirectly drive the marketing force of a product or service to achieve improvement in sales and popularity but most importantly, sales.
Although, Brand Ambassadorship barely survived a decade in Nigeria as brands spent more funds on acquiring brand ambassadors than delivering actual quality products and services to their end consumers.
It is also noteworthy that most of the people that are touted as influential in Nigeria are just popular not necessarily influential and that, is why it is difficult for brand ambassadorship to convert sales especially in a country like Nigeria where delivery of premium quality services to consumers is not top priority for brands.
However, the influx of social media personalities (celebrities) have taken the shine off brand ambassadors as the monopoly to be an influencer has been broken especially with the growth of social media users which is a result in the improvement in internet penetration in Nigeria.
From entertainment, controversial topics (social/political) analysis, sports, science/technology, history, education, governance to creativity, people are creating niches for themselves and are fast becoming forces to be reckoned with in their own niches.
Their strength lies in their steady followership growth due to how much interest people show in their niches (content-wise).
Brands who have struck the gold mine which social media is, know to not overlook the affordable marketing tool which influencer marketing has made itself.
However, don’t get it twisted, for every efficient method of getting results, there are always those who take advantage of system. Basically, what is being pointed out from that statement is that there are also fake influencers. Fake influencers have been around as far back as real influencers have. All metrics that are used to determine the realness of an influencer account can be fabricated.
Social media platforms like Instagram has shut down third-party sites and apps which provide paid services to individual accounts for buying followers, likes, comments and more. Despite these shutdowns, self-hosted Instagram automation apps such as FollowLiker ignore Instagram legal actions and continue to thrive.
A marketing agency recently conducted an experiment to test whether fake influencer accounts can profit, the company created two fictitious Instagram influencer accounts grown completely with bought followers and engagement (likes and comments) and applied to campaigns on popular influencer marketing platforms.
They published their experiment online with step-by-step explanation of how the two accounts are created, and the brands that sponsored them.
As attractive as influencer marketing is, every brand needs a guide into how to tread the effective but treacherous path of marketing & that is exactly why digital media firms like The Alpha Reach are need especially for consultation.
The Alpha Reach is an online reputation management company with over 9 years of experience in delivering top notch digital community management services to a long list of satisfied clients.
They work with companies, brands, governments and non-governmental organizations in shaping and controlling narratives online and promoting businesses using social media.
The Alpha Reach boasts of an online audience of over 30 million young Africans and partnerships with major news platforms and blogs through the acquisition of some of Nigeria’s influencer marketers on the top echelon.
They have a dedicated team of digital marketing experts, content managers, online influencers, graphic designers and creative writers who are well versed in shaping narratives and improving brand perception.
In brevity, influencer marketing is the new advertising that costs less but reaches more by depending on the reach of influential targets. The magnitude of the ripple effect from engaging the right people in this strategy is unquantifiable.