Let’s start with another question. What is the number one mistake we, as startup owners or marketers, make?
We hide behind our brand!
People are much more likely to believe other people, not a brand – not a website, but other real people. This is the core of our human relationships. We inherently trust other human beings.
And this is also why Influencer Marketing works, in India and everywhere else. Of course, there are other practical reasons also – the reach is faster, return on investment is better, targeting is accurate – but the real reason is people who already ‘influence’ an audience are mentioning or promoting a brand.
Even the most cynical of us will eventually associate the credibility of the person with the credibility of what she is promoting.
The deeper part of the question hinges upon what we mean by ‘working’.
We have a product or a service and we want to take it in front of our target audience. In this context, I have no doubt that among the digital marketing options available to us today, Influencer Marketing is one of the best & undoubtedly one of the fastest.
However, as with everything else, there are pitfalls aplenty.
For example, today everyone with a YouTube channel or Instagram profile is claiming to be an influencer. Verifying the authenticity is not a simple matter of looking at the number of followers or subscribers. Doesn’t matter if there are 5 subscribers or 5M – if one doesn’t have an ‘influence’ over these people – it is not influencer marketing.
I like to explain Influencer Marketing as a sum of three critical steps:
- Understanding the product or service that needs to be promoted. Some products are more suited than others. B2B products need a different strategy than B2C products.
- Carefully curating the Influencers who can add value. We have an already shortlisted group of influencers, but even then not all will be good for every brand. There are fine differences in the type of posting & the nature of the audience. Someone needs to go over the list with a fine comb before we are confident of that these are the right people.
- Own, execute and track the campaign. Even with the right influencers, you need to make sure the message, the imagery, the intangible – all fit perfectly with the brand.
We work with a huge range of brands and influencers – the first step is always to engage in a transparent conversation to ensure if this is the right time for your brand.