Have you ever heard of social media influencers? If you have, then you would have definitely heard of their influence online as well and how they control their followers through their opinions. Their single review of any product or service of a brand creates a humongous response in terms of generating millions of likes which will ultimately help in generating businesses for the brand which is scrutinized. They are online celebrities who discuss on a niche topic with authoritarian stance due to expertise in their domain.
The new term has been coined for this new age marketing of the brand through social media influencers which is called as “influencer marketing”. Influencer marketing is the advance form of “word of mouth” where people will discuss more about a brand when it is firstly discussed in detail by an expert with millions of followers than a non-expert.
According to a report published by a user-generated content marketing solution company “Chute”, 66% of the marketing executives who are surveyed used social media influencers as a marketing strategy in 2016. This survey is itself self-evident to justify how online marketing is influencing the traditional marketing and ultimately how social media influencers are influencing the online marketing.
Popular Platforms for Social Media Influencers
You can easily find various social media influencers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. according to the domain you are looking for such as food, gadgets, clothes, hacking, website building, etc. The famous social media influencers include Jake Paul, Shaun McBride, Neil Patel, Cristina Bazan, etc. with expert opinion on diverse topics.
Trusted vs Doubtful Social Media Influencers
Most of the social media influencers are becoming synonymous with transparency and authenticity with their reviews on various products and services such as gadgets, foods, automobiles, lifestyle, makeup, etc. which further help them in giving more responsive and loyal followers. The transparency by such influencers is maintained by discussing unbiased pros and cons, updating people on any mistake which may have happened during reviewing, etc.
You must also understand that there are some social media influencers who cannot be trusted due to their biased opinion by completely overlooking the negative features of a product or service of a brand which they are endorsing.
Trusted social media influencers are the people who are in real demand among various companies and organizations for promoting their brand online. Because ultimately authenticity is the most important factor in building company’s brand image which the influencers provide through their reviews to their millions of followers. And, this helps in better brand building and more business. At the end, you will pay more attention to the views of a real person than that of a robot through pop-up or pre-roll ad.
Earning through Sponsored Content
Companies fund them in the form of money or making them accessible with pre-released products for free and in return they create sponsored posts such as reviews on fitness gadgets, making food recipes by using sponsored food product, etc.
The social-media analytics firm “Captiv8” evaluated that famous brands are spending more than $255 million per month for creating sponsored posts through influencers on Instagram alone. Captiv8 says Instagram influencers who have more than 7 million followers are paid on an average of more than $150,000 per sponsored post. This data shows that how businesses are showing more trust on them.
Challenges in measuring ROI
But, one aspect which the brands must not overlook in online marketing is measuring the ROI which is still a challenge for most of them. Although, many tools and methods have come into the market but still it is more of a guesswork and the marketers must not completely trust and depend on such results. The brands must also onboard various decision makers such as statisticians, data analysts to measure it accurately.
If a brand wants to have a better reach through social media influence then they must provide social media influencers the creative freedom they need, so that they can also discuss the negative aspects of the brand if required.
This helps the review in not making it completely leaning towards the brand but making it more customer-centric.
Various companies have the reputation of controlling the type of post the social media influencers post which can cause many of the influencers of not working with such companies and it will ultimately affect the future business relationship with them. And, to make the influencer marketing investment by the firm more realistic, both the social media influencers as well as the brands themselves have to come together to develop the most accurate, authentic, and transparent tool to measure the brand’s ROI.