We have invented hundreds of modern ways of advertising. However, word of mouth remains a strong medium of advertising; one with powerful impact in terms of brand awareness. No matter what you say, customers tend to believe more what other customers are saying. This brings us to influencer marketing; a much sought after topic in today's marketing regime.
Base line of influencer marketing is to persuade a customer to love your brand to the extent he/she passes on positive word of mouth to other people. The main part of strategy is to identify this customer who has the power to influence. Not every customer is an influencer but every customer can be an influencer. Confusing? Let's put it in simple words.
The Indian batsman Virat Kohli is known for his fitness workouts and drinking Evian; a premium French brand of water marketed as full of important nutrients and minerals. Fans following Kohli will be inspired to use this brand. Kohli is the influencer because of his celebrity status. This does not imply that people who are not media persons or celebrities cannot become an influencer.
Talib; an employee in a local telecom company's customer care happens to be social. He has more than 700 people in his Facebook profile. Not a celebrity or media person, but Talib can provide a positive influence if he leaves a status saying he loved the new brand of breakfast Swiss rolls. Though not as powerful an influencer as Kohli, Talib is an influencer never-the-less.
Now let's answer the question; how to convert a customer into an influencer? The fundamental method remains same. You need to identify what the customer actually wants. Your product should answer solutions to their problems so that they become brand loyal. A brand loyal customer can initiate a snow ball effect.
Imagine a customer providing positive remarks about a new app at a friends’ gathering, college class, in a casino or on social media. This will trigger other people to try the app and pass on the information to their social circle and so on and so forth. An insignificant remark by one happy customer created multiple dedicated brand promoters.
And do you know you never paid them. Such kind of influencer marketing is budget friendly. And do you know Evian never paid Kohli to be their brand ambassador. Kohli was merely pictured frequently with this brand water bottle. And without paying a penny and without Kohli saying a single word, Evian had a powerful influencer.
Brands can choose to take control of the whole process of influencer marketing. They can hire popular celebrities, bloggers, You Tube or Instagram sensations or politicians and artists. While this may provide wonderful returns on Investment, let us not forget that not every business is in a position to afford this option at the first place.
Influencer marketing is all about one to one personal interaction. Whether high profile or not, the influencer interacts with audience directly in favour of your brand. Such interactions lead to powerful brand promotion and loyalty that ultimately leads to higher profitability and continued business growth.