Reforming Instagram Marketing:
Gone are the days where people had to use an Encyclopedia in order to search for facts and answers, today, with the ever growing technological advancements, people are only one click away for giving their curiosity a rest! The Millennial and Generation Z, the two age groups that are influencing today’s world of Marketing have emerged to be the prominent target group. With technology at fingertips, the traditional method of instagram Marketing has seen a drastic improvisation in the recent years, targeting mass consumers. A new era of Instagram as a medium for Marketing, has seen the light through the magic weaved by the ‘Influencers’ on the ‘Instagram Users’.
The traditional way of displaying advertisements on billboards has failed to grab the required attention; because the attention span has narrowed down to Instagram platforms, thus creating a ‘go-to preference’ for majority of the target audience. For this instagram influencer even buy instagram followers, and buy instagram likes to attract more audience. Technology is a boon, if used wisely; however, we have seen a rapidly growing addiction to the Internet, among toddlers, kids, teens, young adults and even adults.
The infinite search pool persuades the habit of constant scrolling through thenever ending feed and updates leading to reliability on the digital world and making the users vulnerable to being influenced. Here comes an Influencer, who is not a direct consumer but acts as a content creator for promoting a particular product or service, by endorsing it to their fan base.
Origin and History of Influencers
Before understanding the Evolution of Influencer Marketing, exploring the essence of Influencer Marketing is essential. It could be easily conceived that the Influencers are today’s concept since the category is so refined; however, they have existed from the earlier times. Before the introduction of social media, businesses made use of famous personalities and cartoon characters to promote their products. For instance, during the 1920’s, Coca Cola, the beverage company, made use of a famous figure- Santa Claus, in order to promote their brand and increase the sales.
Celebrity Endorsements were also extremely popular, with Pepsi using the famous singer, Michael Jackson, popularize their drink by influencing the crowd to buy their product and Nike brand coming up with a slogan of ‘Just Do It’, using celebrities like Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson to endorse it. In the 21st century, the compulsion of exploiting the world of Instagram has become momentous, driving businesses to diversify the touch points of ‘Instagram Influencers’. Name an area of interest, be it lifestyle, food, beauty, health, fashion or even gaming, we have Influencers creating an impact and altering the buying pattern exhibited by the consumers, only with their reviews!
Crux of Marketing – Consumers
The biggest asset of an influencer is their loyal fan base, and hence, maintaining healthy follower ratio is a necessary activity for them. A constant need to innovate in the ways of touching base with these loyalists while engaging new set of audiences with stimulating content is a priority for all these influencers. Afterall, the fascinated fans not only increase the business for the endorsed products, but also, explore the brands to transform their likeability by purchasing alternative merchandise by simply checking out the tagged web pages. With such a strong hold on the mass consumers, it becomes mandatory for organizations to partner with various influencers for better product or service exposure. But how much of it is true?
According to statistical data, Influencer Marketing is a growing field with at least 33% of the Millennials depending upon various blog reviews of a product before buying and 40% of the consumers are said to have purchased a product after seeing it used by famous influencers on Instagram or YouTube. When data reads out how vital this Marketing segment is for a brand, Marketers are hopelessly and helplessly dependent on the Influencers for making or breaking a product.
Diversification in types of Influencers
Similar to Mega influencers, who are mostly approached by major brands have a very large number of followers, for instance, television stars, there are Micro influencers. The latter influencers are the ones who are more relatable, approachable and have considerable followers and are picking up the pace. They are picky as to which brands, they promote and have a very unique market segment they cater to because of their preferences. Nano Influencer Marketing, a fairly newly developed segment, is observing a rise. These influencers, with not more than 10,000 instagram followers, are those who have specialized in a particular field and are proficient in it. One might think with such less followers, how impactful their opinions might be?
Surprisingly, they have the strongest hold over their followers and are extremely loyal and seem to trust their opinions with a blindfold, without a what, how, who, why or which. Their charges are also minimal given their reach as well as have an incredible dominion over their followers and will soon be the sizeable and chosen family desired by different brands. For example, the in-vogue Key Opinion Leaders, like Journalists, who have considerable followers due to their extensive knowledge and credibility. Prominent figures like Shekar Gupta and Faye Dsouza have gained publicity based on their unbiased and utterly honest stand on current affairs. Thus, brands could foster their limelight if these notable personalities readily agree to exhibit their products or services, thus creating a competitive advantage.
Mediums for tapping into Customer Base
Instagram, a social platform, has seen an escalating demand among influencers, because of its user experience, the ease of posting genuine reviews of a product and tagging their respective brands. Tagging increases the brand visibility and awareness and stimulates the habit of clicking on the tag to navigate the source of the product.Interaction with the consumers to understand their views, queries and suggestions can be done through the comment option available on each post. During these pandemic times, where media consumption soared to greater heights due to multiple lockdowns, most of the businesses saw an increasing appetite towards this form of marketing. For example, an Indian Beauty Influencer- Kritika Khurana known as @thatbohogirl on Instagram, famous for her lifestyle and quirky fashion statement with a following of over one million, recently posted a photo wearing a beautiful Kurta from a clothing brand called Ishnya. She promoted the clothing brand by wearing it and giving it a good review on her Instagram post, thus influencing her followers to follow the clothing brand. Besides Instagram, firms utilize YouTube Influencers, targeting audiences who prefer hearing the reviews instead of reading them. In this fast-paced life, not everyone has the patience to read through a blog or article, thus video reviews become handy and captivating. A creative example of attracting consumers is the ‘Giveaway Contest’ conducted by these influencers on YouTube to increase youtube Subscribers; the participants have to follow a few steps in order to become eligible for becoming a winner. It could include posting a story, or updating a post or simply tagging a few friends on a post, thus promoting the brand, tapping into acquaintances and creating brand awareness.
Changing Dynamics of Influencer Marketing:
Product Review Blog is the most celebrated system of advertising a product, where the user rates and evaluates the object. Ranging from traveling, films, and wellness to cosmetics, fragrances and apparels, it is the most awaited judgment that the influencers have to offer to their spectators. This creates brand advocacy and directs the consumers towards purchases based on the stance of these influencers. The year 2020 saw a phenomenal surge in the digital world through a tool called Podcast, and is a promising future of the industry.
Podcasts can be considered to be a replacement for radios; however, the only difference is that space and time is not a factor to worry about and you can start and stop anytime you like. Analogous to how Instagram influencers use Instagram as a platform to create good content and influence their followers, Podcasts anchor on the fact that the speaker is able to hold his/her listener’s attention for straight 30-90 minutes on a particular topic, which can be about product or a service. Since the podcasts are recorded in real time, it makes the recommendations more raw and reliable, creating a prospect for strategic gain.
Conclusion and Way Forward:
These Influencers are often viewed as the ‘guru’ of the particular category they are endorsing, thus creating a trust among the potential buyers. Unlike the celebrities who have an over-the-top lifestyle, these ‘experts’ are commoners, like the majority of the crowd, and thus connect easily with their followers on a personal level.
Leveraging on this connect, they help shape attitudes and preferences of a lay-man, by promoting a product using experiences drawn from their own perspectives which are relatable. On the basis of this knowledge, a consumer is able to adapt to this behavior, thereby increasing the popularity or usage of the said product or service.Organizations utilize technology to analyze trends in terms of popularity, for example, hits on blogs, count of likes and number of followers, and use this information to partner with specific and favorable influencers. Advertisements are slowly growing outdated and boosting sales through this conventional method is losing its grip over the consumers, making Influencer Marketing a mandatory outlook. Influencers make use of various Instagram platforms like reels, feed, TV, post, insta live etc. to develop appropriate content and generating transactions. On a concluding note, we can easily state that Influencer Marketing is not only the future but will also be responsible in churning out a whole new divide of population which appeals only to this way of Marketing! So if you have not yet already partnered with a famous Influencer, now is the time for you to do so!