Influencer Marketing: Where it wins out against Paid Advertising

Influencer Marketing like most digital marketing continues to evolve and take on many different avatars with the changing times. What may have worked last year or the start of this year, may not be relevant to your current campaign, therefore it is important to constantly update your Influencer Marketing Strategy. Following the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook and rumours of the sale of Twitter and Snapchat (as of writing this blog, Snapchat is valued at 25$Billion), no marketer can deny that these channels are currently at the top of the pyramid when it comes to social media marketing and Influencer marketing.

When it comes to digital media strategy, brand managers and marketers often debate the efficacy of influencer marketing versus the more traditional digital advertising. In this post, we will explore why Influencer Marketing is eating into more traditional marketing budgets and discuss where it wins out in the battle with paid digital advertising:

1. Engagement: The customer today is bombarded by content- through traditional media and on digital, social channels. Many even opt to use ad blockers and an article by Smart Insights puts the Click Through Rate (CTR) across all ad formats and placements Ad at just 0.17%. On the other hand, a study by SocialChorus found that Influencer driven campaigns garnered 16X more engagement than brand-led campaigns. Read this article on a campaign we ran for mobile innovator Meitu that averaged 4% as the engagement rate and why you should consider engagement rate as a key metric in your next campaign.

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2. Trust: Recommendations and Word of Mouth has only been strengthened in the digital age, according to a McKinsey study, when driven by word-of-mouth, marketing is seen to generate double the sales of paid advertising. This occurs because customers are more likely to trust the recommendations of individuals, even people they don’t know, over brands.

3. Brand Affinity: Paid advertising can make strides for your brand to build awareness but what can it do for brand affinity? Brand affinity looks more at how a user engages and identifies with your brand. When your target is brand affinity rather than brand awareness, the consumer feels a deeper connection with your brand and is ready to build a long-term relationship with you. Influencers can be utilised to tell your brand’s story in a way that isn’t seen as pushy or as an advertisement but rather touch on experiences that your target audience would identify with and be more likely to engage with.

4. Authenticity: One of the biggest myths when it comes to Influencer Marketing is that once engaged, influencers will share anything. But that is not the case, influencers have their own brand and audience to think of. They will not simply endorse a product without doing their due diligence. This enables them to truly recommend your brand and build a reputation for your brand based on their authenticity.

In a recent campaign for Lava, the Mobile brand wanted to take a different tactic in their marketing. In a market that has several players constantly emphasising and upgrading the features their products offered, Lava, instead wanted to build its reputation as trusted brand, one that would never let you down.

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Through the engagement of premium and top social media, Twitter Influencers and Bloggers with excellent social influence, the campaign could match the brand’s tonality and communicate the message that “Lava is reliable”.

To establish an association that the brand is one to trust, influencers were asked to get personal and share images and stories of the person that never lets them down, dedicate the post to them and tell audiences why they depend on this person unconditionally. They then drew a parallel between the qualities of the person and the qualities of trust, reliability and build strength that all Lava mobiles have.

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With close to 50 bloggers, premium social media influencers and premium twitter influencers, the campaign saw over 200 long and short form content pieces being created to achieve over 20,000 in engagement. Influencers were able to subtly integrate the brand into their posts and deliver stories that rang with authenticity while communicating and highlighting the brand’s unique proposition in the Indian market- one of trust that never lets you down.

Explore how the right influencers can tell your brand’s story and build brand affinity, contact us at deepak@ripplelinks.com

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