We all want power.We want to be able to call the shots and make people do what we tell them.It’s not enough to have only those physically around you agree to everything you say, now social media has made us all power hungry. Likes and followership have become the new currency of self worth and the more people follow you, the more others are attracted to follow you. Everyone wants to be part of something,and what social media has done is create communities within that community, so whatever your interest is, there is probably a place where others like you are gathering and talking about it.
When everyone comes together for a particular mutual interest, there is usually someone driving the conversation. The person whose voice is the loudest ,drives the conversation and wields the “influence”, that is an influencer.
An influencer can also refer to a person or brand whose social media account has reach, engagement and opportunities for conversion. Influencers can act as a bridge between a brand and an audience, better explaining and communicating the brand or campaign beyond what an ad can do. Nowadays ads can be seen as intrusive and with so many ad blockers, the trend is to be subtle so as not to scare off consumers.
Influencers have come in as the go between in the sense that, they tell their audience about your brand in the way a friend or family member would do, they talk about their experience with it and because they have already established their voice with their audience there is more likely to be a greater chance of conversion, you can’t buy trust but trust can sell your brand.
The key words to understand in Influencer marketing are Reach, relevance and resonance.
- Reach : How many people will the message get to, Influencers nowadays have millions of followers, so there is a chance that the Influencer you have chosen can allow your brand reach a lot of people.
- Relevance : Another important question to ask in Influencer marketing is the question of relevance. Does your target audience actually care about it? Is it relevant to who they are? You cannot use Influencers in sports for fashion brands unless if the fashion brands are selling sportswear then the relevance has intersected, however some categories never meet, an Influencer in fashion cannot use Influencers in political matters.
- Resonance : so you’ve got the reach, you’ve got the relevance, but do the people care enough to act. This is the most important aspect to a brand, because this is the point of conversion and it can hinge on many factors. Expertise, gender , class , location , audience category and lifestyle. Even if your audience cares about the Influencer, if the price point is out of their budget or the product is not for their gender ,doesn’t fit their lifestyle or is not offered in their location then it cannot resonate up to the point of conversion.
In Nigeria, we don’t carry last, so you can be sure that Influencer marketing has already become a strategic part of major brands budgets, as they prefer to work with stars on social media than unknown actors as they previously did. It’s a much cheaper process in the sense that they can run it only on that Influencer’s social media channel and because it is archived online, it’s shelf life exceeds what a traditional media ad would usually get for them .Take for instance, Falz.Since he burst onto the scene with his viral comedic videos, brands have been swarming him left and right, Coca-Cola , St-Remy, Merry bet , Mtn and even Amstel Malta who paid a reported two million Naira for a one minute short skit. A one minute short skit on Instagram definitely costs a whole lot less than a traditional media ad that would be put on platforms where there are no analytics to measure engagement levels.
There are other Influencers also making power moves in their various fields and platforms, below are a few names you might want to keep handy
- Uche Eze-Pedro: The creator of popular beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog/website. She has devoted readers who beckon at her every word, so if a brand is into events planning, luxury fashion or even weddings they can always leverage on her already established brand, when Uche talks, her people listen (and buy!).
- J.Omojuwa: Political brain and nation builder. If your brand is organizing a symposium or seminar dealing with issues concerning politics, law or weighty subjects, then he is the one to call.
- Linda Ikeji:The queen of gossip has a mass market appeal that brands can leverage on. If the product or service is affordable and works, then plug it through her, she has so many that are keen to be like her and will do exactly what she says.
- Colin Udoh: The sports guru has built up a loyal fan base who regard his information as accurate seeing that he is very well connected. Brands involved in sports can use him for promotions. In his case the brand doesn’t only have to be selling sports good, Star and Guinness are heavily involved in sponsoring football and can always use his platform to reach out and engage customers.
- Chimamanda Adichie :At this point, She needs no introduction as her laurels keep pouring in everyday. She has given speeches at Harvard, had Beyonce use her speech in a song, and became a leading voice in the growing feminism movement. She is the new face of Boots(a British make up line) and collaborated with Saint-Laurent fashion house.
Influencer marketing is a trend that will continue to grow in popularity as social media continues to be the focal point driving the conversation of the day. It would be a well informed and wise choice for your brand to key into it. At Intense, we have a growing list of Influencers who can help your brand get the engagement and resonance that you need.