ADVENT OF INFLUENCERS IN MARKETING
Who would’ve thought that instead of a top shot celebrity, a brand will rather prefer a local girl from a small town to advocate for their brand image? Well, the world of marketing is witnessing an unforeseen evolution with the advent of social media influencers. You can like them, you can hate them, but one thing is for sure, that you won’t be able to ignore them.
According to me, an Influencer is any person who has the capability to change preexisting conceptions or form new conceptions in a field which they have expertise. Any person who has access to information and can present the content in a relatable to the audience is deemed as an ‘influencer’. While some influencers use their niche to disseminate information about social issues, others use it to showcase their talents while collaborating with brands on occasions. There are no rock-solid guidelines in the space of Influencer marketing, which makes this stream even more exciting.
To understand the psychology behind Influencer Marketing, let me give you an insight into the theory of Informational Social Influence. According to this theory, we tend to conform with the crowd in following an information provider who we consider authentic. These information providers can be anyone with a niche, like a doctor or a lawyer. Thus, in the field of Influencer Marketing as well, these influencers are considered experts in their verticals and we consider them as authority figures, which is why we tend to follow them in order to conform.
Influencer Marketing has opened up a lot of opportunities. The one big change that this trend brought froward was the decentralization of power. Earlier only a few elite celebrities like Bollywood Actors or Cricketers in India were deemed as Influencers. But because of the accessibility of Social media platforms, many influencers who belong to middle-class households can influence the opinions of millions of people. The celebrities used to obtain scripted speech which they tried to deliver in order to persuade followers, however, social media influencers infuse their own knowledge and bring a lot of authenticity to the table.
The big question still remains, ‘Can Influencers replace all forms of Traditional marketing’? While the traditional formats of marketing have adapted to the changes brought by the changing circumstances, it is tough to forgo its importance. Influencers are a brand in themselves. They may add an angle to your brand, but they can never be committed to t alone which is a Catch 22 in terms of authenticity. On the other hand, the traditional marketing agencies shine as and when the brands shine, indicating deeper levels of commitment.
The core takeaway is that Influencers are here to say, and this space has involved even more during the lockdown period. A brand which does not acknowledge their influence is on its way to become obsolete.