Influencer marketing vs. brand development
Marketers agree that influencer marketing is a long-term effort and can be more effective than branding. The effect of such activities is to increase sales, and thus profits.
Does influencer marketing = brand awareness?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which a product, service or brand is promoted through an influential person, often of the online creator. This technique can be likened to referral marketing or word-of-mouth marketing, but conducted on a much larger scale than the traditional equivalent of these techniques. Influencer marketing is reflected in Katz and Lazarsfeld’s two-stage information flow model, which points to three stages of message transmission: marketing message – influencer – recipient. Whereas brand awareness is nothing else but brand awareness, i.e. the ability to identify a company by the consumera. Both of these components are important for building a stable brand position in the market.
Types of influencers due to their popularity:
- megaviews (number of followers over 500 thousand.)
- macroinfluencers (number of followers 100-500 thousand).)
- micro-influencers (number of followers over 20k).)
- nano-influencers (number of followers up to 5,000).)
According to the research Influencer marketing – effectiveness and trends 2019, micro-influencers and influencers with medium reach are the most popular in Poland, as these groups have a good price to audience engagement ratio. So, why you should invest in relationships with micro-influencers? Influencers with smaller reach have the ability to define their target audience more precisely. The cost of such cooperation is much lower than with mega-influencers. At the micro level, collaboration is often done on a barter basis.
Breakdown of influencers by other categories:
- kid influencer (child as influencer)
- pet influencer (animal as influencer)
- graninfluencers (senior influencers)
The last group of influencers is the most popular. Graninfluencers or also known as silver influencers are older people who have gained fame in social media due to their life experience. Such users gain popularity thanks to their sincerity, simplicity and great distance to themselves and the surrounding reality. Influencer marketing is based on components such as increasing brand awareness in the target audience, creating engaging content, increasing sales and increasing website traffic. Three types of influencer partnerships can be delineated – Barter (mutual benefit), payment for an entry, commission and combo – that is a combination of the previous two.
Influencer marketing credible for consumers
According to a report conducted in 2019 for Social Media Today, Of the 81% of brands that chose to use influencers, 51% said that they generate better returns than other marketing activities. This type of marketing is a kind of digitized snail mail. Their recommendations seem to be inherently more credible than those of celebrities who are less trusted. Most professional influencers take their role very seriously. Opinion formers carefully analyze a brand before starting to work with it. Whether the products or services they offer are consistent with their values and views. Influencers are aware that if they present a doubtful product, they may lose in the eyes of their audience. A mutually nurturing relationship between a blogger and a company causes observers to increase their trust in the brand. It would be difficult for a company to build credibility and awareness among consumers in such a short period of time. The consequence of authenticity is trust. Research shows that 40-53% of people who follow influencers on social media make purchases based on influencer recommendations. However, in order for this type of marketing to bring the expected results and increase brand awareness, you need three key elements: an appropriate platform (preferred by the target group), a well-developed strategy, and reliable influencers.
How to study brand awareness?
Brand awareness is most often measured using CATI, or structured telephone interviews. Optionally, other methods such as PAPI (paper-based interview questionnaires) and CAWI, i.e. online interviews, are also used. The research uses spontaneous awareness, i.e. the percentage of the target group that is able to say the brand name without the interviewer’s help. If the respondents are unable to state, the researcher may suggest certain attributes of that brand. Then we talk about aided awareness. TOM awareness. Top of Mind means the brand that comes to mind first. An important aspect is also the measurement of advertising awareness. Due to the number of brands around us, research is often conducted using a market categorization. The impact of the effectiveness reach, i.e. the percentage of the target group that came into contact with the advertising message, also has a significant impact on creating brand awareness among consumers.
Every consumer is an influencer?
This question can definitely be answered in the affirmative. At this point, it’s worth leaning into the stimulus-response model. A reference to media theory can undoubtedly illuminate this bold answer. Denis McQuail mentioned that this model is short term and individual in nature. Everyone shares their opinions and possible recommendations on brands. This kind of referrals can activate for us when someone of our friends communicates about their intention to buy a product. All too often we refer to our consumer experiences and recommend or advise against using a brand’s offering.
Undeniably, influencer marketing and branding are activities that go hand in hand. But focusing solely on branding may not be enough.
In the mobile sphere, it is very easy to implement these activities due to the increased activity on social networks. Currently, there is a multitude of different brands on the market, which very often offer the same products. It is influencer marketing that can determine their effectiveness, especially since 51% of brands (Social Media Today report) reported an increase in sales after using this marketing method.