A few days ago, I was interviewed for the Ernst & Young (EY) Social Media Marketing India Trend Study. The report is very insightful if you are looking to explore questions like: “What are the key challenges that digital marketers are facing?” or “How do companies evaluate, strategize & invest in social”. Some of my thoughts were also published in the study and I also shared my thoughts on “How bloggers & influencers being leveraged by brands”. The key highlights of the report as follows:
Influencers & bloggers are early adopters , they have high online following/reach and always stay ahead of mass for testing new technology/product or services, this is major reason brands have started leveraging them for marketing.
Following are some of the ways, in which brands leverage these influencers:
- Review of new products, services & offering by offering them early access. (Example: Sending mobile devices way before launch or giving fashion accessories for testing)
- Outreach using their assets (blogs/Instagram/youtube/twitter/vine) or by sending them regular content (PR) or inviting them over events.(Example: CitiBank did #HappierDiwali & #OMGSale campaign purely using influencers & observed nearly 200% increase in sales)
- As a content creator for creating content that can be use as marketing for influencing normal audience. (Example: Gionee creating content with bloggers & doing digital media push to amplify it)
- Brand Evangelists & Guardian: Helps in feedback, research & also acts as beta testers for the future product of a brand & suggest add-on features that can be included in future releases. (Example: all major mobile OEM’s, automobile & FnB brands).
- As ORM (online reputation management) custodians by creating positive sentiments.
- Brand Ambassadors/Hosts as a face of the company, this helps in creating trust among audience & helps in uplifting the brand image.
- Brand giveaway hosted on bloggers/influencers platforms(can be blog/Instagram/twitter/youtube or others) to giveaway products.
Today, consumers act like ROBO (Research Online & Buy Offline). Influencers have large loyal audience; they can shape opinion of people and are usually ones whom people look up to, for advice while making big purchasing decisions. An authentic review or feedback of online influencers plays a major role in the purchase behavior of users. Brands are clearly seeing ROI out of this & keen in developing more avenues of native advertising by utilising bloggers.
You can download the complete report published by EY and use it to benchmark your key objectives, campaigns and media plans. It helps you to optimize digital strategies for your brand.