Influencer Marketing: From a Blooming Tactic to an Exponential Approach?

It’s no secret that the world of marketing has been ostensibly flipped on its head over the last few years.

Traditional media advertising is often failing to serve consumer trust and we have witnessed a vast inbound advancement in social media and online platforms.  Global brands are adapting to this shift, acknowledging the prosperous realm of consumer authenticity and brand recognition available to them.

The rise of influencers is the new word of mouth. With advocates on one side and critics on the other, the most crucial decision to be taken by brands is whether or not to rest on influencer marketing as a primary strategy.

As consumers seek to find independent and trusted sources of entertainment, advice, and guidance, brands are looking towards influencers who align with their messaging, embody their brand personality and resonate with their target audience.  As a result, according to a study by Marketing Dive, around 70 percent of brands are now regularly working with influencers to connect and engage with their target audience online. Thus shifting influencer marketing from a baby tactic to a requisite strategy first thought of.

However, while many ‘fault-finders’ view influencer marketing as a ‘taking for granted' technique, proponents justify its relevance as a function of the growing need for customer "proof", and when executed with authenticity, a "tried and tested" manner in which brands can strategically position themselves within target segments.

There is however one question that remains: How effective is it?

Activate by Bloglovin’s research has found that 67 percent of marketers think influencer marketing campaigns helped them reach a more targeted audience, thus leading to more impactful results. Yet, on another note, the process of choosing the perfect fit for the brand is now marketers’ one and only struggle. While analyzing through reach, impact and influence consumer engagement we all mislay our way in the maze.

While some focus on macro influencers with an outstanding number of followers to grip for publicity, others focus on targeted micro influencers believing they’re more related to their brand or target audience. While both parties present a compelling argument, my own personal opinion drags me away from leaning on both criteria and rather, striking a balance between them.

The great irony of this discussion is that the more consumers turn to these trusted parties for honest advice, the more marketing empires draw up agreements for vast sums to advertise their products. And while the rising army of influencers rely on such opportunities to drive paychecks and publicity, the notion of influencer "authenticity" enters dubious territory for the user as they scrolls down the saturated newsfeed of  promotional posts.

Matthew Watt