Influencer Marketing Is Now Bigger Than Digital Ads

Everywhere you look people are online looking at their phones and interacting with different social platforms.

If you haven’t noticed we are surrounded by influencer marketing on all four sides.

We inhale and exhale influencer marketing constantly every day and still many of us are not fully aware of what it really is.

While the world is modernizing and the people’s voice growing, we have broken through into a new era of digital marketing, a more natural type of marketing done through influencers.

Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties.

It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers and orients marketing activities around these influencers.

“Marketing with influencers is turning influencers into advocates of the firm.”

Before we go into any details about this type of marketing, one should clearly know what it is.

What is influencer marketing?
This kind of marketing focuses on an individual, rather than large groups of consumers to advertising the brand’s message.

The individual here is referred as the ‘influencer’ who is hired to get out the word for your brand.

In this game of influencer marketing, these influencers may be the potential buyers themselves.

They usually play the roles of content writers, journalists, bloggers, CEO’s, creative people, advertisers or advisers.

They are connected to other people around them and are looked to for advice and opinions and are regarded as influential.

Content marketing and social media marketing are regarded as the two major forms of influencer marketing.

How does influence marketing work?
Nowadays, users give more reaction to ratings on social media or opinions of a person rather than believing in advertisements.

This is made the basis of influencer marketing where an influencer will write about the products in their personal and social channels.

People tend to believe what the influencers have to say about something, over the media.

Many marketing companies don’t even have influence marketing on their radar as it such a unique method of the product. In many cases, it’s out of their control as more of an individual voice takes hold rather than the standard static corporate ad.

Digital ads are not given the same interactive and emotional response by the consumer.

The feedback and ratings on social media about a particular brand or product also adds greatly to the product or brand being showcased and is the new product placement platform.

Why is influencer marketing now bigger than digital advertising? & How did that happen?

Trust and honesty is a very important factor in marketing.

We all know which media we trust and distrust and in most cases just simply by the subject header.

Traditional media is scrambled with misinformation and the general consumer would rather interact with their products or services of interest on a social level.

Consumers do not buy goods or services unless they are completely assured that the product or service is perfect for their needs in every way.

It is believed that if you influence the mind, you have the world in your hands and that’s what influencers are doing.

Influencers have built up relations in order to gain trust to become, influencers. Much commitment and nurturing have gone into building those connections.

When it comes to building up relations and creating a positive message around a specific brand that is where influencer marketing has a higher standard compared to digital advertisements.

Let’s throw light upon, Influencer marketing as ‘THE NEXT BIG THING.’

  • As seen on: “Social Media”.

As the world has shifted to social media, consumers look upon at fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions.

Instead of looking at companies, as they did in the past, they now look at each other and at their favorite personalities, who are consolidating massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other platforms.

The rise of the social media influencer has created a world of possibilities;

It has opened up a flood of new waterworks for brands to connect with consumers directly and on a larger scale through more organic natural marketing method of influence like a new age word of mouth.

  • Provides a better description with an Interactive messaging platform. With each social media interaction or reaction, it promotes the possibility for hundreds of more people to view your message through the social connections in their network.

While digital ads are solely comprised of precise information about the goods, an influencer approach to the market has its own ways of attracting people with all the accurate description and information about the products and services in a more interactive, consumer arena, that has an organic life to the message.

Influencers are trusted to provide the updated details of the products or services they are dealing with and the message can also be slowly released over many days weeks or months.

It is considered the job of an influencer to gather up all the points about the marketing campaign and forward that message to the consumers.

To ensure this, the influencers are often paid for their job. If not paid, then they are provided with incentives by the company they are working for or in some cases sharing content with their readership for no other motive than to educate and to encourage interaction among the network.

Unlike digital ads most of the time influencers are “not selling anything” and are simply sharing information to create a more positive network of influence or to encourage participation and interaction on topics that can truly help. They might choose to follow up through other methods of communication like an email newsletter to promote products or services an advertising services.

When comparing social marketing to digital ads, I sort of side by side comparison, a static digital ad does not provide depth as they comprise of banners and poster type ads and do not have any opinion oriented objective.

The old and outdated information may soon turn away consumers.

  • People are more likely to trust other people than advertisements

Influencer marketing has the concept of ‘word of mouth.’ This pretty much sums up how people get to trust the influencers. Where advertisements could be nothing more than made up stories or exaggerations in the sight of many consumers, people are likely to trust their fellow friends and society when they tell them about a certain product.

That’s when influencers form relations in order to promote the market;

The influencer campaigns help a lot in the process The earned trust helps the market to flourish, after all, marketing is based on gaining consumers trust so let’s have the consumers interact with the message.

  • Much simpler

Influencer marketing is a much easier and simpler way of marketing than the digital ad marketing.

Not only is the way of attracting people simpler but the way of actually putting it up does not require many efforts other than the creative element.

In this era where everything is made simpler by the internet, successful marketing has been made an achievable task by the social platforms and online facilities.

You write about it and post about it online and within minutes thousands of viewers are peeking into your blogs and journals.

The online facility helps to connect people worldwide.

  • Market grows faster

Apart from being a simpler way of marketing, influencer marketing helps to boost up markets at a great rate.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

– Albert Einstein

The influencer way of marketing has an advantage of doing wonders online which helps to connect influencers with people from all over the world.

  • Any queries about a product are immediately facilitated and generally much more appreciated than an email, support ticket response or any other type Q&A delivery.

May it be social media or content driven market, people get the answers to many of their questions about a product immediately in influencer marketing and much more view the comment responses making the viewership quite extraordinary.

In the case of social media marketing where the advertisement is placed on all the frequently used social sites, people get to know about other opinions about products, which greatly helps them sum up any purchasing decisions.

Apart from this, they are also connected to other people on the social media (which in this case acts like influencers) who tells them about many goods and hence solves many queries.

In the case of the content driven market, influencers are already there to respond to any queries of the consumers. This way any doubts about a product are removed.

  • It’s powerful. Yet simple.

Influencer markets are powerful in their own manner. The content shared by influencers is powerful and authentic. They have the ability to gain people’s trust and reliance, all that is needed.

Thoughts and opinions are shared through influencer markets and better relations are created even with consumers that live miles away.

“The marketing roots with any social platform are quite strong and are not easy to cut down.”

  • The writings can do wonders

All those bloggers, journalists, content writers, CEO’s out there portrays the market accurately through their writings which depend upon proofs, opinions, and ideas of many consumers.

These pieces of writings are much more convincing than the digital ads that consist of a couple of pictures and slogans. The writings talk about the feedbacks and opinions of other people and influencers which is a quality that digital ads market surely lags. We just might have seen the peak of the market for digital advertising and ads.

  • The advantage of videos

Digital ads that usually consists of banners and posters have become very less influencing when the social media is filled with videos about the products.

Living objects are automatically more attractive than still lives. Influencers have started making use of videos in their contents to influence the people which is turning out to be another plus point of the influencer marketing.

  • Celebrities as Influencers

Consumers are influenced greatly when their favorite celebrities post about a certain product.

This has become a growing area of influencer marketing that celebrities are used as influencers to attract people towards a specific product. Like television commercials, where celebrities are used as influencers, they are made influencers on social media nowadays where they post about how they have become the customers to a certain product.

This practice does not even require any convincing as many people will blindly believe in the quality of the thing when their favorite celebrity buys it.

No wonder, influencer marketing is taking over.

  • Online feedback

When influencer market is on social media the feedbacks of the consumers becomes very important for marketing purposes. The market grows with positive feedbacks, and similarly, it shrinks when the feedbacks are not in the favor of the goods and services.

People today believe greatly in the ratings and online opinions of the consumers.

Influencer marketing is largely driven by this concept of online ratings and participation and thus is rapidly growing.

  • Honest opinions

Consumers value opinions and ideas more than advertisements.

In the world of influencer marketing, the opinions of people act as influencers on the social sites and are just as important.

If not all then most of the feedbacks and opinions of people about a particular service or product are honest.

Finding honest opinions about a thing, a person, or a company is able to purchase the product.

In the case of digital ads marketing, there are hardly any opinions shared as the ad platform does not allow for such interaction.

  • Time efficient

Influencer marketing is instant and is purely based on the established relationship between the influencer and their network.

The fact that influencer marketing is taking over digital Ads just might be happening now.

It has been estimated that in another few years influencer marketing will take over all the other marketing strategies and will become the biggest marketing practice by the year 2020

Midsized Company Marketing and Marketing Communications – Four Keys To Success in Today’s Market

“It’s a buyer’s market!” We seem to be hearing that everywhere these days, whether it’s for a consumer or business to business (B2B) product or service purchase, this economy has taught our customers a new way to purchase. And, with the plethora of new technology providing information sources to evaluate and compare a brand’s attributes and reputation before purchase, how we now market to our customers – both new and existing – represents a series of challenges.

As a B2B or consumer marketer in this new marketing environment, how marketing and marketing communications plans and tactics should be developed and employed is a dilemma for everyone. But it’s possible to overcome these challenges – here are four critical keys to success.

Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is a major priority. Like the management of many midsized companies, you probably think you know what your existing and potential customers want and believe about your brand. But do you really?

Before you spend your limited marketing dollars, isn’t it a better idea to use market research to determine – beyond price – what is most important to your target audience? And how they rate your product and its attributes compared to your competition?

Also, don’t forget to conduct research with your own employees and channel partners to find out how their opinions match up with your customer’s wants and needs. Employees and channel partners can be your best brand advocates, but they’ve got to be in sync with the priorities of your customers and prospects.

Investing marketing communications dollars to uncover and then promote what your customers actually want is key to improving your marketing ROI. The old adage, “Look Before You Leap”, has never been more true.

Value Both New and Traditional Media
Traditional media, such as print and broadcast advertising, events, direct mail and public relations, still remain very important marketing tools. But, becoming equally important, are blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, webinars, online videos, and a whole host of new media alternatives. All have value, and learning how to use them in concert is vital. But you must take the time to understand their relative effectiveness, not just their efficiency.

The question to address is which media mix of these marketing communications tactics to employ to keep existing customers, much less gain leads for new customers. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these tactics with your target audience presents some interesting challenges, and you have to be able to separate the myths from the facts. For example, did you know that:

  • 47 percent of Americans, between 50 and 64 years of age, are now actively using social media, up from 22 percent in April, 2009 (Pew Research);
  • Magazine readership has actually increased over the past five years, even in the 18 to 34 year old segment (MPS);
  • While U.S. advertising spending declined by 9 percent in 2009 to $117 billion, cable television advertising increased by 17 percent, and Spanish language television advertising increased by 32 percent (Media Reports);
  • Nearly two-thirds of consumers “value their direct mail”, but only 36 percent of marketers believe this – clearly a disconnect (USPS):
  • Retailers who post messages online have found that shorter posts (with fewer than 80 characters) receive 66 percent higher engagement that longer posts. And specific “dollars off” messages receive higher redemption than more general “percentage off”, “deal” or “bargain” phrases (Buddy Media).

Clearly, understanding the benefits of both traditional new media, especially for a midsized company with limited resources, is very important. Both are impactful, and finding the right mix for your business is another key to your success.

Participate in Content Marketing
Recently, there has been an explosion of content marketing to meet the demand for information by inquisitive buyers. Whether in the B2B or consumer marketing communities, existing and prospective customers have started looking to blogs, videos, articles, white papers and case studies to provide them with ongoing and fresh sources of information.

The depth of information now available to customers, and the speed at which it is available to them, when they want it, can raise brand awareness, improve reputation, develop qualified leads and achieve profitable sales engagement. It cannot be ignored. But there are issues. In a recent B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report from HiveFire, among nearly 400 marketing professionals:

  • Nearly 70 percent of content “curators” say lack of time hinders their efforts;
  • Two-thirds say a lack of original and quality content is a major disadvantage;
  • 37 percent say lack of expertise to do the work is a major problem, while a like number have difficulty in measuring ROI.

But, recognizing the importance of content marketing and addressing these problems could be another key to your success.

Don’t Go It Alone
Truly understanding your audience, learning about new as well as traditional media opportunities, and developing an impactful content marketing program represent major keys to improving your marketing and marketing communications ROI. But there’s more.

Probably a lot of smart thinking has already gone into creating your business strategy, plans and tactics. But, like most midsized companies, you may be understaffed and underfunded to make the changes to take advantage of these marketing tools in today’s environment. The solution – don’t go it alone.

Consider partnering with established senior level consultants to help you and your team develop, refine and implement your programs. Above all, look for consulting groups who are “media neutral”, and aren’t selling one particular marketing discipline. And be sure they have extensive experience across industries and brands, as well as a willingness to “tell it like it is”, so candor will flourish. And, happily, finding the right consulting partner to work with you could turn out to be the fourth key to your marketing success.

5 Incredible Digital Marketing Tactics for Online Startups

Here are some of the factors that you should consider when setting up the marketing strategy:

Target audience;
Social integration;
Online environment;
Maintenance;
Follow-up marketing;
Content offerings;
Conversion and CTAs;
Differentiators; and
Industry

Setting an effective digital marketing strategy is essential before you even think about the money that you should spend.

Benefits of crafting an effective digital marketing strategy
Today, digital growth demands for multiple-channel marketing campaigns. Having a clear marketing strategy helps you get an idea of how your multiple marketing channels relate with each other. Using the right strategy will ensure that everything is running smoothly whether it’s paid digital ads or content marketing.

A good marketing strategy is crucial when it comes to determining the amount that you should spend for your marketing campaigns. It allows you to determine how to allocate budgets and milestone costs.

An effective digital marketing strategy will help you identify where your prospective customers are located and how you can reach them. Different audiences require a certain strategy to engage them. For example, you may consider using social media campaign for a certain audience, while others might be more likely to engage with compelling PPC campaign.

I understand that different digital marketing strategists and agencies use their own proven marketing strategy. Below I have outlined the 5 tactics that will help you craft an outstanding marketing strategy process.

I have used these tactics to understand my customer needs and identify effective tactics that I often use to create successful marketing campaigns for their businesses.

1. Project Kick Off
As a professional digital marketer, I understand that identifying objectives and goals is the first step to a successful marketing campaign. Learning about a few facts regarding my clients helps me create a cohesive project timeline, as well as project brief.

The initial phase is critical whether you’re dealing with a new brand that is looking for the best place to start or an existing company that is looking for effective ways to maintain and improve their client base.

Please note that your kick off will help you have a clear understanding of the overall project.

2. Market Research & Analysis
Carrying out research and analysis is essential in order to determine the cultural and market trends that are linked to the brand and the customers. At this stage, you should typically audit the industry and evaluate its characteristics and landscape.

By doing this, you will easily determine your target audience and have a clear understanding of what they want. In addition, it helps you come up with a strategic process that reveals what your clients actually need from your company or brand.

3. Engagement phase
The third stage is the engagement process. At this period, you should determine how you can best interact, engage, connect, and communicate with the right audience at the right time, using the best tactics.

I often take advantage of key performance indicators which show me whether the company will get more customers when I implement certain tactics. Yes, I can easily do this because, at this point, I have gained a thorough understanding of the industry and objectives.

I write compelling content that is dedicated and tailored to address specific audience needs during the engagement phase.

4. Effective Concept Development
Now, we proceed to the effective concept development stage, after laying a proper foundation in the initial stages. Go ahead and develop campaign creatives for your digital marketing project.

Individual needs of your clients, the ultimate goals of your brand, as well as each and every piece of creative, come first. This way, you can easily execute effective tactics that serve your customers’ purpose and needs.

5. Execution Plan
It is advisable that you create an effective action plan for executing your ideas during this stage. Refresh an effective strategy when dealing with both new and existing brands.

You should present a timeline for the execution of all initiatives, develop effective media plans and make recommendations for budget allocation.

Implementing effective marketing tactics for your business
Your business needs an effective marketing strategy in order to thrive online. Failure to that, you will face rampant competition from your competitors. There is a good chance that your business will succeed and dominate your industry online if you have put in place a well-thought-out marketing strategy to meet your company’s objectives and goals.

Crafting Your Public Relations Strategy

Public relation is the process of developing a public image for any business or brand. It is the function of PR to ensure that the brand, service or company is positively positioned in the minds of the public.

In the view of many experts, branding and public relation go hand in hand. Brand managers and other brand development personnel are accustomed to the PR concepts because they are responsible for ensuring that the brand has a positive public identity.

The basic characteristic of a successful PR campaign is that it remains invisible. Unlike advertising or marketing, a campaign leaves no trace of its existence in any form. It is the most intangible form of brand development and customer loyalty.

Hence, we can confidently say that public relation works towards news generation. When a brand launches a marketing campaign and news channels air its happening, it is also categorized. The viewer of the channel is totally unaware that whatever he/she is viewing is part of the PR campaign.

Public relations tend to work from behind the scenes. It never leads from the front; instead, it supports the brand from the back-end. Yet, it is public relations that take the company and its brand forward. Only through proper PR campaign can a brand succeed in generating consumer interest. Once the interest is generated, customer ends up purchasing the product. Hence, public relation can translate into profit generation as well.

Another benefit of a successful public relation campaign is that it brings the brand to the notice of the target audience. It results in providing the brand such mobility that it can conveniently walk up to the customer and convince him/her that it is what he/she desires.

However, it must not be misunderstood that public relation is all about messages and their delivery. In relation to brands, public relation is the crucial function of giving the consumers a feeling that “this brand is for me”. It creates an identity of the brand that the consumers can easily associate them to. It communicates to them the importance of a certain brand that can have in their lives. It gives them the confidence that no other product or brand can satisfy their particular need. And the best part lies in the fact that all this is done without the consumer even knowing about it.

Another objective that it achieves is that it creates feelings of familiarity and reliability in the consumer mind. Being marketers, we all know how critical building customer relationship is for the success of our brands. PR helps us in doing just that. Once a customer associates himself to a certain brand, he will always feel towards it as if it were his own. And this serves our purpose!