Why Influencer Marketing is Here to Stay

Why Influencer Marketing is Here to Stay

Influencer marketing that focuses on influential people rather than the target market as a whole, identifies individuals who have influence over potential customers and strategizes marketing activities around them. This type of marketing has been around all along. Today, neither does it show any signs of slowing down, nor will it reach its maturity anytime in near future!

The influencer marketing industry has increased rapidly over the past few years. Influencer content is a form of testimonial advertising wherein value-added influencers such as journalists, academicians, industry analysts, professional advisers, or celebrities play the role of a potential buyer themselves. It may, in other words, be referred to as a form of paid endorsement. Influencer marketing is evolving, and it’s quite interesting to learn why influencer marketing is here to stay on.

The Advent of Visual Networking. Facebook is the best known social media network. But, one cannot ignore the power of video. YouTube has grown over the years. The key to being successful on YouTube is working directly with the influencer channels, rather than depending on the YouTube ads. One has little control over who sees their ads, but working closely with a channel, one knows with certainty who will see their content. Brands are discovering that visual networks, such as Instagram and Pinterest provide a more significant opportunity to identify influencers.

Influencers Sharing Content on Behalf of Brands. An important advantage of influencer marketing is that one is working with people who have already earned respect from an audience. How accurate the phrase, “content is king”, holds in this age of daily social media advancement! An average person sees many audios, videos or written items every day; but ignores anything that is irrelevant. But, it needs to be noted, most modern consumers are willing to see or hear a review from somebody they respect.

One may need to decide the story they want influencers to tell on their behalf, and so the companies that work with consultancies have an advantage – they have someone to remind them what type of content may perform well.

Brands Building Long-term Relationships with Influencers. We have seen influencer marketing involve brands traditionally working with influencers on specific campaigns.  However, the trend is changing, and brands are now sticking with their best influencers for a longer period of time. In fact, many brands have started considering their influencers to be their partners! This has resulted in improving the influencers’ attitudes towards the brand they promote, and they associate with an increased enthusiasm.

Influencer Agencies and Platforms Simplify Process. For businesses attempting influencer marketing for the first time, wooing influencers can be a slow process that could lead to unsuccessful results. Advertising agencies have existed for many years, but it took some time for agencies to recognize the importance of online marketing. Influencer marketing began on a small scale, and as the industry matured, businesses spotted opportunities to smoothen the process.

Today, the scenario has changed, there are now quite a few specialist influencer marketing agencies that assist in creating and organizing influencer campaigns. There are also many influencer marketing platforms providing a way to find willing influencers matching the target market.

Cord-cutting over Social Media. Another trend that’s caught up and one of the main reasons for influencer marketing to have taken off is, “Cord-cutting.” The time people spend watching video on digital devices is set to rise. More consumers are now switching from TV to tablet and smartphones, especially the younger generation.

Today, even as users have more power than ever before over their viewing experiences in a crowded space, it is the relentless savviness of creators that promote a brand keeping fans engaged over social media channels. It should be noted that most users engage with their favourite social posts at least once a day! Hasn’t social media changed the relationship between companies and customers from master-servant to peer-peer? Social media is a big boost for influencer marketing – people don’t just watch; they engage by liking, commenting and tweeting in hoards!

Capturing and sharing a product, service or process; over a social media page or post enlivens and inspires a community. Doesn’t that fit in perfectly with a company’s strategy which aims to sign up customers? Indeed, a long-term relationship with an influencer creates a more meaningful interaction with the brand beyond a one-off post.

According to a marketing agency, around three fourth of consumers who were surveyed said that social networks influenced their buying decisions. That proves a point – influencers definitely tap-in by involving users with social content.

Consumers Seek Authenticity before their Buy Decisions. A consumer usually seeks greater authenticity from influencers – they try to look beyond the post to what the influencer likes! The hallmark of celebrity advertising has mainly revolved around conventional methods of endorsement and sponsorship. However, even if they are celebrities in the eyes of the world, where they need to cross the line as influencers is by how they make themselves accessible to people through social media.

Marketers need to note that the two terms – celebrity and influencer, should be kept separate, keeping in mind that the level on which to engage an audience is entirely different.

The consumer of today is smart and can tell the difference between an advertisement and a personal recommendation. Influencers add a dimension of credibility to a brand. Instead of just providing exposure to a brand, influencers lend their credibility to it. That’s what influencer marketing relies on. It finds the right balance between the two in order to retain authenticity among its audience. And this type of influencer marketing that recommends via advertisements can hardly go out of fashion, but will stay on for ages.

Drives a Higher Return on Investment. A large number of marketers use influencer marketing to grow their social media following and engagement. Most marketers use it to drive more sales. Some use it to drive traffic to their websites. And the major benefit of influencer marketing is the higher Return on Investment that it generates in terms of earned media value – a value that can be attributed to such parameters like social sharing and publicity as well as exposure to digital media.

Now we understand why brands are investing more of their time and money on influencers. In a recent study, it was found that more than half of the marketers surveyed, increased their budgets for influencer marketing in the year gone by. The massive followings that the influencers have, it’s obvious that they smartly help in reaching a bigger audience for a brand they endorse. Influencers facilitate increasing positive brand sentiment; it can yield a better return on investment.

So, it’s quite clear now, why brands choose influencer marketing as a weapon to overcome marketing challenges. Influencer marketing helps marketers stay ahead of their competitors and authenticates their brands with the target audience, along with delivering higher returns on investment.  With most marketers drawing exceptional results with influencer marketing, can anyone think of ignoring it? Definitely not. Influencer marketing is always going to be there – and continue to stay for a long time!

This blog was originally published in website: Digital Doughnut

Six Ripper Tips to Gain Maximum ROI on your Webinars in 2018

Six Ripper Tips to Gain Maximum ROI on your Webinars in 2018

The evolution of webinars, from basic video conferencing to the use of sophisticated software for interactive engagements, has transformed it into a powerful marketing tool. Be it for the cause of brand awareness, lead generation or sales, webinars have paved the way for a cost-effective means to engage customers.

Our knowledge in this realm of marketing stems from the experience of conducting over 700 webinars for various organizations, over the past couple of years. These following 6 pointers are sure to improve the quality of webinars drastically.

  1. Webinar 101 – Compose a Webinar Invite to Engage and Excite

Without an invitation, there is no action. Without compelling action, there is no point of an invitation.

To begin, a lengthy introduction to an invite deters most readers. Since we like to practice what we preach, let’s delve straight into the following recommendation:

– Identifying your target audience is the first step in any marketing campaign. It is to your benefit to pick out the recipients of your eDM invite in a similar fashion.

– Send out an initial invite to connect with your audience.

– A catchy subject line prompts more readers to open an email. In this case, the relativity of the term ‘more’ is there for all to see. Only 33% of recipients open an email based on the subject line.

– Send out the invite with a personalized link. This not only allows a sender to brand the webinar in the link itself but tells the viewer what to expect by clicking it. Foremost, it incites trust, which is the cornerstone of good markehrting.

– The chances of holding a reader’s attention increase with the inclusion of a banner or eye-catching image. This makes a good location for your value proposition.

– A lengthy introduction may deter readers from reaching the crux of your email.

– Instead, we have noticed from experience that the inclusion of material to incite the fear of missing out on something exotic works best. The chance to network is one such incentive.

– Your emails are more personal when you include the webinar’s telecast time about particular time zones.

– Without a call to action button, any invitational eDM is futile. We have noticed that the inclusion of even two or three call-to-action buttons in a single email is beneficial when strategically placed. It is a good practice to make it as visible as possible.

– Artful use of follow up emails act as reminders. Overuse of follow up emails act as inhibitors.

– Insertion of brief teasers in-between the initial invite and final reminder keeps your audience engaged.

Go ahead, get creative!

  1. How to incite Interest in your Webinar?

Content creates interest! Good content seldom goes unread. Often, it isn’t the content alone that generates interest, but its strategic placement. The following illustrations will shed light on our claim:

– A company which depends on a webinar to promote the launch of a new car will hope that their car has the features to incite interest. However, if the CEO is scheduled to give a talk on the car, the company will benefit from highlighting this unique selling point. A personalized link will further enhance the appeal.

E.g. www.myLnk.in/Our_CEO_has_something_IMPORTANT_to_tell_you

– An e-commerce company may draw a larger audience if they feature promos and offers, rather than their entire catalog.

– An education consultancy has a good chance of attracting potential students with the promise of informative videos about colleges.

– A travel company may have to incorporate videos and promos to draw an audience.
Similarly, each company will benefit from promoting their webinar based on the topic and audience. ‘One size fits all’ is not the best strategy to fill a webinar room. Personalize to popularize!

  1. Six concerns to address before picking a suitable Webinar Platform

Webinars are hosted by individuals and organizations from umpteen walks of business. However, the goal is common – to initially educate and eventually earn revenue.

A fine-tuned webinar will suit the audience and hence improve participant experience. However, a virtual seminar poses challenges – the most notable of which is for a speaker to enthrall an audience. A glitch of any sort could lead your audience away from a webinar. Therefore, choosing the best platform from the many available options such as WebX, Adobe, Web Palace, Gotowebinar, On24 and so on, is crucial.

Ask yourself the following questions before picking an apt platform:

– How many participants do I want to engage in a session?

– How long will a session last?

– What elements will I want to incorporate into the webinar? E.g., video, polls, quizzes, widgets, PPTs, etc.

– Do I want all my participants to have access to a microphone?

– Do I want to record the webinar and make it available to my audience? If so, think about the ease of access and ability to edit the video.

– Would I require multiple video streams?

Find the webinar platform that best answers these questions. Bear in mind, the more you customize, the better your results. You can also take it up a notch by customizing the link to your invite. Customized links have a better click rate.

  1. The dos and don’ts for maximum webinar attendance

Webinars, feasible as they are, do not yield desired results if implemented without prior experience. You can avoid a barrage of blunders by heeding to the following:

Pay attention to the dos:

– Present-day topics create curiosity:
People’s interest is piqued when they hear about futuristic ideas, innovations and such.

– Catchy name for increased fame: 
‘What’s in a name’ is never the attitude of a prospective buyer, in the stage of exploration. A name can go a long way in creating a buzz about your webinar.

– Popular speakers generate interest:
Much like the effect, a recognized brand name has on customers; popular speakers draw audiences in masses.

– Persuasive invite: 
A personalized link to your invite will go a long way in building viewers’ trust. E.g. www.myLnk.in/best_speaker_in_Asia

– Content:
If your webinar comes off as a platform for networking and knowledge sharing, then you can be assured of a crowded webinar room.

Pay extra attention to the don’ts! Don’t let all your good work come undone:

– Do not let your persuasion turn into irritation:
Calls, emails, and text messages will become a cause for annoyance if they are overused. There is a thin line between underusing and overusing these promotional tools.

– Do not make goodies the primary focus: 
Although give away goodies is an incentive that works, highlighting it can make you seem desperate.

– Do not focus on the obvious:
Convenient, time-saving, etc. are things your audience already understands. Don’t draw their attention away from the more important facets of your webinar.

  1. Six behind the scene preps for a Successful Webinar

A successful event is the consequence of good preparation. A conversion rate of 30% from registrants to attendees has been the norm as per recent data gathered from over 700 webinars.

Without much ado, here are some seasoned suggestions to turn your webinar into a grand success:

– Create a strategic campaign with elements that encompass end to end execution. Have teasers and a final reminder email ready before sending out an initial invite to your customers.

– Recognize your target audience to pick appropriate marketing collateral for best results. Promotional modes include emails, well-placed registration forms, and tele-calling. However, you don’t want to overlook other strategies such as social media posts and promotions on other related webinars.

– Content plays a vital role in drawing an audience. Strategically constructed content, prepared in advance, can make or break your campaign.

– Consider the use of personalized links in your eDMs, text messages and other means of digital marketing. These links incite trust and increase the likelihood of getting clicked. E.g. www.myLnk.in/best_growth_strategies_from_the_best_speaker_in_town

– Based on the interaction expected during the webinar, a moderator’s inclusion can be indispensable.

– Conducting a dry run with all the elements in place will increase the comfort level of your speaker and moderator. This will, in turn, improve the quality of presentation for the live webinar.

– To leverage your webinar to the fullest, you may require a video editor to condense and repost the video for those who missed it. ‘Thank you’ and ‘Missed you’ emails also show that you care. Having content ready beforehand for these eDMs is highly recommended.

Remember, the right preparation yields the right results!

  1. How to leverage Webinars

Product launch

– Wider reach: From webinars conducted in over 220 cities, we have deduced that 70% of participants are from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Though logistics don’t support live events beyond the range of the core market, webinars provide a good platform to maximise opportunities.

– Ease of conducting demos: One demonstration of a product can reach thousands of potential customers, maybe even millions when promoted with customized links.

Lofty Return on Investment

The relatively minimal cost of conducting a webinar, along with extended reach assures you of a significant return on investment. It also saves time, which can be used in other lucrative ventures.

Prospects for further engagement

Webinars provide the most effective means to lead potential buyers from the stages of discovery to education and subsequently generates sales.

Interactive

Live engagement makes it possible for speakers to share resources and collect feedback.

Change brand perception

When companies look to upscale operations, webinars make it possible to spread brand awareness on the cheap. Customized URLs from MyLnk are proven to change perceptions.

Webinars are probably the least explored marketing tool by organizations. Only, the shrewdest have embraced the phenomenon of virtual seminars. It will behove you to consult an expert before you delve into this facet of marketing. Remember, the results are well worth the investment!

Disclaimer: This blog was originally published in website: Customer Think