Focusing on key thought-leaders that drive the profile of a brand, otherwise known as influencer marketing, has become a hot topic when it comes to exploring new marketing avenues, and strengthening and diversifying marketing strategies.
Influencer marketing incorporates a number of popular communication channels, namely blogging and social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
“The awareness around influencer marketing has been on the rise for the past couple of years and brands are adapting quickly,” highlighted Khyathi Nirmal Kumar, a digital marketer, trainer and speaker from Digital Marketer.
Revealing the potential of the increasingly popular marketing approach: “Most brands in APAC are starting to realise the value of influencer marketing by now and we see more brands experimenting with influencer marketing campaigns every day,” Kumar voiced.
More than celebrities?
As “influencer marketing can sometimes be confused with merely engaging celebrities”, Kumar emphasised, it may often be perceived as an impossible endeavour for startup indie brands.
However, Kumar highlights how this may not always be the case as “influencers fall under three main tiers - Mega, Macro and Micro”.
Using the 'Pyramid of Influence' by StarNgage to demonstrate the principles of influencer marketing, Kumar indicates that while Mega influencers, such as renowned celebrities, may not be a realistic possibility for startup names, these indie brands can access micro/macro-influencers.
While these micro/macro-influencers might have a “small follower base”, they do have “high engagement”. They are, therefore, well matched with early-stage startups who explore and experiment with creative methods to find micro-influencers and communicate with them.
Big budgets no more
On the other hand, multinational brands tend to have relatively higher budgets and greater brand value. Through this heightened profile, larger firms often have the “luxury of being able to partner with celebrities and high-profile influencers for their campaigns – i.e the Mega-Macro level of influencers”, Kumar explained.
The divide between startups and multinational companies can be narrowed by digital marketing as it provides “a level playing field for all brands irrespective of their size”, enabling startups to now compete with prestigious larger players.
Kumar asserts that as “money cannot buy everything genuine in the digital world”, brands, whatever their size, need to create the right strategies and implementation to make sure they are getting the best returns on their investment.
Whether you are a big or small brand, “you can pay a lot to run a campaign online, but if you are not engaging your consumers well or even driving any tangible business value, then the money you spend doesn't matter”.
Where is digital marketing heading?
Digital marketing in Asia today is experiencing a general shift in marketing and advertising approaches.
“Brands are increasingly moving away from intrusive advertising to objective based content marketing,” Kumar revealed.
Attractive storytelling is a fundamental part of an influencer marketing campaign or an ad campaign. Building communities that foster two-way interactions and finding brand advocates are also proving formidable approaches.
Technology is also an integral part of marketing, “now more than ever”.
With smarter and savvier marketing methods, such as listening and measurement tools and augmented and virtual reality available, brands have a wealth of methods to explore.
Also, organisationally, the structure of marketing teams is also undergoing a revamp. Increasingly, marketing and CRM/sales teams are partnering to share business goals.
Khyathi Nirmal Kumar is presenting in the Marketing Trends Theatre at in-cosmetics Asia, which takes place from 31 October – 2 November 2017. Her presentation, entitled Unlocking the power of influencer marketing for your brand will highlight some of the most common influencer marketing mistakes that marketers make and share best practices to create a successful influencer marketing strategy. To find out more or to register to attend the exhibition, visit http://asia.in-cosmetics.com/visit/.