Many marketing experts have predicted influencer marketing to skyrocket in 2017. This trend which scaled up in 2016 is tipped to be the next big thing for many brands as social media is growing a new breed of influencers whose following across several media platforms have become useful for PR and marketing campaigns. Ghanaian fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands should consider exploring this trend this year if it hasn’t been started yet.
Firstly, understand what influencer marketing is and how useful it will be to your brand strategy. Social media influencers have come about as a result of individuals taking advantage of the enormous opportunities abound on the social media to position themselves as influencers or thought leaders in their niche area. While some may start off as just posting and creating personal profiles online, others have activated business opportunities for such achievements.
Based on a brand’s marketing and PR strategy, these social media influencers have become very useful in fulfilling their campaign goals. In a recent survey by Schlesinger Associates for Augure, 84% of marketing and communications professionals worldwide said they plan on launching at least one influencer campaign within the next 12 months. Marketers and PR experts are taking advantage of this trend to give their brands utmost mileage for their products and campaigns.
So the next guiding questions are; which influencers will they be targeting? Why will they be targeting them? What do these influencers bring on board to these brands?
Who will they be targeting?
Depending on which industry you are in, brands look out for personalities that don’t just have huge following based on numbers on their social media pages. What they look out for is the extent of engagement they gain on their posts. Personalities whose following and exposure is targeted at their very same kind of consumer; one they intend to reach with their product or service.
For instance, a clothing brand could engage the likes of a style and fashion blogger, similarly, sports brands could also engage footballers with good social media following. Social media influencers are known to have created personal brand profiles in their niche or area of expertise and are using various techniques, tools and platforms on social media to gain advantage over many million others. Once an influencer is identified, the terms of engagement are agreed upon to get the influencer to incorporate the brands value and offerings into their own social media strategy.
Why will they be targeting them?
In recent times, such personalities have proven to have the kind of target market that PR professionals and marketers are looking to reach with their product or services. Companies engage these known personalities who have lovely personalities that they can tap into for their product or services and who have become influencers/thought leaders in their specific field or industry. It is believed that when consumers see their favorite personalities with such brands, it resonates better with them and they are able to identify with these products.
The good thing with this is that, it is done subtly without it looking like an advertising. Brands have gain significant inroads to their target consumers as a result of influencer marketing campaigns.
What do these influencers bring on board?
This trend is gaining grounds and as such fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands should be ready to maximize these engagements they make with their influencers and thought leaders. They need to adopt strategies that organically feeds their products or services into the influencer’s way of doing things on their platforms. They just need to ensure that the right messaging is shared with the influencers in order to properly and effectively communicate the product’s proposition. In the end, companies can benefit by reaching specific consumers and add some practicality to how consumers see their product or service.
Engaging influencers and thought leaders for campaigns are going to get more popular, more profitable and more competitive hence there is the need to join in and cash in for your brand.
By Faith Senam Ocloo
The writer is the founder of E’April Public Relations, a boutique PR firm. Senam is a fashion public relations specialist with interest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She can be reached on +233272686959, firstname.lastname@example.org, @senamapril on Instagram and @faithsenam on Twitter.