INFLUENCERS AND YOUR SME
In this digitalized age of EWOM (electronic word of mouth), news travels fast and so does the influence of those who have the power to persuade our opinions and likes. Yes, the traditional forms of promoting your company or brand do still exist and produce benefits but it is important not to discard or ignore current marketing trends such as influencers for your SME marketing.
Influencers: The Concept
An influencer in marketing terms is someone who has a certain power or influence over an individual’s purchasing decision diffused through social media platforms. Influencers are used to market brands and reach potential customers. Reflecting on marketing and publicity trends, the concept of “influencers” isn´t a new one, but what has changed is the influencer itself. Companies or brands used to rely on traditional celebrities (actors, music artists) but in this day and age, the definition of celebrity has shifted thanks to social media platforms. The increasing popularity of sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so on has given way to the modern celebrity, or if you may, a social media celebrity.
Do influencers really work?
Looking at the popular social media platform, Twitter, the results of influencers aren´t something to be ignored. According to a study done by twitter, 49% of twitter users claim that they rely on recommendations from influencers on Twitter. Furthermore, Twitter states that influencers on twitter increase brand awareness by about 5 times. These numbers show that influencers are now an important part of marketing not only regarding Twitter but also other social media platforms.
According to CPI Financial in their article, Five benefits social media influencers bring to SMEs, influencers can provide a SME with five main benefits if managed appropriately and can aid in your marketing efforts.
- Credibility: If your SME is new, it is important to transmit that your product or service is credible. Putting a known face or personality behind your product can give the message that consumers can trust what you are offering.
- Awareness: Need to get the word out about your product? Using an influencer´s contacts or followers to raise awareness about your product can be a key part of your marketing efforts.
- Recommendations: The main role of an influencer is to recommend products and give followers ideas. This can range from fashion recommendations, food recommendations, restaurant recommendations…etc.
- Cost effective: When compared to traditional advertising, influencers can be cost effective and offer a substantial return.
- Efficiency: If the right influencer is chosen for your SME marketing and managed properly, it can prove to be very efficient not only in terms of benefits but also tracking.
With all this being said, it isn’t a bad idea to start thinking about an influencer for your SME marketing plan, or at least consider the benefits and tradeoffs. With the important role of internet, social media and online marketing, one must take advantage and stay current with our forever changing marketing landscape.