It’s very important to understand the history of something so as to clearly understand its evolution. If you closely study our society or the general behaviour of humans over centuries, you will notice that they have always been heavily influenced by many external factors including other people, environment, situations to name a few. Our friends, family and work peers generally exercise a high level of influence in helping us navigate some of the most crucial decisions of our lives including what we study, what we do professionally, who we love and almost everything else.
To understand why we are so heavily influenced, we need to understand human psychology. Humans generally need a high level of validation from society in almost everything. People love when others around them compliment on their new dress or when everyone talks about their child’s achievement. This desperate human need for validation leads them to do things that society thinks are worthy of attention or applaud. There are hundreds of moments when we have all taken that decision not because it was right but because it would get approval from society. What often gets the most approval is what often has a high aspiration associated with it. Apple is one of the most classic examples of this. So many people shell insane amounts of money on iPhones not because they can afford them or because they are the best but because their peers would highly approve of the move. Even the people on the street will appreciate that you have an apple device. The same logic goes for a Ferrari or a luxury mansion.
Now that we know how the whole society plays a critical role in influencing our lives, there are some who influence it more than the others. Elon Musk, for example, his one statement can make the global tech community go nuts talking about it. Or Kim Kardashian, or Justin Bieber. We can count Indian influencers like Kritika Khurana, Saloni Sehra, Geeky Ranjit, Technical Guruji. The world can’t stop obsessing over them, or over what they say and what they do. People want to go to the same places, wear the same things or look just like these power influencers. Power influencers are essentially those who have more influence than an average person such as celebrities, politicians, models, industry experts or bloggers. These people generally have a huge audience and everything they say matters. While centuries ago this influence channel was only offline, today it has evolved in the form of digital platforms. Social media for eg; it has not only given a platform to the traditional influencers to directly connect with their audiences but has also given birth to an entirely new breed of influencers. We have all seen the super young Instagram famous or the youtube stars, haven’t we? Their audiences love their content and hence most of these influencers have taken influencing up as a full-time job.
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Each human has varied interests, likes, dislikes and the power influencers each of us chooses to follow are very different. While some might love a certain celebrity, others might hate him/her for different reasons. This leads to each influencer having their own audience type which can be further broken down into age range, sex, location, languages are spoken, income level and more. Just like influencers, brands too have a target audience of their own. Brands recognized this unique opportunity to leverage the power of these big influencers that these power influencers exhibit over their followings using the content. Brands wanted to drive brand awareness or sales or loyalty or participation. This was relatively a very new concept a couple of years before today but it showed phenomenal success as a channel. Today, it is one of the most important marketing strategies for brands in their growth journey.
Why Influencer Marketing?
There were so many reasons why this form of marketing has flourished and offers such unique benefits than a traditional digital ad. While consumers have a negative emotion as soon as they view an ad, on the contrary, they see influencer promotions as trusted recommendations that are only known to their following. There are this rush and excitement of buying something when an influencer promotes it because its suddenly the cool thing to do. The content of an ad is repetitive and is generally created by the brand separately at a very high cost while in influencer campaigns, the content is created by the participating influencers and reached audiences in such wide variety and with originality. This shows an extremely high engagement as opposed to the traditional content ad format. Influencers add their own brand value when they promote a product which becomes highly valuable and helps convert the final sale to the users. Daniel Wellington is one of the most famous case studies for a brand that’s purely been built through influencers even Shein too.