Chances are that you swap your old iPhone for an updated version every time there is a new release. Even if you don’t use an iPhone, you probably always try to upgrade to the latest version of whatever phone brand you’re using. If this is true in your personal life, you most definitely have to apply this in business. Content marketing companies in India suggest that you must upgrade your marketing strategy to adapt to the new way of doing things. In this modern world, marketing heavily relies on technology for the extensive assessment of the performance of marketing strategies to guide the decision-making process of future campaigns. The form of marketing that leverages different technological platforms to reach potential customers and convert them to customers through conversion-oriented messages is what is known as digital marketing.
Influencer marketing and content marketing both constitute digital marketing among other marketing strategies. Ideally, digital marketing aims to push potential customers further down the sales funnel until they become loyal customers and unofficial brand ambassadors. A sales funnel consists of the steps in which someone who knows nothing about your business becomes a loyal customer who becomes an advocate for your business by spreading word of their experience with their family and friends. The sales funnel moves from Awareness to Interest to Desire to Action to Advocacy. This is commonly referred to as the ‘AIDAA’ formula.
To understand which of the two forms of digital marketing is better for your brand, it is crucial to understand what each entails.
Influencer marketing is a type of digital marketing where business owners pay certain people or organizations who usually have a wide reach and great influence on their audience to introduce and endorse their goods and or services to their audience. Influencers can be trendsetters, activists, celebrities, or people who are seen as authority figures in certain fields. Influencers usually have the trust of their followers making it such that their followers are willing to patronize businesses recommended by them.
Influencer marketing could be done through endorsements, public reviews, or product placement. Endorsement is the public approval of whatever goods and services a business has to offer. Public reviews usually involve the business owner giving a free sample of their product or service to the influencer for them to share positive feedback with their followers. Reviews can be used for a variety of goods and services such as a hair product, a book, a barbing or hairdressing service, and so on. Public reviews are usually a cheap option for upcoming businesses to get endorsement as the payment is usually the free product(s) given to the influencer. Product placement can also be referred to as embedded marketing and is a form of marketing where direct or indirect reference is made to a particular brand or product integrated into another work such as a comedy skit, movie, or another program with the specific intention of promotion. An example of product placement is a movie where the characters are deliberately filmed to be drinking coke drinks as a campaign for Coca-Cola company.
Why influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing works. Influencing is reported to bring in 11 times more return on investment (ROI) than traditional marketing methods. 91% of brands that use influencer marketing report favorable outcomes.
Influencer marketing also helps build connections and trust with your audience. Influencer marketing does this by presenting your products through a trusted and reliable source i.e. the influencer. As such, people will easily trust your brand’s quality. A side effect of this however is that your business reputation is dependent on the influencer’s reputation. Furthermore, to push customers further down the sales funnel and convert them to loyal customers, it is necessary to build a connection with customers that will make them become advocates for your brand. Influencers help achieve this by presenting your product on a personal level as opposed to other forms of advertisement such as billboards, fliers, or sponsored ad posts. Statistics show that 71% of online consumers will more likely patronize a brand based on a social media recommendation and 49% of people rely on influencer’s opinions and recommendations when making a purchase.
Other reasons to consider influencer marketing include:
- Influencer marketing can increase engagement on your business’s social media pages and other business channels.
- Influencer marketing is useful in getting quality backlinks to online content e.g. if an influencer writes a blog post recommending your shoe brand, they will link their blog post to your business website. This is useful because backlinks help in Search Engine Optimization.
- It is common for business owners to sign endorsement deals with influencers for an agreed time. This ensures continuous potential-consumer traffic for the business owner.
- Finally, when it comes to spreading awareness of a brand or a specific campaign, influencer marketing is a great strategy.
Things to consider before choosing an influencer for your brand
Relevance, Reach, and Resonance
Commonly referred to as the three Rs of influencer marketing, these are the factors you need to consider when choosing an influencer for your brand.
Relevance refers to how useful or important the influencer is to your brand.
It is crucial to select an influencer whose public image is in line with your brand. It would be unwise to choose a fashion influencer for example to advertise a car. The influencer also needs to share the same values and demographics as your target audience. For example, it would be foolhardy to ask an elderly celebrity to advertise a product meant for the younger generation. The more relevant the influencer is to the brand and target audience, the higher the engagements will be and the more likely it will be for them to be converted to customers.
Reach refers to how many followers an influencer has on their social media site.
Numbers are not merely what is important. The influencer must have a large reach of the brand’s target audience. Therefore, it is crucial not to just go for popular people but people with dedicated followers specific to the niche of your brand. Micro-influencers who are experts in specific fields even with fewer followers tend to bring in more customers because their fan base is loyal to their specific area of expertise. They are also cheaper to work with than other influencers.
Resonance stands for the rate of real engagements the influencer can garner on their advertisement.
There are a plethora of fake influencers who buy fake followers and engagements. It is therefore very important to do proper research into an influencer before patronizing them.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that focuses on consistently creating and sharing useful content to attract and retain a specific and defined audience to ultimately lead them to perform profitable actions such as business patronage. Content marketing differentiates itself from other informational garbage companies put out to try and sell their products by actually being useful information. Companies are constantly feeding us with a load of information but most of the information is usually irrelevant to us. An example of good content marketing is a stockbroker who creates newsletters concerning trends affecting financial markets. This newsletter has nothing to do with the funds the broker is trying to sell and is simply delivering valuable information to help his or her email subscribers’ finances and investments. This grooms the recipients of the newsletter into loyal customers of the brand as the newsletter helps them out in their personal lives and it would make it much easier for the broker to sell funds to his or her audience.
Why content marketing?
- It works. Prominent organizations in the world like P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere all employ this method of marketing. Content marketing is a chance to turn your product into something truly unique no matter how common it is by producing content that is not just aimed at making customers patronize you but is useful to the customer. There is no doubt whatsoever that if this is undertaken diligently, it will work and it is for this reason that almost every business employs it from the least to the most prominent and well known.
- It is inevitable. It is impossible to do without content marketing in an effective marketing strategy. Every other marketing strategy incorporates content marketing into it as it is impossible to get any customers without quality content. In social media marketing, content marketing comes first before strategy. In Search Engine Optimization, good content is compulsory as search engines always rank businesses that publish quality and consistent content that solves the problems and queries of users higher. Successful public relations strategies are those that address reader issues i.e. are customer-related not those that are business-oriented. In inbound marketing, quality content is what drives inbound traffic. Even in influencer marketing, influencers utilize content marketing to sell their brand to their followers. It is obvious from all these that any good marketing strategy involves content marketing.
- Content marketing is cheaper than a lot of other marketing strategies because it does not necessarily require hiring a third party to work. If third parties are hired, the cost is still significantly lower than a lot of other marketing strategies. Even though content marketing costs about 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many results. In 2019, approximately 25.8% of internet users were reported to be using ad blockers. While this is good news for consumers, it is devastating to the number of businesses that rely on paid advertisements to spread the word of their brand. The secret to getting around this problem is content marketing which is by comparison way cheaper than sponsored ads. Once brands stop trying to sell their products and start catering to people’s needs, their products will sell. Content marketing leaders in industries get about 7.8 times more web traffic than non-leaders.
- Customers are more loyal to the brand. Customers are more loyal to brands that engage in content marketing because they believe the brand is of great benefit to them as a result of the constant inflow of useful content from the brand. It will also drive them to recommend the brand to people around them who they feel might also benefit from the brand. This is an amazing strategy for business growth.
INFLUENCER MARKETING vs CONTENT MARKETING
Now that influencer marketing and content marketing have been broken down, to decide which is better for your brand, you need to consider a few things:
- Cost: In terms of cost-effectiveness, content marketing is usually the best bet. Particularly for business owners who have limited financial resources.
- Business type: Influencer marketing usually performs better for brands offering B2C (Business to Consumer) products. However, content marketing works for B2C products as well as B2B (Business to Business) products. Examples of B2C industries are fashion, food, and lifestyle industries while B2B includes manufacturing companies, tech startups, delivery companies, marketing companies, and so on.
- Set goals: It is important to consider your goals when choosing your marketing strategy. Are your marketing goals to create awareness and build a brand reputation? To gather a loyal following? To get customers right away and make sales? These goals will help you in deciding which marketing strategy is right for your brand. In general, influencer marketing will help drive sales and patronage right away and if the quality of a brand is very good, it will convert one-time customers to loyal customers. On the other hand, content marketing agencies help build a trustworthy brand reputation and may lead to more sales in the long run without the brand reputation relying on a particular person.
It is important to note that both marketing strategies can be combined and although influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that you can do without, it is impossible to completely do without quality content marketing.