During the past years, the community has been able to observe how social networks have become more important. These are part of their daily life, in which most of the population spend on average more than 4 hours a day. Along with this growth, the number of what it´s known as “influencers” have increased, being of special importance for the society and for some of the most relevant brands in the world. This creates campaigns at low cost with higher impacts and popularity in record time. These influencers are characterized by having a lot of charisma in the virtual world.
Some of them, like “Youtubers,” have channels with thousands (and, in some cases, up to millions) of subscribers and followers. The effects of social network marketing are increasingly evident and make people wonder whether this strategy will have any chance in the future of the best companies.The use of influencers as a technique to improve the reputation and credibility ofmarks recall the beginnings of testimonial advertising at the end of the 19th century and early twentieth century where some companies already used the image of actors as testimony for their products. However, unlike this traditional format, the internet has allowed to improve the segmentation of brands through different channels and profiles, and even integrate into communities already created through networks. The increase in this trend is due in large part to the success that experienced brands, marketing specialist, and elaborate studies have started to recognize.
In recent years, for some companies, it has become an essential strategy, not only for the return of the investment they claim to have but also for the possibilities offering to publicize new products, brands, and credibility for the public target to which they are directed. According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, 83% of consumers trust the recommendations of friends and families, and 66% say they trust the opinions that other users post online.Unlike other formats, marketing with influencers does not maintain a fixed and previously established structure but must be adapted according to the brand and the selected influencer. Emphasis must be placed on the risk involving a bad use of this tactic, being able to affect the brand image and impact on social networks.Within the relationship established between brands and influencers, there is a new business model designed to facilitate the search and understanding between both parts. These are intermediary companies that arise to establish, plan and manage all activities related to influencer marketing.
A market that is not only born but begins to raise great competitiveness among companies destined to this sector. The intermediary companies become the means through which the advertisers find the best influencer according to their needs to become the image, prescriber or ambassador of their brand. On the other hand, influencers find a serviceprofessional that helps them to filter, manage and monetize their day-to-day work. This is gaining more and more important in the sector, as it guarantees the security and professionalism of the work between the two parties. For example, in 2014 a post of an influencer promoting a brand could cost $ 400, today it reaches $ 80,000 and continues to increase. In this way, the brands that first join this new trend will obtain greater benefits at better prices than those that arrive with a market saturated with sponsored posts at a higher cost.A very clear example of Social Network or Influencer Marketing is “Dulceida”, a Spanish influencer who started, like many other bloggers focused on fashion, trends, and lifestyle, publishing their daily outfits and sharing tips about her life. Step by step it started making a gap between the best known of the world and the first to exploit the Marketing of Influencers, such as Chiara Ferragni, Janid Deler or Trendy Taste, example of those who have managed to use their image and become a fashion and lifestyle reference for millions of people, as a young target to a large extent.
And Dulceida is just a large-scale example of what an influencer can achieve, create and move, whose base channels are a web page and social networks. Many of these people have managed to generate a monthly salary with which to subsist perfectly thanks to their publications, content, blogs, profiles on Instagram or their YouTube channel. These people, which are mostly youngsters, have found a way to finance their expenses and find a new way to work from home, employing thousands of persons. One of the effects that influencer marketing creates is that the follower wants and desires what an Influencer is promoting. Which means achieving the same effect as traditional advertising but in a much more subtle way. We can say that the “I want it because I’ve seen it on TV” has become “I want it because this famous has tried it” or “because this blogger is wearing it and it looks great”.
A research shows that the intention of purchase expressed by users is 53% higher when it comes to native advertising, and that is just the top of the iceberg for the conversion rates in Influencers Marketing. One of the main advantages of this method is to negotiate directly with the influencer the parameters of the campaign, which may include, in addition to a test and recommendation of the product, adding the link to the online store, calling to action, or even making contests that result on interactions and visits to your page, loyalty and therefore, high percentages of sales.The conflict in the ethical and professional honesty of this type of strategy comes when these influencers are dedicated to praise a certain product or service receiving for this a compensation, but giving the impression that it is a totally selfless action. At this moment, there is a certain deception, or at least a lack of honesty, in the followers of these people who have become opinion leaders, although many times without actually having proposed it. These lies are very common among the younger influencers who, receiving a large amount of money, are able to recommend all types of products.Although the brand tries not to intervene in the task of an influencer, we must have in mind that they are independent persons and that most of them seek to maintain the values and personality that make their accounts fill with their followers. This makes them more authentic as people but unstable for the brands that work with them since most of them have no experience in marketing and therefore lack a certain seriousness, commitment or feeling of connection with the brand that hires them. Simply the influencer does not take into account that the person they show on their channels is often not compatible with selling the image of some brands.
Certain behaviors or comments can put the prestige of the company against the ropes.On many occasions, some brands sign agreements with influencers for large amounts of money without taking into account some important details. Most influencers are working with a lot of brands in their daily life. This can sometimes struggle with the strategy of a brand, in which their influencer is also promoting their competition. This was the case of Huawei and Swarovski.
This promotional campaign associated these two brands for the diffusion of a fashion Smartwatch. The selection of influencers took into account the target audience of the product, young women interested in the world of fashion and technology. This action was carried out with the participation of five influencers from the world of fashion: bloggers, models and famous singers. The action was carried out on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and some blogs, with incredible results. In this case, the action was to promote a watch, but the advertiser brand, Huawei, also has phone products. Time later one of the influencers was hired to promote a product from the competition uploading a photo to the networks recommending a Samsung phone.
This makes a brand re-enact the risk that can be incurred by hiring people who also work with the competition.In conclusion, during the last years, we have been able to experience a trend in the integration of traditional marketing strategies with online marketing based on the experience of the user and interactivity with consumers.This can be a good opportunity for both brands and influencers, not only to bring brands to their target audience and professionalize the life of the influencers but to improve segmentation and reach the target audience in a more organic way eliminating the concept of “intrusive advertising” by users. But also, despite offering great advantages it must be mentioned that the use of advertising on social networks still poses doubts among advertisers, they require time and organization to not get an opposite effect from the desired. They increase the risk of damaging the image of the brand or create the need to maintain a dialogue and capacity to response among followers.In sum, companies should not confuse influencer with traditional advertising service providers. This could have a negative impact on the effect of the influencer and waste the valuable capital that, at the end, the company would also benefit from: enjoying the credibility of the target audience and accessing the opinion and behavior of the consumer.
Thus, the best way to enter the world of Social Networks Marketing is to generate quality offers and ensure cooperation on equal terms that facilitates mutual benefits. List of references:Global trust in advertising 2015 “Winning Strategies for an Evolving Media Landscaping” online. Available from http://www.
nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2015/global-trust-in-advertising-2015.html Septembre 28th 2015Emma Akbareian 2015 ” Blogger Danielle Bernstein revealed the earning power through social media”online(3). Available from http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/news/fashion-blogger-lifts-the-lid-on-instagram-payments-revealing-64000-fees-per-post-10266629.html May 21th, 2015