Let us try to understand the impact of Influential Marketing by looking at the most cunning example of it in the history of business. This photo is from 1997, when Steve Jobs came back to Apple, and asked Microsoft to invest in Apple and make an extensive agreement with Microsoft to provide its Office software to Macs in exchange for Internet Explorer being the default browser on Apple’s machines. Apple was a month away from bankruptcy, and we were in the Technology bubble ,and Microsoft was the biggest fish in the pond. By asking Microsoft for help and making Microsoft feel superior, Apple helped themselves in the following ways :
- Apple re-established their credentials. By joining hands with their one-time rivals, Apple this time around meant business.
- People could now buy Mac without the fear that Microsoft will stop making product for Macintosh.
- Bought Apple time to nail down its flapping Mac business and transfer that success to iPod.
Now this was Steve Jobs at his astute best. But it sums up what Influencer Marketing is. Influencer marketing is all about relationships. When done right, those relationships can become the best advocates for you and your brand. They can shape the opinions and behaviors of your target audience before that audience even speaks to you. The key is knowing who your ideal customer is, how they buy, and who can influence them during that process.
We had been using Influential Marketing without even knowing. Want to talk to your bestfriend’s friend? Ask her to put in some good words for you. Want to convince your dad to buy something? Ask your mom to recommend Dad first.(And we know, the results are awesome!)
Influential Marketing And Social Media :
Over the past decade, marketers have increasingly turned to social-media like Facebook ,Twitter,Youtube,Instagram,Pinterest etc to create buzz around their products.How Successful is Influential Marketing on these Platforms?
A McKinsey research shows that a small number of active influencers accounted for a disproportionate share of total recommendations. These power users are even more significant for product categories such as shoes and clothing: 5 percent of the recommenders accounted for 45 percent of the social influence generated.
But, How do we find who would be the right influencer for our Product?
Judging an influencer by simply his number of followers would be a wrong criteria. Even Kamaal R khan has over 1.6 million followers on Twitter,but would you even consider him for marketing your product? These platform offer great analytics information too, but mostly brands are left with impressive metrics, but no real Return on investment.
If we can identify where the Influencer is in the purchase life cycle of a customer, how he influences their decisions, and what factors come into play that could either encourage or disrupt these decisions, we can be much more effective at actually moving the customer along the cycle to the decision of making a purchase. This could easily be done using goal setting in google analytics.
Influential Marketing in fashion Business
While going through my Instagram, I realised how brand such as Nike and Adidas have been using Top Sportsperson as influencers to effectively carry out marketing their product. And being a football fan, and Ronaldo marketing their product, the context was totally relevant.
According to a new Fashion & Beauty Monitor, Almost 60% of fashion and beauty brands have an influencer marketing strategy in place, while a further 21% plan to invest in it over the next 12 months. So may be now is the time for Fashion brands to realise the power of Influential Marketing.
Consumers’ reactions to a product are influenced by their evaluations of its advertising, over and above their feelings about the product itself. The evaluation of a product can be determined mainly by how it is depicted in marketing communications — consumers do not hesitate to form opinion about products which they still haven’t used.The purchase decision is affected by physiological, socio-cultural, personal, psychological, rational factors. For example, the physiological factors relate to physical protection, commodity, among others. The socio-cultural ones comprise family, friends, work, the social groups with which the consumer identifies himself and that influences the purchasing behaviour and the looking for a garment type. Family causes a strong influence on the choice of children garments or, for example, when a wife chooses a gift for her husband. Friends also play a certain influence on a consumer, as he will try to follow the tendencies of his group. A consumer pertaining to a given country, geographical region or a given social class will also end up determining the consumption options. Consumers coming from different cultures have different preferences respecting to some brands and garment products. These different factors impacting consumer behaviour provides brand with immense opportunities to mould their decision using influencers. Customer idolizing a particular influencer are very likely to adore the brands he endorses. Influencers hold the power to shape public perception of everything, including your brand — challenging brands to determine how they work with them and help the brand become an integral part of their online conversations.
Instagram is supposedly the best thing that has happened to the fashion Industry. Fashionastas now look on Instagram to see what is trending and for inspiration for new design and patterns.In Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ partner found that Instagram ranked first (ahead of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Tumblr, respectively) in importance among trendsetting teens. It has become the first point of contact for many fashion companies. Instagram’s visual component allowed the fashion industry to move on from text-based blogging. And with its ever growing userbase and rise of Instagrammers, the platform provides immense opportunity for Influential Marketing. Zara, the world’s most successful retail company, uses fashion focused instagrammers as influencers to reach new audience and assert itself as the king as this space. By collaborating with Instagram influencers like Teesh Rosa to promote the brand’s new denim jackets and jeans, Zara’s #iamdenim campaign helped the retailer reach new audiences and achieve a degree of authenticity and accessibility.
Some Other Ways for Brand to use Influential Marketing for Fashion:
- Companies like FameBit(acquired by Google) provides direct contact to influencers. You can get in touch and derive a content strategy. The influencer will then provide you with the analytics of the campaign run by him for your brand. Brands can form a group of influencers too and run a campaign across different social media.
- Providing your fashion appraisal for free to the Influencers and asking them to review it on social media.
- Using Twitter pre-roll ads to run your ads with Influencer content.
- Running facebook ads with an influencer as the key part of the ad.
- Do not go big name hunting. People connect with next generation leader better. Find those gems.
- Help influencer build their brand at the same time. Try to come up with a strategy which helps both parties.
My input :
If I had to use influential marketing, I would do it the cheap way. Get hold of an Influencer in the are our brand is focusing on, and give the product for free to her. She could review it and drive the sales. It isn’t paid ad, and is genuine, so people are very likely to trust the review. See a case study of how a company got from $0 to $75000 MRR with zero marketing budget.