The market size of influencer Marketing had been increasing smoothly, but many campaigns were postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. It can’t be helped because influencers seem tone-deaf during this crisis. However, even if this chaotic situation continues to influence us, I believe the essential quality of influencer marketing won’t change. That means that we are often influenced by the people we trust or respect. The essence of influencer marketing won’t change, but I guess the definition of the influencer itself will vary greatly.
The term “Influencer” turned out to be something negative
Many influencers had backlash from their followers and society because of their wrong behavior. I can’t share everything here because there were too many. The word “Influencer” was registered into the dictionary because it became common for not only industry players but also ordinary people. On the other hand, many industry players positively use other words such as creator, trendsetter, ambassador, and so on because they feel something negative about the term “influencer.” According to my experience, the people who avoid the word “influencer” would be more than you probably guess.
What is an ideal influencer?
We need to rethink what ideal influencer is. What brands want from influencers depends on each brand, but I want to emphasize brand loyalty here because smart consumers are no longer deceived by influencers who aren’t interested in the brand’s product or service. The facts show that the era when an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers has massive power is coming to an end.
The real question is how you can find out your ideal influencers who have brand loyalty. Searching for them with significant compensation, in my opinion, might become out-of-date in the not-so-distant future. Strong brand loyalty means to be active and positive about the brand without any reward. Such a fan should feel empathy with the view of the world brands have.
Where is such a fan who is a candidate for your own brand? First of all, I came up with existing followers of the official account on social media. I strongly think the marketer in the brand should pay attention to the existence of their followers more. You might feel right if they are called an “ambassador,” not an influencer. I think the methods of influencer marketing should collaborate with the operation of official accounts on social media minutely. In particular, marketers try to value their followers in one way or another. And then, they nurture them with a sophisticated communication strategy. I guess such a style might go mainstream in the influencer marketing field sooner or later.
As I mentioned above, I believe brands should nurture candidates of an ideal influencer than searching them from scratch. However, here is a problem. If you don’t have a fan who could be a loyal influencer, what would you do? It would be best if you start to consider how you can let your consumers have a strong loyalty with your brand. Letting your users be into your product or service is the №1 priority in your marketing activities. For example, you might invite your customers or allow them to participate in the product development meeting to attract their attention as much as possible. I think there are many ideas to attract the user’s attention. I would say making a loyal customer, who is almost equal to a loyal influencer, is the most crucial mission for marketers in the brand.
I feel the mainstream of influencer marketing has been changing little by little. Many brands will try to nurture their own influencer with sophisticated communication strategies, not searching them with just incentives.