Earlier in Nigeria, what we were used to was just using celebrities as brand ambassadors but in recent times, the use of influencers (micro and major influencers) grew tremendously and became a key strategy in Nigeria Marketing space. So in this article, I want talk influencer marketing, why it is growing in use and how it should be used.
First, let’s start with definition
According to Wiki ‘the mighty’ Pedia, Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
In other words, Influencers are key persons in their niche with a high reach and thus can increase the chances of virality and action. Typically, these guys are usually very active and popular on Social Media and or have popular blogs.
Why do Brands use or should use Influencer Marketing?
- The Law of Association: In this age, word of mouth recommendation and criticism have more value (& spread through social media faster than fire in a dry field) to the average person than a random advert from the brand itself. I mean, you are more likely to buy a product or use a service if someone you like and or respect or look up to in some way recommends the brand. This is what influencers do, they use their influence on their community (the trust, respect, love their fans have for them) to sell the brands they represent. Influencers are like mutual friends that connects a brand to its target market.
- Ad Blockers: lol! Since Social Media and Google do not want us to enjoy the internet in peace, majority of us (at least the more tech savvy people) have began to use ad blockers to block away any and every ad that wants to interrupt our flow. Now, this is one advantage influencer marketing has over PPC Ads, because influencer posts would always show up organically on your timeline.
What Makes an Influencer right for you?
- Target Audience: Yes! It is influencer marketing but the influencer you use is not as important as the audience you are trying to reach. Thus, before any strategy meeting, before influencer consideration, you must define your target audience. Determine what appeals to them, where they are and who they follow. Thereafter, use this info to streamline your choice of influencers.
- Context: One thing that is much more important than how successful an influencer/celebrity is and the how large his community is, is determining if he is the right fit for your brand. Who the influencer is – his brand, his voice – needs to resonate with your brand and your message. Their personality and niche must complement your brand. Don’t pick just based on numbers but pick based on context. Why? Because influencer marketing ideally borders on trust, thus if an influencer starts promoting a brand that his personality & niche does not resonate with, his followers would smell the authenticity. The best influencers work to seamlessly integrate their branded campaigns into their unique stories.
- Reach: While Numbers should not be the first thing you look at, they are very important. You don’t want to use just anybody. If you are going to pay for it, then you should be paying for something that could give your brand and campaign a good reach.
- Actionability: Personally, I think the ability of an influencer to drive action (conversion) may even be more important than context. Lol! But really, if an influencer cannot generate conversion, why bother? This is probably the reason most Nigerian agencies and brands pay twitter influencers (with no defined niche & brand but have high following) and Instagram Comedians to promote their brand even though it may not be a great contextual fit. Is it right? Not really but it works. So, Actionability is important. When talking actionability, I should also mention that micro influencers with less than 100k followers (especially on Instagram) sometimes do better than the really big guys because the micro influencers can own your brand for the duration of the campaign but with the really big guys, sometimes (most times), your content takes lost in their feed. Also, because of cost (& effectiveness) using multiple micro influencers can be much better than using a major celebrity (except it’s a brand ambassadorship deal though).
Do well to retain this crucial bit of advice from Jay Baer: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”
Very Note Worthy:
The influencers chosen for marketing shouldn’t be only the entertainers – musicians, comedians & actors. They are other people – though leaders who have built for themselves a close knitted community that hangs on their every word. Depending on your target audience and campaign objective, you should look at these people too. Some are activists like Omojuwa, Online Business Coaches like John Obidi, Entrepreneurs like Tara Fela Durotoye, Trendsetters like Dooney’s Kitchen, Coaches like Steve Harris to name a few.
Personal brands, those with an audience, those who people see you as thought leaders in their specific niches. Have something no one else does: they have people’s attention. And that, in itself, is highly valuable, not just to brands but to other thought leaders as well. Having a personal brand opens doors of opportunity. Therefore, as an individual, no matter what you do – whether you own your own business/brand or you are walking under someone, ensure that you create and give value, create your personal brand around your passion and what you do best. You never know where fame & fortune would come from. Just ask Maraji!
Peace Itimi is an experienced and certified Digital Marketer and Co-Founder of Rene Digital Hub.