Influencer marketing is a big thing now
Mansi Malik, chief financial officer of VURoll, firmly believes that more and more big brands and companies will turn towards influencers to create a digital footprint to reach people
New age media or social media has a great influence on the wants and needs of an individual. Where to eat, what to wear, hat to watch — these decisions are now largely influenced by what you see online.
In the past, when Starbucks misspelt your name and you put it on social media pointing out the error and probably had a good laugh too, you actually generated free publicity for them while also paying for your coffee! That’s how social media marketing became a thing of the present times.
But now ‘influencer marketing’ seems to be gaining an edge over social media marketing. To understand this new marketing concept, we talk to Mansi Malik, chief financial officer of VURoll, which is a multi-channel DIY social media engagement platform.
Talking about VURoll, Malik says that with the help of technology the platform allows advertisers to discover right influencers and content creators, identify the right pricing, manage campaigns and measure campaign results with minimal manual intervention. At the influencers’ end, technology allows for getting the right campaign offers, create revenue streams and collaborate with other creators.
Malik points out that in the past few years, many of us have come across bloggers who have grown and become influencers. So what makes a blogger an influencer is the number of people they are successfully reaching to. “Influencers usually start with blogging and creating a target audience based on the content that they generate on their pages or websites but these initially were done just as a hobby and many a time, it was just a part-time affair,” says she.
Even though blogging seems to be just content oriented, it is not. “Passion is what drives this industry. With a number of influencers or bloggers now what has happened is that there is a lot available on social media platforms, so the key here is to retain the audience by creating engaging content and if you are passionate about something it reflects in your work,” she says.
Social influencer marketing has now become a big thing. Be it a prominent influencer like a movie star, or a micro and nano influencer, they have now started promoting brand awareness and audience engagement through the content that they generate which is integrated with the needs of the said company. “Unlike blogging, this then becomes a paid job, and if you are really good at promoting things and influencing people, why do it for free?” says Malik.
To reach a level where big companies and brands want you to come on board to market for them, one needs to know what kind of content they are interested in curating, and furthermore zero in on how will they will reach their target audience and come up with strategies to retain them. “So this makes blogging a full-time job, because even though it looks all glamorous there are targets to be met and you constantly have to be on your toes and get the work done,” she says.
Malik also points out that influencer marketing is something that is not just limited to urban cities. “Interestingly, while we work with clients, they show a keen interest in collaborating with bloggers who are from tier II and III cities,” she says adding that the reason behind this is that social media has penetrated all segments of society. For tier II and II cities, generating regional content on pages attracts a lot of eyeballs and gets a lot of hits for the companies. “This is where social listening plays an important role for the company,” says Malik.
For a company to reach audiences and to understand what people pick up from the company’s presence and to make a conversation online about it, influencers play a pivotal role. So is looking fancy and having fancy tools important in becoming an influencer marketer? “Not at all,” says Malik adding that according to her, social media influencer marketing is for those, who are creative in the truest sense, stick to a category, present the right content, run thoroughly on passion and are not afraid to seek help in terms of tech support.
Malik says that if one has the above traits they will not be affected by fake followers and the number of followers going down. “They will still work hard with dedication which is what actually runs the social media industry now,” says she.
Talking about the future of marketing, Malik is optimistic that huge brands and companies will turn towards influencers to create a digital footprint to reach more people every single day.