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With the increased adoption of internet and social media, word of mouth has gotten a digital makeover, otherwise known as “Influencer Marketing”. Influencer Marketing is a hybrid Marketing strategy that marries the idea of celebrity endorsements to contemporary content driven marketing tactics and that brands can use to create highly engage-able content through social media ‘influencers’. According to research, there has been 1500% growth in searches for Influencer Marketing over the past 3 years. This is a testament to the fact that influencer marketing is not only here to stay, but to grow.
Since its inception, influencer marketing has rapidly grown into one of the major online customer acquisition methods. Influencers are generally active social media users who have established their credibility in some industry and have access to a large, impressionable audience. They act as mavens in niche categories such as fashion, health, parenting, food and more, and have loyal followers and high engagement. When a brand engages influencers to spread a message about their products, they get access to their vast group of dedicated followers. While industries such as Fashion and health have been churning out highly engageable influencers for quite some time, recent times have seen a growth in the number of influencers in the Healthcare industry, owing its growth largely to ‘mommy bloggers’.
Influencers vs. Celebrities: Why consumers trust influencers
As customers become smarter and more aware of marketing gimmicks, they become less likely to fall for celebrities promoting everyday products. Owing to this transition of consumer mindsets, brands are foregoing the traditional celebrity endorsement route and employing social media influencers to promote their products. Influencers, unlike celebrities, are ‘real’ people who actually use the products they promote and share their experiences with their followers. They not only list the pros, but also disclose the cons of the product.
Examples of this are all around us. An example would be how TRD studios decided to engage new mothers to document their journey- during and post pregnancy, with one of our healthcare clients. Through this campaign we created a community of brand ambassadors for our client while creating trust and disseminating important information to the target audience.
This kind of consumer-to-consumer marketing relies completely on building relationships, credibility and trust. According to research, 56% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or trust a particular service after seeing it in a positive or relatable light on social media.
Raising awareness through influencers
Numerous brands are now engaging bloggers and influencers to spread awareness and enhance the brand recall for their products. This is especially true for innovative technological products and lesser known services. Influencers can document experiences or host events to promote these products and services.
TRD Studios decided to take this trend a step forward and raise awareness around issues that are often not discussed openly. TRD Studios collaborated with a network of prominent Mommy bloggers and Gynaecologists in Vijayawada to organize pre and post natal workshops around Andhra Pradesh. These workshops were designed to shed light on lesser known, sometimes embarrassing, challenges women face during their pregnancy journey.
Using regional languages to reach potential customers
A report by Google-KPMG suggested that 88% of internet users connect more to advertisements in Indian languages rather than those in English. Content generation & curation platforms are working with not just bloggers who write in English but also a host of vernacular language content creators to spread the word about brands in multiple languages. Through regional content, brands are trying to reach out to and connect with the right audience.
The trend shows that the consumption of regional language content is 1.5 times higher than English. Brands are therefore more inclined to tap into the regional language content consumers and Healthcare providers are no exception. Considering the fact that Healthcare providers need to reach out and strike a chord with both urban and rural people, local language content in advertisements and reviews removes any possible language barrier.
TRD Studios, being an expert in micro-market brand management understands this need and designs all communication for our Healthcare clients in vernacular languages as well as in English.
Enhancing sales and recall through influencer marketing
Brands frequently reach out to and collaborate with influencers to review their products and inform potential consumers about their USPs. Brands also sponsor Giveaways and contest prizes with an aim to create Brand ambassadors among the influencers’ network. Brands, at different stages of growth, collaborate with a network of influencers to tap into an otherwise untouched pool of potential consumers.
Social media is a strong driver of sales and profits for brands today. All brands need to do is to look for the right influencers with creative ideas that are aligned with their brand personality. Through carefully-curated content, influencers can help a brand reach unattainable heights, through nothing but likes, shares and comments.
A few supporting statistics for this growth in sales
- Moms are mostly active on Facebook and Whatsapp and on a daily basis spend over 2 hours on Whatsapp and Facebook everyday.
- Moms are well-connected: Digital and social media is all pervasive, almost all moms own a Smartphone
- The innate trust within the Mom community is immeasurable. Banking on the belief that all moms want the best for their children, women joining the community place a lot of trust on the mommy bloggers.
- Reviews on Hospitals, Doctors and Health remedies from Moms are accepted and trusted by other moms and the use of vernacular language helps these reviews to reach a broader audience base.