The time to embrace influencers is now

BY FUAD ABDIRAHMAN

The ‘influencer’ phenomenon in social media which was non-exiting just a few years back, is now a massive industry valued at $4.6b in 2018 according to. By 2020, Adweek, a trade publication predicts, it will be worth $10b. It may soon overtake the traditional advertisement in terms of revenue.

Brands have realized the significance of influencers. They are now keen on incorporating influencer in their marketing departments and are even creating budget for them. Studies show that influencers are effective than the traditional advertisement with consumers having trust in them than they have in other traditional adds.

Often when you scroll your social media feeds, there will always come a post trying to influence your thinking. Such posts may succeed in convincing you to purchasing a particular product. The contents come with social media users who possess huge followers.

Adam Maina who is a social media influencer says it is time for brands to consider using influencers for the success of their business

“For existing businesses and startups looking to build their brand credibility, it is important to work with influencers to better your brand. The amazing thing about embracing influencers is that you can gain a lot at once, including creating great content, earning credibility, and gaining exposure through our audience,” he says.

One of the most favorite platforms for influencers is Instagram, which is a friendlier to influencers. The platform is known for a quick reach to a huge audience faster than any other platform and is one of the fasted growing platforms with over a billion active monthly users. It has better engagement rates compared to other social media with influencers reaching more audience.

Influencers engage by either commenting on a particular subject or reacting to a post shared. What counts the most is the traffic he or she is capable of pulling to the post. The average engagement on Instagram is close to 4%, other platforms engagements rate are less than 2 percent.

It may be not easy for many upcoming businesses to do advertisements with the traditional forms especially considering the costs involved. With a limited budget, however, one can have influencers give him the necessary exposure.

There are factors to consider before a brand chooses their influencers. Celebrities are not the best option. Normal social media users with a huge following would do the trick especially if the influencer has a good reputation. Studies have proved that reputations create trust, which may in turn convince the consumers to purchase.

Joanna Kinuthia, a digital social influencer for instance, charges from Sh50, 000.

“What I do is quite profitable because a collaboration with a brand will pay anywhere between Sh50, 000 and Sh130, 000 per month,” she says adding, “operational costs are very low. In fact, the biggest task is in developing fresh and relevant content. Becoming an influencer is easy, but remaining relevant to your audience and your clients’ needs is where the challenge is.”

Fashion and Beauty Companies are the main industries that rely on influencers to market their products. The two mainly appeal to the younger generation, which is probably the reason why it is effective in using influencers to promote their products because of the huge presence of the young generations on social media.

For a brand, influencers don’t sell a product but instead create awareness and directly engage with potential consumers of the products. With the right marketing and digital presence, one can be assured of positive results.

Other important factors to consider when hiring an influencer is the issue of reach, the more the follower the higher the reach. This can also be observed on the engagement of one post. While engagement may depend on the messaging, it is also influenced by the quality of followers. Some influencers have dormant followers probably accumulated over long time and who are no longer active or may as well be fake followers.

There is a difference between endorsement from celebrities and influencers for one’s brand. Consumers trust influencers more than celebrities. This is because consumers can relate more with influencers who they consider as sharing a lot in common and share needs.

The reason traditional advertisement is diminishing is mainly that it doesn’t give the audience the chance to interact, unlike with influencers where the target audience can have a relationship with influencers and react to the specific sponsored content. 

Sign Up