Social media influencers are people with a significant number of subscribers/followers across various social media platforms. They use global platforms with a wide userbase, such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, or Twitch. They can reach and influence their large audiences quickly and independently. Research shows that more than 3 billion people worldwide are active social media users. In a world oversaturated with marketing, growing numbers of consumers seek guidance from influencers. From beauty bloggers, makeup artists, fashion bloggers, and online fitness trainers to travel influencers, food bloggers, gaming reviewers, streamers, tech YouTubers, and even various podcasts – the impact of online influencers is enormous. Companies are realizing that traditional advertising methods are no longer effective or cost-efficient. It comes as no surprise that word of mouth is the best way to go for achieving sustainable, organic growth for services/products. Read on to see how social media influencers impact global business.
Social media influencers impact global business in many ways, and they are the most valuable marketing asset. Your average consumer today has unlimited access to information at the tip of their fingers. Their purchasing power is greater than it has been for most of human history. Consequently, their choices are more abundant than ever. Providing a decent product/service is no longer sufficient in and of itself. People need authenticity. They are more likely to trust an independent influencer than a website or ad. If a brand wants to stay competitive, it must keep up with the times. During a new product launch, a positive review from a reputable influencer can drive more sales than hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on traditional marketing forms.
Social media influencers impact global business, as they steer global business strategies simply because they are trendsetters. Every influencer needs to be charismatic, memorable, “cool”, and likable, so they constantly invent something new. They create content that must remain appealing and grow with their audience. To stay relevant and cash in, businesses must keep up as well. That’s why many modern companies opt to reach customers directly through established social media users. This is why companies suddenly start caring about social justice issues once they are trending on social media. It’s why startups and youth-oriented businesses can be so wildly successful compared to their traditional, well-established counterparts.
Why is a partnership with influencers so important for businesses?
Finding influencers for your brand is probably the most successful way of reaching consumers. It ensures that the brand’s message is listened to, paid attention to, and believed by potential customers. Brands use influencers to reach new audiences or segments. They hire them to develop engaging content, such as videos, suggestions, tutorials, etc. Influencers are so important for businesses worldwide because they are very good at spotting recent trends. Furthermore, they create new trends and are often the source of new product ideas. These are the most popular kinds of partnerships with influencers:
- Sponsorship – Companies can support influencers by directly paying for sponsored content – whether it’s a photo, a video segment, spotlight review, etc. They provide rough guidelines and recommendations on key points they are trying to make. Then, the influencers will adapt it to their own “style”, and share it with their audience. Temporary discounts are often there, too, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
- Brand ambassador – Successful partnerships with influencers can lead them to become brand ambassadors. Then, influencers advertise a company’s product or service regularly and become a symbol of a particular brand.
- Guest blogs – In this approach, companies search for a group of creators who own blogs or websites in addition to social media platforms. Their audience should belong to a targeted niche. A company then creates an interesting article for them as a guest blog with valuable information.
The value of influencers
Influencers gain their glory and popularity because people can relate and connect with them. Followers find similarities in interests, and they trust their opinion and reviews. When people see someone they can relate to, someone they identify with, they are much more likely to use the same products and services. They are likely to form similar opinions and have similar preferences. One influencer’s praise can cause a significant surge in sales. On the other hand, one influencer’s negative experience can result in a significant drop in public perception.
At the highest level, mega influencers can secure multi-million-dollar contracts, exclusivity deals, and major sponsorships. In return, they can pull a brand from relative obscurity into the global spotlight in a manner of days or make people re-think a company’s public image completely.
Effects of influencer marketing
There are many effects of influencer marketing, such as:
- Launch cycles: For many brands, especially trend-driven ones, influencers make a big impact during product launches. This matters most to those with short life cycles of products – a movie, a single-player game, a phone, or a cosmetic product. Product launches are increasingly adapting to this type of marketing, with entire new infrastructures revolving around review samples, significant spikes in demand, etc.
- Integrity: An influencer’s involvement with a brand can be temporary and paid for, but their relationship with their followers is something they carefully cultivate and has to be long-lasting. Their careers live and die by their integrity, honesty, and authenticity. Therefore, most of them will outright refuse to promote a product or service they don’t believe in or a company whose practices they disagree with. Honesty, pro-consumer strategies, and good PR have become imperative.
- Feedback: Influencers can be a good reflection of their audience’s opinion. Their content will reflect the majority opinion of their audience, as will the comments left by the community. This creates a unique window into the minds of consumers.
Influencers drive the economy
By using social media to connect with their followers, influencers have created a new market. Their content itself necessitates professional equipment and editing. It results in thriving industries and new employment opportunities. The appeal of being an influencer is more than evident. You can pursue your interests, be incredibly successful, independent, popular, and make your own work environment. However, competition in the influencers’ world is becoming stronger and stronger as well. This creates a demand for more content. More content attracts more influencers. More influencers attract larger audiences, and on and on it goes.
The absolute winner in this story – consumerism. Whether we like it or not, people are encouraged to keep buying. This inevitably stimulates overall economic growth. Social media influencers impact global business on a much deeper level than it seems. They will continue to boost the economy in a well-connected world.
About Author: Amanda Smith is a project manager working with the marketing team at Four Winds Saudi Arabia. She has a wide knowledge of social media platforms and their influence on businesses. Her job is to keep up with new trends and innovations, so she’s constantly learning new things. Amanda writes blogs with the main focus on social media networks and their impact on everyday life.