Influencer Marketing – Does It Work?

Key opinion leaders (KOLs), also known as influencers, are people who actively use social media to promote or recommend a certain product or service in an attempt to influence people's purchasing decisions and brand perception.

In fact, studies have shown, 58% of consumers have actually been influenced in purchasing a product because of an influencer recommendation. With digitalization, KOLs are essentially modern-day celebrity spokespeople who can affect the buying decisions of others.

Seeing a shift in marketing strategies, many marketers will tell you that influencer marketing often plays a pivotal role in their overall advertising strategy. This article addresses 3 most frequently asked questions by brands and will guide you on if your brand should be employing influencer marketing strategies in your next campaign.

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Picture from: freepik

1. Celebrity Endorsement vs. Influencer Marketing?

It is easy to mistake one for another with the lines blurred, but their difference lies in how campaigns are executed and how they help influence the brand's target audiences.

Celebrity endorsement uses the fame of a celebrity to the advantage of the brand or product. Meanwhile, influencer marketing, who are already considered experts in their field, creates more reliable word-of-mouth advertising through their followers.

Although both strategies use notable people to influence, influencer marketing works great in the digital age as they are more authentic.

Taking advantage of the KOL's expertise on the topic and their established engagement, connection, and trust between them and their community, this generates credibility that celebrity endorsement seldom emulates.

This suggests KOLs can actually be one of the most reliable and influential people in building the brand's image.

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2. Can KOL activation be measured?

When cooperating with content creators, brands often wonder if any metrics could be measured to determine the success of their activation. The answer is that there isn't a clear-cut ROI calculation, but engagement is the biggest campaign performance indicator.

Different KPIs can be measured based on your goal when partnering with an influencer. If the brand is looking to build their brand, where sales are not the major concern, then valuable feedback in the form of likes, comments, and shares will give the brand insights about their customers and their needs in further brand development.

If the goal is to drive sales, a direct cause-and-effect between an influencer activation and the boost in sales will be harder to determine. But the same goes for traditional marketing like print ads, billboards, or television broadcasting ads.

For sales ROI, brands can measure the effectiveness of the campaign through affiliate codes and tracking link click. The metrics derived from these links will give the brand an idea on the success of their partnered KOL, be it in reaching the right audiences or even creating conversions/leads.

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3. What are micro-influencers?

Micro-influencers are influencers with 1K to 10K followers on their social platforms. (Hong Kong) They are taking off in influencer marketing as their niche expertise and smaller audience pool make them much more hands-on and personal in their content creation.

As studies have shown, influencers with 1K followers could actually generate up to 85% higher engagement than those having 100K followers. This again suggests that consumers crave authenticity and like to see themselves in relatable ads. Targeted consumers are more likely to be swayed by the influencer they aspire to be.

Overall, influencer marketing works by leveraging influencers who are followed by the brand's target audience. The brand not only could put their product or service in front of the right audience, but they could also generate high ROIs thanks to the strong trust that has already been built between the KOLs and their audiences. While influencer marketing works perfectly for many industries, we always recommend adopting an integrated marketing strategy to develop a holistic marketing approach.