Does, “#AD #SponsoredPost” look familiar to you? That is one facet of the big term, Influencer Marketing and it has become one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy
Brands today are allocating big budgets towards getting (both micro and macro) influencers to pose and post an image of their products onto their social feed. This strategy works. So beautifully that it seems unbelievable. Over 50% of Marketers have noticed better quality consumers when they initiated this strategy. It is not surprising. 82% of the total audience have noted that social media platforms are their go-tos when they are in the decision phase of any purchasing journey. This is exceptional news because it is prove that Instagram ads work. Without ad blockers of any sort to “block out” #SP, your targeted group of the audience has to consume what their social media influencers feed them, and most times, willingly. Especially with micro-influencers who have built a good rapport with their base.
There is more than #AD #SponsoredPost in this digital realm and they come in the guise of 5 other different means.
1. #SP - Sponsored Content
The OG of Influencer Marketing. It involves liaising with a selected influencer (or vice versa) to collaborate on content with the product. It can range from a cheesy picture of the influencer posing with it to an elaborated 10s video or minute-long reel. This is where micro-influencers today have an edge over the bigger names because of the sheer effort they could potentially put in to convince your long-term partnership with them. Arguably the best method especially if you are dipping toes in your investment in the influencer realm and deciding if the selected influencer is practically suited for your long-term brand image.
Everyone loves a freebie. Especially if it requires minimum effort for a valuable product. This is almost equivalent to casting a wide net in the ocean to gain awareness, and it is more than often, a win-win approach and flexible enough to be layered on top of any other marketing efforts to optimize results.
Most times on online platforms such as Instagram, the prerequisite will come in the form of Like, Follow, Tag and Share… It could also be mixed up to increase “higher chances of winning” without being pushy.
From @eatandtravel.blog’s recent giveaway, you will notice that sharing the post to Instagram Stories comes with an added bonus of adding to your odds of winning.
3. Social Channels Takeover
With Instagram upping its game in being the top online channel of choice, the features they present, offer Brands and Markers today a myriad of advertising opportunities that even former Mediacorp Starlet has started a career in it.
This typically comes in the form of IG Stories, but it may be executed in a series of curated posts as well. These valuable short seconds of likely unscripted videos can be concurrently shared to the chosen influencer’s account (Thank You, tagging), and Brands will notice an increase in quality followers.
The execution of this is relatively easy. All it takes is prior planning with the partnered up influencer on the time and duration. The idea is instead of the Brand reposting the content, the influencer quite literally, takes over the account and decides on the visual communication aspect.
There are unlimited possibilities to this approach if you allow creative freedom to your partnered up influencer, and the results may shock you. However, with great returns comes great risks. This form is very likely to go wrong and could be misinterpreted / handled. Thus, the influencer that your Brand collaborates with, needs to be aligned in vision and loves your Brand as much as you do.
4. Affiliate Reviews
Word of mouth works. Old but gold tactic in the Marketing realm. Consumers may be savvy, but if you get the right influencer authority, #SP would not matter.
This method comes commonly as an #unboxing video. They are especially great if you have a new product that you want your target to know about, or when you wish to venture into a new audience territory.
New luxurious towel brand, KINZA used this as their market entry approach. They collaborated with notable nano, micro, and macro influencers across Singapore and Malaysia to introduce their towel to a broad range of audiences on Instagram.
This variant bears almost an uncanny resemblance to sponsored content. The main underlying difference is that the terms of affiliate reviews are usually up to the discretion of the reviewer.
These influencers hold great authority in the followers’ eyes, through the painstaking building of their credibility. Being paid is likely secondary to their reputation as authority figures. While they seem lofty and inflexible, most times, they give you the best returns on investment if you are focused on increasing your sales and long term retention of your new consumer base.
5. Product Collaborations
If your Brand prefers being hands-on in the co-creation of the final content, or you have a clear creative direction, this is for you. In this scenario, it calls for actively coordination and involvement with the chosen influencer to produce, like most methods, static images (series or not), videos, posts, or all of the above.
The Brand here takes on a supporting role to the final outcome. The focus here is selling the idea of a lifestyle that you want associating with your product. One way could be that if you are in the food industry, your brand might want to engage a popular sporty micro-influencer to come up with a 7-day meal plan that incorporates your product.
6. Brand Ambassador
These are the face of your Brand. You are looking at a big picture with them. Therefore, this partnership calls upon a certain level of commitment level over a period of time. Here, results might be slow, but you are almost guaranteed that your Brand will stick in the minds of your preferred audience group.
The theory of this is simple, repetition creates habits. By associating your products long-term with a handful of influencers, your returns are in the form of credibility and authenticity of your promoted product. The logic is simple too. What your audience group see, is the influencers' commitment level towards your Brand and they believe that only if the promoted Brand is good, will then suggest this continued relationship. Thus, #SponsoredPost here means nothing to them.
Naturally, you will want them to grow together with you. In an ideal world, they will live and breathe your products and nothing can convince them otherwise (even once the partnership ends). This is possible. However, you need to nurture your group of Brand Ambassadors. A good (and inexpensive way) to start will be selecting the right micro-influencers.
The idea revolving around Influencer Marketing in Singapore is about doing almost ”in-house public relations”. Influencers, no matter nano, micro, macro, or mega, have the power to relay your brand’s communication to their network. When concurrently used with other sets of strategies in your Marketing arsenal, this method of Brand messaging will add value to the overall activation.