‘Influence’ – The word has always had a lot of weight and more has been added to it in the recent years. Being influential is one of the privileges that come with time, consistency and social standing. If you are an ‘influencer’, you have an upper hand in convincing people in anything you may believe in. You lead the way for people to make better decisions. The word ‘influencer’ has reached a whole new level in the last five years, owing to its value in the digital world. The world became smaller when the wheel was invented and it completely shrank when the digital era came in. You are here and you are there, and you are everywhere all at once, because you can access any part of the globe and beyond within clicks.
You are more aware than ever, soaking in way too much information which often confuses you when it comes to making decisions about anything. ‘To buy or not to buy’ has now shifted to ‘Which one to buy’ and here is where digital ‘influencers’ come into the picture. No amount of traditional advertising can do what a digital influencer can do to help you choose better and to lean you towards one side where there are many. Digital influencers hold the power. With power comes responsibility of words and action. With power also comes a lot of following and an inevitable necessity to keep pace with every current situation and the products that rule our everyday lives.
The relatability and reliability of influencers are two aspects that help you judge your purchasing behavior along with your opinions on matters most trivial to most important. Influencers are the new age heroes that rescue you from your confusion of choice among excess supply of knowledge and restaurants and brands and products and services and salons and watches and smartphones and cars and.. the list just goes on. For anything and everything, a review from an influencer that has a good amount of following on social media along with content that justifies their knowledge on the subject has become absolutely important. Empowering your choices, influencers are helping you cut the amount of time you spend on deciding what to wear and where to go.
What, where, when, why and how are all answered by them in an attempt to convince you through their opinion. Another word for them that comes to mind is ‘Opinion leaders’. What does that mean for each one of us? Our opinions are our own but led by those who know better. Why not? Someone is making our life easy and we all want that.
Influencer marketing has taken over because of the ‘organic chain reaction’ it creates spiraling a product to success via reaching them directly through a conversation. Through influencer marketing, the game has changed because it is no more ‘one marketing campaign for all’ but is a ‘one to one or one to many conversation’ that helps you gauge the response to a product right through the horses mouth. The direct approach to each one in the target group is what makes it somewhat measurable and gives incomparable insights into the minds of those that are most likely to purchase the product/service. But the following two points is crucial to understand.
In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in USA sent across several letters and official warnings to influencers and brands to clearly disclose the relationships they have with their followers. Technically speaking, the US government is cracking down on undisclosed partnerships and sponsorship agreements. This lack of transparency is likely to drive industry leaders to become more public about their relationships and intentions. Also moving ahead, it is advisable to be as transparent as possible. In India there is no such law as of now but the law of followers applies and they need to know what is a sponsored content and what is pure content.