Is influencer marketing still relevant?

21 Jul 2023 02:56pm
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When was the last time an influencer influenced you to purchase a product they reviewed on social media?

For the last five years at least, influencer marketing has become an indispensable part of marketing strategies by companies.

Why? Because influencers have the power to influence purchasing decisions based on their recommendations, expertise on a specific topic, and how they engage with their audience.

This, in turn, helps companies to achieve their marketing objectives.

But this concept isn’t new. In fact, it has long been done before, only with celebrities through endorsements.

The only difference is, influencer marketing is now done with regular folks who have earned the status as popular online figures through their following on social media accounts.

With the right influencers, brands are able to establish a strong foothold in the social media realm.

But, with everybody striving to become the next “it” influencer, the market has become overly saturated.

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Elsewhere, articles have suggested that influencers can’t influence anymore and that the world may be done with influencer marketing.

Could this be true on our end? Tinker Society founder, Angeline Lo shares her thoughts on the future of influencer marketing, whether it’s here to stay or not. Tinker Society, is a social media agency that manages influencers, based in KL.

“From my perspective, influencers still hold influence in the local influencer scene. However, it is crucial for brands and businesses to carefully select authentic creators and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) who genuinely align with their values and products.

“While it is true that there are articles suggesting warning signs about the effectiveness of influencers and that only a small percentage of consumers are influenced by them to make specific purchases, it's important to consider the broader context. Influencer marketing can still be an effective strategy when executed strategically.

“Finding influencers who have a genuine connection with their audience and whose content resonates with the target market can yield positive results," said Lo.

She added that authentic creators can effectively convey brand messages and generate interest in products or services. Additionally, utilising KOCs, who are recognised as experts in their field, can further enhance the impact of influencer marketing.

In uncovering the reality behind managing influencers, Lo does admit there are challenges.

One significant challenge is getting timely replies and responses from influencers. Lo said it can be difficult to control when influencers will reply to messages or return calls, as they often have busy schedules and multiple collaborations to manage.

This can sometimes lead to delays in campaign planning, coordination, and execution.

“Effective communication is crucial for successful influencer management, and it relies on both parties demonstrating a positive working attitude and behaving professionally.

“It's important for influencers to prioritise clear and timely communication with their manager to ensure smooth collaboration and meet campaign deadlines.

“Establishing clear expectations and timelines upfront can help mitigate this challenge and foster a more efficient working relationship,” she said.

Tinker Society founder, Angeline Lo
Tinker Society founder, Angeline Lo

Is influencer marketing here to stay? Yes, according to Lo.

“I believe influencer marketing is here to stay in the future. However, it is likely that the landscape and terminology surrounding influencer marketing will continue to evolve to better define and identify quality influencers.

“As the industry matures, there will likely be a stronger emphasis on authenticity, transparency, and genuine connections between influencers and their audiences.

“Brands and businesses will become more discerning in their selection of influencers, seeking those who have a true influence and impact on their followers.

“It allows for more personalised and relatable content that resonates with consumers, creating a sense of trust and credibility," she said.

With the ongoing growth of social media and the increasing reliance on digital platforms, influencer marketing is expected to continue evolving and adapting to changing consumer behaviors and preferences.

While the specific strategies and tactics may change over time, the underlying concept of influencer marketing, leveraging the influence and reach of individuals to promote products and services, will likely remain a valuable tool for brands in the future, added Lo.

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