What is Influencer Marketing and is it effective in the Caribbean?
Influencer Marketing has grown in popularity in recent years across the world. As more consumers went online and dispersed themselves across platforms it became increasingly difficult for brands to reach their target audience and influencer marketing greatly aided in this. It has now become more predominant in the Caribbean especially as local brands try to reach their desired audience. The question of its value though is still being debated by many local companies.
But firstly, what is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a brand/marketing relationship between a company and an influencer. Influencers post and promote a company’s goods or services via their social media pages to share it with their numerous followers. There are various types of ways companies can go about this; it can be endorsements, gifts to influencers, brand ambassadors, sponsored content or affiliate marketing.
Is influencer marketing effective in the Caribbean?
Companies all over the world have contemplated this exact question but recent studies by companies like mediakix show that there is actually a lot of value in it. They found that “89% of marketers say influencer marketing ROI is as good or better than other marketing channels.”
The main benefits of influencer marketing include:
Influencers often have a niche audience that can be broken down into demographics such as age, gender and interests which allows companies to ensure that they are reaching their exact and desired target market.
Influencers often have a dedicated following that trust them and what they promote. This means that their followers are more likely to trust and purchase the products they share.
The influencer will also create content for the company. This is a huge benefit as the influencer will ensure that the post is more authentic and speaks to their audience while also showcasing the company’s product or service.
Before you start reaching out to local influencers here are some questions companies need to ask themselves:
● Does this influencer match the company’s brand and message?
Like any marketing decision, companies have to ensure that their influencer marketing strategy matches their overall marketing goals. Many Caribbean companies have mixed messaging in their advertising and they don’t deliver the message or intention the company wants to share through their advertising. Companies need to ensure that the strategy (endorsements, brand ambassadors etc) and the influencer they choose is conforming to the companies’ overall brand identity and marketing goals. All content must be verified by the company before it is published.
● Did we do enough research?
Don’t just go with any influencer who has a lot of followers. Research influencers, their other brand deals, how they are viewed by the public, controversy they may have and their engagement on posts. Companies can do this by discussing it with the influencers, using apps like InstaCheck or going through influencer agencies who can verify this information. This is crucial so companies can ensure their brand and brand image is not affected negatively by an influencer.
● How do we track the success of Influencer Marketing?
Companies need to ensure that there is some form of measurement to ensure the success of the partnership. This can be matched with the goal of the partnership for example; if the company wants more exposure they can look at the impressions or likes of the post, or if the company wants to see how many people bought the product they will want to provide the influencer with an affiliate link. This is extremely important as it is the only way to see the ROI.
Overall, influencer marketing is a great way to ensure that your product or service reaches the target audience but the company must ensure that the influencer and how they present the brand is in accordance with the brand identity and overall marketing goals of the company.