Social Media has become an inseparable part of our lives. Checking our social media account is the first thing we do in the morning and the last in the night. The way we communicated with each other has changed drastically over the past 20 years.
However, the pace of its impact is only accelerating over time. The fast development of mobile technology matched by the cheapening of mobile data has further played an important role in deepening the impact of social media.
The impact itself has been quite drastic. Calls have been replaced by Whatsapp messages. Newspapers by Twitter. In-person meetings by Skype. And Photo Albums by Instagram. People, today, are more comfortable in communicating with each other with some kind of screens between them.
Many may view this development in the negative light and they have their own reasons. However, the rising prominence of social media in our lives can also be viewed as a new way of communication. It is enhancing connectivity with each other. Networking has gained a different meaning altogether in the world of social media.
Today there are relevant virtual communities dedicated especially for the like-minded people. It was not possible earlier for celebrities to express themselves to the millions of their fans on a daily basis. Today, it is. Live time face video chat is saving innumerable resources- both money and time- otherwise required to make a face-to-face meeting possible.
Among its other effects, Social Media has also impacted the way online marketing is done. Since more and more people are now online, organizations are interested in using innovative ways of utilizing social media for promoting their products and services. Although there are many different names given to it, one of the most popular routes of utilizing social media for brand promotion is called ‘Influencer Marketing’
What is Influencer Marketing in social media?
A Social Media Influencer is a prominent user who uses one or many social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, to promote brands. He/She has established earned credibility in a specific industry and usually has access to a large audience. The said person can, thus, persuade others by virtue of their reach and authenticity.
How does the process of Influencer marketing work?
Simple: Word-of-mouth promotion. This kind of promotion has been traditionally one of the best forms of promotions. You may instantly believe a products authenticity recommended by a kith or kin of yours as compared to those commercials and advertorials. In fact, proving this statistically, McKinsey deems that word-of-mouth promotions are twice as effective in gaining sales as compared to any other advertising mode.
However, traditionally, the reach of W‑o-M has been quite limited, thus requiring the organizations to depend on other modes of promotions. A few satisfied customers recommending a product or a service to a few of their friends does very little for the business’s overall success.
This is exactly where social media influencers come in the picture. The influencers having a huge number of followers are thus able to reach to more number of audience.
The only thing that they have to do is develop a sense of trust with their followers. If the sponsored products or services are posted strategically so as to feel like a ‘recommendation’ rather than a ‘promotion’, it has the kind of lasting impact that is brought by word-of-mouth. Social Media Influencer marketing thus multiplies the good impact of word-of-mouth promotion with its impressive reach to make for a lethal promotion weapon relevant in today’s world.
Why go with influencer marketing?
Short answer: Reach. According to Statista, only in 2018, there were over 326 million social media users in India. That makes for over one-fourth of the country’s population. With the majority of the population still young (over 50%), this number is only going to skyrocket over the next few years. Thus, Influencer Marketing gives a wide and instantaneous reach to organizations.
Apart from the above, there are several positives about why you should an online platform for promotions. For starters, the ROI can be effectively traced back in social media influencer marketing, thus giving organizations with better insights on the campaign’s impact. The engagement that a particular campaign has generated can also be easily calculated in this form of marketing.
Moreover, choosing the right influencers can open doors to just the right kind of target market and audience.
Sports Influencers: Why use them to promote your brand?
Sports Influencers are the new benchmark in the social media influencing. As the name suggests, these are the influencers that are eminent sports personalities. They may be competing in any form of the game, including Athletics, Cricket, Football, or Hockey among others.
How are sports influencers different than other social media influencers?
Sports influencers are different from other personalities for one sole reason- they play for the nation. While personalities from other fields like actors, musicians, artists, businessmen etc., work for themselves (and the country indirectly), an athletes sole purpose is to bring a medal or a trophy and to make their country proud on the world map.
Sportspersons stand for such values as hard work, sporting spirit, honesty, dedication, passion and patriotism amongst others. People follow them because of the country-service that these luminaries do, year after year. They are proud of their idol’s achievements.
It goes without saying that the kind of audience that follows athletes and sportspersons are one of the most loyal lots on social media.
Marketing through sports influencers thus generates more engagement as compared to any other mode of social media promotion.
Moreover, the loyalty that the fans have for athletes also rubs on to your brand, thus increasing brand loyalty.
This is a very important factor in today’s world where competition is neck deep.
What more? Sports Influencers provides a high amount of flexibility when it comes to budget and impact.
Want to promote your product in a tier-II city on a limited budget? No problem. You can choose an athlete from a local area who has minimum engagement on social media. Want a big scale promotion? You can shortlist sports influencers from different parts of the country on the budget of your desire to promote your brand. Thus, sports influencer marketing is one of the most impact-driven and cost-effective modes of promotion.
Moreover, by choosing to, you are supporting the athlete financially, which in turn, is an indirect nation service. This further helps in elevating your brand loyalty amongst the general audience.
Plus, sportspersons are like small seeds waiting to germinate. If given right financial support and training initially, they can bloom into big performers waiting to win medals at international competitions. Then not only their stock will rise, but the stock of the initial sponsors will rise as well.
As a result, bringing sports influencers on board can prove to be one of the most rewarding and cost-effective modes of marketing for your brand.
It is thus not surprising that so many organizations have now woken up to the importance of employing sports influencers to promote their brands.