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 Calls have been replaced by What­sapp mes­sages.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.

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