Neha Kulwal, CEO, Admitad India
Holding an MBA in Finance & Marketing from ICFAI Business School, Neha has close to decade of experience in the sales & marketing domain, and specializes in Search Engine Optimization, Customer Relationship Management, Market Research, and Management areas.
Ever since marketing was acknowledged as a discipline in its own right, marketers have been using a multitude of tools and strategies to reach-out to their target audiences. However today, when technology is permeating through to each and every part of our day-to-day life, marketing is undergoing unprecedented changes at a rapid pace. Strategies that have held true for decades have largely become redundant, and new approaches that emerged only a few years ago are no longer that effective. It is clear that modern-day marketers have to evolve in step with this change in the sensibilities of their target audiences and fast-evolving trends in content consumption.
A question here arises: why is this change happening? Because our millennial consumers have so many choices available to them today, be it in terms of content or services. Such wealth of options ties into and feeds their love of experimenting with newer products and instant gratification. This is why marketers need to think beyond flashy ads and focus on creating a unique value proposition. They need to be authentic in order to engage millennial audience, and to get these new-age consumers to ‘stop scrolling and start clicking’.
“Affiliate networks can also help brands measure the performance of their influencer affiliate campaigns to identify what kind of content works well with which consumer demographic”
The Power of Social Media Influencers & Affiliate Networks
Social media has become like a chai point that millennials visit anytime they want. What makes it different is the amount of time that they do spend there; according to recent market research, millennial audience spent upwards of six hours every week on various social media platforms. More importantly, the Fear Of Missing-Out (FOMO) on social media makes 57 percent of them make unplanned purchases. This makes social media a lucrative avenue for marketers looking to engage their target audience and to drive favourable purchase decisions.
One of the biggest social media marketing trends to have emerged in recent times is the marriage of influencer and affiliate network marketing. It combines the distribution and tech capabilities of affiliate networks with the strong connect that top social media influencers/ bloggers have with their followers to create tangible brand impact in an organic manner.
Such an integration establishes influencers as new-age publishers and unlocks newer ways of monetising their reach and receiving payments. Moreover, through various support tools and performance data, affiliate networks also help influencers gain insights into the reception of branded content amongst target audience, enabling them to generate better content over time.
Brands, on the other hand, get access to native content created by top social media influencers on a larger scale through affiliate networks. There is also the ripple effect – the hallmark of any engaging social media content – to consider. Native brand integrations in influencer content can create organic conversations that can have a cascading impact through word-of-mouth, thus creating a strong resonance for the brand and/or product amongst the target audience. A strong enough influencer affiliate marketing campaign can also go viral and be picked-up by traditional and new-age media houses as a case study, further adding to the impact of the brand campaign.
Affiliate networks can also help brands measure the performance of their influencer affiliate campaigns to identify what kind of content works well with which consumer demographic. This allows them to pursue more relevant influencer partnerships in the future. Through multiple measurement and verification tools, affiliate networks also ensure that only authentic traffic is reported, thus raising the trust and credibility in the digital marketing domain.
The Road Ahead
It’s a fast paced digital world we’re living in, and consumers love experimenting with new ways of consuming content. More than that, they trust the influencers that they follow to recommend products & services that are relevant to them. Social media has become the new word-of-mouth channel. Marketers should therefore look beyond paid online ad space or content to influencer affiliate marketing in order to pull-in and retain today’s millennial consumers. After all, content is still the king, but it should also ignite conversations that interest today’s millennials – through the channels that they most frequently engage with.