In recent years, the growing importance of social media has become apparent. A statistic conducted in August 2017 showed that almost half of the population actively uses social media, representing 40% of the world’s population. On social networks, there is a growing and vocal group of opinion leaders in life sciences called “influencers”. Interestingly, these opinion leaders are not necessarily doctors, academics or scientists. Instead, they are increasingly likely to be tweeters, bloggers or other social media users who influence the attitudes and behaviours of their followers. 78% of Internet users turn to influencers to guide them in their decision making. Influence marketing is now inevitable to promote one’s business. Many world-renowned brands have already tasted success.

WHAT IS AN INFLUENCER?

Influencers in social media are people who dominate others because of their knowledge, authority or relationship with their audience. Their pre-existing presence in a niche makes them a useful launch pad for brands seeking credibility. They regularly publish articles on their preferred social media channels and generate many enthusiastic and engaged subscribers who pay close attention to their opinions. It should be noted that these people are not simply marketing tools, but assist companies in “influence marketing”, a form of advertising that reinforces the authority of the brand on the back of another person’s reputation. They can create trends and encourage their followers to buy the products they promote.

THE IMPORTANCE OF INFLUENCERS

Certainly marketing has entered the social media landscape. Your company can’t afford to be outside of social media, not when 70% of brands are investing more in social media marketing. And social media is no longer an afterthought on traditional media. For many companies, this is where the real battle for visibility and brand awareness takes place. The reason is simple: social media needs to be more attractive. Customers want to interact with brands instead of talking, which is what traditional advertising has been offering for many years. Customers want to be informed, entertained and delighted by brands instead of being invited to buy product X instead of product Y. And that’s where social network influencers meet their greatest successes. Because they have authority over their respective audiences, almost everything they say is treated as reliable and valuable information.

THE INFLUENCER ADVANTAGE

Today’s consumers trust third party information more than they trust the brands themselves. The majority is influenced by the fact that their friends like the product on social networks. In fact, you probably do it yourself. Think about the last time you wanted to buy a product you knew almost nothing about. You probably asked someone you know: a friend or family member what they think. The same concept applies to influence marketing, as the influencer is the person who vouches for a brand with his or her followers. Because of the strong relationship between the influencer and his audience, the influencer has the power over the main target customers, to get more views and increase sales. This approach can be used to identify unmet needs and product gaps and stimulate new product development. By working with key social influencers for a target audience, companies can create low-cost, high-return local market information for products and launch markets. They can also gather consumer information to enable real-time adjustment of online marketing campaigns.

HOW DO YOU FIND A SUITABLE INFLUENCER?

Describe your ideal influencer and start looking for someone who fits your business. A suitable influencer is not just someone with thousands of followers. What is also important is to find an influencer who is truly relevant to your brand. You will need to make sure that your target influencers are contextually relevant to your business, so that every time they mention your brand and product, it is likely to generate leads and sales. For example, if your company is a distributor of automotive parts, you will naturally want to partner with someone you trust in the automotive industry. Not only does this influence marketing lead to optimal awareness, but it also guarantees a considerable income.