No business can survive without being effectively promoted. You need people to know about your firm’s existence and the services you provide in order to lure your potential customers and convert them into permanent buyers.
There are hundreds of ways in which you can promote your brand and your business enterprise as a whole, be it holding a press conference, coming out with an effective marketing campaign, hosting seminars and exhibitions across the city or hiring the best PR firm in town.
All these practices would let people know about existence in the market and would encourage them to make a purchase.
However, there is another unique way of getting your business promoted, which has emerged as the years have passed. This is marketing through opinion leaders.
Who Is An Opinion Leader?
Have you ever read a famous blog on the internet regarding a random restaurant you weren’t even aware about and got tempted to try their signature dishes? Have you ever gone to watch a movie only because the reviews you read were favourable? Have you ever changed your tastes and preferences based on your favourite characters on television?
If any of these answers is a yes, you have been effectively bugged by opinion leaders. As the name suggests, an opinion leader is anyone whose opinion would matter to a huge amount of people and which may also help the leader to make their audience behave in a particular way.
Some of the most common examples of opinion leaders have been bloggers, actors, sportsmen or even public speakers. These people are fairly famous and have a loyal audience who are easily influenced by their opinions.
Are Opinion Leaders Any Powerful?
As the media industry has grown over the past few decades, the power of opinion leaders has been getting stronger with time. Imagine a journalist being biased towards an unjust culprit but showing their case in an extremely convincing manner. This is very likely to modify the behaviour of their followers as they would now have the same opinion as the journalist.
The number and intensity of opinion leaders have been increasing manifolds in the society. Though some of them are genuine and even helpful to the society, there are a few who misuse their authority for unethical purposes.
Importance Of Opinion Leaders For Start-ups
When you are starting with a new business, hardly anyone knows about you or your brand in the market. You need to get your word out there and convince people to choose your brand over others. At this stage of your business, opinion leaders can help you build a strong foundation for your existing as well as potential customers.
If you want to save the money you would otherwise spend on advertising your brand, you can approach such influential people who would spread your message to their followers, thereby giving you a potential increase in the number of customers.
Bloggers as Opinion Leaders
In the last decade, bloggers have emerged as the leading opinion leaders of the society. The fact that makes them so approachable and famous is that they are as good as any other civilian. This increases the readability factor as more and more people can relate to them.
If you want your young business to thrive in the market, take help of the best blogger in the sector where your business functions. For example, if you own a chain of restaurants, approach the most influential food blogger to praise your venture. If you work in a bank, an alternative finance platform or a card company, approach financial bloggers to right about your firm in their blogs.
Through such practises, both you and the bloggers would expand their reach. The bloggers can venture into new markets with their write-ups and you can pull in the loyal audience of these bloggers.
Celebrities as Opinion Leaders
After bloggers, celebrities are the most sought after opinion leaders by business enterprises. This is because of the huge fan base they possess. No0 matter how bizarre or controversial it may be, anything that they say goes!
This is also the reason why more and more brands are hiring movie and sports stars in their ads. There is an innate assumption that a product ought to be worth purchasing is a celebrity is asking you to buy it. This psychology is often hit on by the budding entrepreneurs to make their business popular real quick.
Are Opinion Leaders Always Useful?
It is highly profitable for a business to approach the most influential opinion leaders of the society in order to promote their business, but it doesn’t always result in success. As opposed to other modes of promotion where the business is involved first hand, promotion here is only as good as the opinion leader.
As an entrepreneur, you have little control over the way people will react to your brand when it is being made famous by a third party. If you choose the wrong opinion leader, your new business can shut its door the very next day.
Also, you need to have an assurance that they (especially bloggers) will only portray the positive aspects of your business. One negative move and it could all end badly.