Influencers are an adaptive and rapidly evolving content resource, offering brands opportunity to directly connect with customers in an authentic way by utilising and amplifying brand messages via each influencer’s specific style of content, rather than making them change their look to suit a brands natural environment, but with so many new influencers emerging daily, how can brands identify the most relevant? The buzzword in branded content is no longer the big-budget celebrity bloggers or vloggers, it’s the micro-influencer. They are more authentic, have access to niche fan groups and are inspiring without being alienating. And often, they are less expensive than mass-celebrity names.
Over the past five years, thousands of new, niche influencers have globally careered into our social feeds. Seemingly, even those ordinary people next door evolved overnight into a Justice League-esque group of media savvy, “super relatable” people with extraordinary photogenic abilities. From couples travelling the world to musically-inclined teenage boys to gender fluid make up artists, there is an influencer for everyone.
What makes influencers so alluring to consumers?
In short, influencers – especially fashion lifestyle influencers – live the lives of the people we aspire to be; they are the friends we wish we really had; they cook and create delicious, shareable content; stay in the best hotels, and attend the best events; all whilst using the latest mobile phones, wearing perfect eye-liner, and toasting to their social media success via Pinterest-perfect cocktails, against a backdrop of never ending summers, glossy marble counter-tops and eerily quiet and serene cityscapes. It’s clear from all the activity on social that more brands are using influencers that ever before.
Once we’ve stopped revelling in a world of self-pity, jealousy and FOMO, we use these beautiful social feeds to motivate us to lead better, more wholesome lives. And of course, every single product or service they promote seamlessly facilitates the dream life that we would like to have.
So, by effortlessly building genuine, relatable relationships with consumers, and by their inherent tech and media savvy nature, micro-influencers have permeated every aspect of media and advertising. They’ve fast grown to become a $1-billion media industry, establishing themselves as a serious, heavy-weight media channels in their own right.
At OMD EMEA, we try to anticipate our clients’ needs by using a combination of storytelling and creative thinking along with data insights to help bolster campaigns: blending art and science to create memorable and high-performing content. Our in-house creative team, Create, helps activate influencer programs that bring added value.
When should brands use influencers?
Firstly, as with any media channel, just because you can use it in your connections plan, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. The value and power of influencers is, unlike the top-down distribution model of traditional ATL channels such as print, TV, and radio; they offer an agile and scalable model for connecting with younger consumers. Influencers exist in new media services that resonate with people because it shifts the power of content creation and curation to their fellow peers. This decentralisation of content ownership appeals to Gen Y and Gen Z in particular as it allows them to source live content and news stories direct from a source, rather than relying on traditional news sites that many feel bias or skew information (for example, only 29% of Gen Y’ers trust traditional online news channels).
Here are five key steps to help tap into the influencer-consumer relationship:
- Develop an Influencer Framework
- Discover – identifying relevant influencer for objectives to be met, including audience definitions and setting campaign goals. Will your customers be receptive to influencer content?
- Establish how content will be created, are influencers creating their own position, or are we asking them to regurgitate core brand messages? Set expectations, what do we expect influencer to do in return for money, VIP invitations or event access
- Act on opportunity: budget channel allocation and planning required to meet goals. Plan the amplification of organic reach.
- Measure: Test, learn, and optimise
To learn more about how OMD Create can activate influencer programs that bring added value please contact email@example.com