How Influencer Marketing Has Changed And What You Can Do About It
Did you know that consumers from Generation Z are more likely to trust an influencer than a celebrity spokesperson? That’s become pretty apparent as companies across a vast range of industries have begun to turn to social media pages with a large number of followers to boost their brand’s visibility. This practice is now commonplace within digital media but the techniques used are far from set in stone. What are some ways influencer marketing has changed — and what can you do about it?
1. High Follower Counts No Longer Matter
In the early days of this method, only influencers with thousands upon thousands — even millions — of followers were capable of landing a deal with a brand. Companies sought volume above all else. The problem? A high follower count is not a well targeted audience. Sure, you can increase your brand’s exposure that way but there’s no telling how many of those millions of followers are interested in what you have to offer. So what’s the change? Instead of going for high-profile accounts, brands are seeking out relevant partnerships to target the right consumers, increasing their chances for revenue. What can you do about it? Think middle of the road in your search for the right influencers to partner with. Ideally, you’ll want someone who has built some sort of online presence and is passionate about a topic related to your brand. For example — an athletic shoe company may have gone for a big name celebrity with millions of followers in the past but now they’re more likely to choose a personal trainer who posts how-to fitness videos and has a fan base of ten-thousand people. That’s because in this example, the personal trainer’s audience is more likely to be actively involved in working out — as opposed to the celebrity whose followers may just like watching from the sidelines (think relevance + engagement = success).
2. Authenticity Over Trendsetting
In the past, the trendiest influencers were the ones most successful — people who were up to date on the latest and most popular happenings. The problem? Humans can detect lies better than we realize. Our brains are really good at picking up on whether or not a person is being real with us — being authentic. In a world where Fake News runs rampant and it’s common knowledge that celebrities are paid for their endorsements, trustworthiness is key. People who value trendsetting? Well, that comes across as fake to a lot of people. If you were authentic, would you need to keep up with what everyone else is doing? Like grandma always said — if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump with them? Only truly authentic people march to the beat of their own drum, thus shoppers will tend to put more faith in someone who values their own principles over what’s hot and trending. So what can you do about this change to influencer marketing? Seek out authentic creators before trendsetters. Remember — your media is a vehicle for your brand’s voice. It’s your chance to showcase who you are as a company and attract like-minded consumers who will forge loyal relationships with your business. Who you partner with impacts your credibility, too, so choose wisely!
3. The Power of a Good Story
Everyone wants to feel like they belong — that’s a basic human need. One of the best ways to feel connected with others is through storytelling. People love a good tale. That’s why we watch movies, TV shows, and keep up with constantly evolving celebrity drama — they make for good stories. Originally, influencer marketing relied heavily on product descriptions and accolades. Now, shoppers are wise to the fact that a lot of these partnerships are paid — and thus, the opinion can be bought. Except, we live in a society that understands people need a way to make money. Most shoppers don’t mind sponsored content — as long as it’s real. Storytelling builds connections with others better than simply presenting a product and gushing about it. An influencer describing to their fans the time they went to Spain, got lost in Madrid, and wandered around the city for hours before stumbling upon a little cafe that sold an amazing pastry as a vehicle to promote flavored coffee can be powerful stuff — and a one way ticket to conversion city.
The world is constantly changing around us and businesses have to keep up to stay relevant. Influencer marketing is no stranger to these evolutions — and that can work in your favor! Roll with the punches as they come in and adapt by aiming for relevant influencers, choosing authentic, and relying on great storytelling for a successful campaign. Want professional help getting started? Contact the experts at SAMA Labs today to explore ways your brand can take full advantage of influencer marketing.