It's becoming more and more prevalent in every strong brand campaign. It has huge budgets specifically dedicated to implementing it. It appears to be a stronger, more prudent 'native' space than ever.
Yet, with this ambassadorial arena of influencer marketing opening up, a new challenge presents itself; authenticity.
How are we able to communicate succinct and natural messaging - without being considered just a regular advert or even worse, a 'distrusted' advert?
Cut and Paste
On a worst case scenario: the embarrassing cut and paste mistake.
The wave of the ‘influencer’ has descended upon us whether we like it or not. From reality TV contestant to specialists in their chosen field, this social media nature of advertising appears to be here to stay.
So how can we best embrace it and ensure that the credibility of our ads is being recognised as a brand intends?
Thinking about the natural environment of the product or service being marketed and in turn, the relationship it has to the consumer is key. It needs to be ensured that the influencer is synergistic to the message. Sounds simple? It’s incredible how many people get this wrong, just because somebody has a huge social footprint, it would be an entirely wasted exercise if the ‘follower profile’ of that individual influencer did not fit that of a brand’s target market. It’s about considering a highly targeted and environmentally compatible messaging system. You will create a meaningful connection to the intended audience, if you distribute messaging in an organic habitat.
Joe Wicks @thebodycoach collaborated with ‘Lucy Bee’ and told PR Week:
I said, "I’m promoting your brand." Lucy said: "I’ll send you some jars." We had a kind of affiliate link.
The influencers tone needs to come first and the tone of the brand should filter through that. We are smart and savvy as consumers therefore it should not be underestimated that we can tell when we are being sold to. Give the audience, the benefit of the doubt here, it’s not about duping them, it’s about embracing the reality of the situation and that people are likely to be aware that they are being sold to. So many brand campaigns attempt to push the tone of the brand first which can appear clunky and forced. It’s key to remember that the influencer knows their audience and what they are likely to respond to. Being integrated into this dialogue in a familiar and native manner is what you should be seeking to achieve for the highest possible resonance.
Are you offering value to your target market? Content is key, whether it’s the immediacy of an action you are seeking, or simply opening up a meaningful conversation with your audience. Give them an offer that they really want. Ensure that creativity is prevalent, there is no excuse for a terrible selfie of an influencer with a product, stating that they use it to get better/faster/stronger (delete as appropriate), followed by an eye roll.
Use a genius, inspirational, comedic, moving or meaningful way to position the brand. Less is often more and it’s crucial to remember that one message being taken away is always more powerful than a barrage of multiple messaging which gets blurry and is often hard to retain.