Despite the crisis, Influencer Marketing is on the rise. Influencers have become a permanent part of brand marketing campaigns, which may in fact have been propelled by the crisis. What can they bring to brands and consumers? What is the relationship between the brand, the influencer, and the audience? Why is it important for brands to implement an influencer marketing strategy?
Influencers are people that the consumer can relate to. They share common culture and passions. Their interests bring them together in online communities on topics that are important to them. The proximity is very real despite the screen that separates them because they communicate throughout the day about key moments of their daily lives. This proximity is reinforced by the direct interactions possible with the influencer, without an intermediary, via a tweet, a post on Instagram, or a reply on Facebook.
Influencers as allies of brands to create proximity with consumers
The rise of influencers is a reaction to the current needs of consumers within virtual communities. While it’s always more difficult and costly to get a user’s attention online, they interact spontaneously with influencers throughout the day. A study indicates that 61% of consumers have at least one interaction per day on social networks with at least one influencer (Rakuten, 2019).
This level of intimacy and authenticity is not possible in real life between a consumer and brand, but the influencer is able to act as an intermediary. We are no longer talking about a standard campaign message posted on public billboards and displays that no one pays attention to anymore. On the contrary, this is a new way to communicate more sincerely and authentically, something which brands would be wise to integrate into their marketing plan. For Vivien Issaly, TV Product Manager at Samsung Electronics, proximity and personalisation of messaging are the key elements of influencer marketing:
“Influence marketing has been in pole position for several years in an ecosystem where traditional advertising struggles to hit home with the consumer, due to a lack of personalisation. With influencer marketing, brands can adopt a more targeted approach to really catch the attention of their target audience. The influencer-brand partnership is also a way to build brand authenticity and win consumers’ trust.”
Are influencers more trustworthy than brands?
Beyond the close, personal relationship with their followers, influencers are also considered to be experts in their own field. Their community of followers expects them to know more than they do about certain topics. To be an authority, the influencer must not only amass thousands or millions of subscribers, but they must do so in an authentic way with expertise, talent and professionalism. Today’s consumer needs to find reliable sources of information, especially for new product recommendations. A well-thought out review by a recognised industry expert will carry more weight than a brand advertisement, no matter how well it’s produced.
Kathy Hauret, Business Developer & Training Manager at Philips Hue confirms how influencers play a key role in their marketing strategy:
“The influencers we work with are not billboards: they actively participate in the campaign and give their opinion on the products we are introducing them to. We learn from their opinions, expertise and advice, which they also use to enlighten their community. They can give us ideas for new products or new features, so the long-term relationship is constructive far beyond the visibility of a single joint campaign!”
As renowned experts with a captive audience, influencers are the key to linking up brands with their target audiences. Today, influencer marketing has a complete ecosystem of best practices and tools to achieve business objectives and go beyond the mere search for visibility.
How to implement an effective influencer marketing strategy? How to go from a one-off influence campaign to a continuing collaboration? How to anchor your campaign locally? Should you pay influencers? How do you control the brand image without « branding » the influencer? This ebook offers you the keys to define the most relevant influence strategy for your brand, from influencer targeting to KPI analysis.
For more information, read our ebook Influencer Marketing: How to (re)connect with your communities.