Forbes recently posted an article on the topic of using influencers to market to Gen Z, the first generation to be born into the mature digital age where their childhood involves the laptop, tablet or smartphone. The article mentions the best way to reach Gen Z is to ditch traditional advertising and to advertise without them even noticing it.
Influencer Marketing has significantly grown in 2017 as brands are investing heavily on influencers for their brand exposure and brand association. The return on investment for brands is targeted exposure to their target audience, those who are interested and paying attention. Venture Beat suggests that 75 per cent of marketers use influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy.
Kylie Jenner, the Queen influencer (Source: Instagram)
This is a form of pull marketing that the audience doesn’t notice unless they pay attention to it. Audiences are pulled into the brand message through storytelling and creative content development.
We all follow or know several influencers on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. From the likes of Kylie Jenner, Steph Claire Smith to Chai Lee Son, these are influencers with hundreds of thousands to several million followers on their social media account. It is not necessary that major influencers will generate the most return on investment but micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers are those with 10,000 to 100,000 followers. The key findings of a recent report discovered that as total followers rise, the rate of engagement falls. Micro-influencers are 4x more likely to generate engagement than macro-influencers. Brands who partner with micro-influencers will be in a less competitive market for the influencer whilst being perceived as more authenthic as well as the influencer having a personal relationship with their followers.
Rising micro-influencer, Ben Hampton (Source: Instagram)
Brands must also give the influencer the creative freedom to promote the brand as they have done for their own account. If the advertising is too obvious, both the brand and influencer will be negatively impacted in the long run.
Lastly, forming a partnership rather than a sponsorship. Brands should look to build long-term relationships with influencers rather than of one-off posts. Over time, audiences will accept the advertising side of things and the influencer gets to build their personal brand. It’s a win-win.
Have you noticed the increase in influencer marketing on your social media accounts? How do you feel when it is clear the person you’re following is advertising a brand, did you get the product for yourself?