At the latest PING studio event, we got down to the question: How to find the right influencers? Influencer marketing has arguably not shed a bit of importance over the years, yet grew into a more impactful marketing tool that opens up opportunities and challenges to both marketers but also to the influencers themselves. How to find a good match, how to create meaningful content for the right target group?
Make your pick: Traditional influencers vs Digitally natives
Influencer Marketing is nothing new. Products and services have been endorsed by influential people and celebrities for centuries (yes, really!), to connect one another with an opinion and a face. Essi Pöyry is a Postdoctoral researcher and came to us from the University of Helsinki to take us into her insights on the power of digitally native celebrities. Influencers nowadays distinguish themselves from celebrity marketing, by being natively digital celebrities, meaning that their fame and following origins solely from their online presence. By growing a follower and fan base through their personality and style, and through having built personal connections with their community over time by being more approachable and trustworthy to them.
While traditional celebrities may have a wider reach and more recognition value, there’s a higher risk that their value for your product declines – in a way of them outshining what they are actually trying to promote, while also involving way more substantial costs for the brand. Neither of this means that celebrity marketing is not successful: it’s about creating a fitting strategy and building content that is a natural match. Universal music and HAI are the best Finnish example on how a local star like Robin can be the perfect testimonial for a brand, if the target group is right and the execution is clever: a design collaboration of rubber boots to get youngsters to wear more proper shoes outside. See, clever!
Authenticity and friendship
When we choose to follow a social influencer, we choose them for a reason. We consciously decide to put our time and interest towards this individual, whereas advertisements featuring traditional celebrities are often in a spot or presence that’s kind of forced upon us. There’s a good chance followers to put their attention towards social celebrities because they are interested in their opinions as they feel connected to them, which means that we don’t mind advertisements as much. It feels to us as if a friend is recommending something to us, whereas with a celebrity involved, we are more inclined to think that they were bought. Content that’s in line with their usual style, and their own way to approach their audience create trust and keep up a level of authenticity that easily gets lost in celebrity marketing.
Let’s see how it’s done
Okay, so we all got an idea of why it works, and how it works. The key is really: find influencers as well as topics that match you and create synergies that fit not only the platform but the content and the medium. The guys from WeCast connect podcasters with brands and also with listeners. Podcasters being supported by an audio book app – it makes logical sense to speak to people who are already using a “listening platform”, who listen to a blogger-turned-podcaster they might have been following for some time already.
But in the end it’s like Ghostlamp taught us: finding a way to naturally include your product or service to the influencers content is not your job. You job is to let them do your thing: brands allowing bloggers, youtubers, instagrammers and the like to use their own network in the way they deem it most effective, are a way to get the right message to their audience and not only create visibility but genuine engagement around it. Create goals and means to measure that apply to you and their audience, and don’t focus on numbers only.
PS: Did you miss the December PING Studio? Click here for the replay of the event Live Stream.