July 21, 2016 8:53 am
There’s no deny traditional marketing has evolved, shifting away from broadcasting brand messages through mass media, towards two-way communication.
But even back when there was no Internet to connect brands more closely with their target markets, there was an element of influencer marketing floating around in the marketing mix: peer-to-peer communication. Or simply put: word of mouth.
A housewife may have recommended the washing detergent she saw on TV to her friends – but there was no way for brands to track, measure or even prove that this communication took place.
Fast-forward to today, the rise of the digital media means that consumers can reject the uninvited, one-way brand messages they were once bombarded with. The opinions of their friends count for more. Word of mouth has become king.
That housewife? Now she has a parenting blog and is able to reach more of her friends than she ever did at bridge club. And thanks to technology like Webfluential, brands are able to track and measure online conversations around their products and services.
Take a look at this infographic, taken from an article written by Webfluential’s Kirsty Sharman, where she explains the evolution of brand storytelling. It clearly shows how influencer marketing has come full circle. Click here to see it.
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July 20, 2016 7:50 am
We’ve written a number of articles before highlighting the importance of Influencer Marketing and why more brands and marketers should care and start taking notice. This is starting to take shape with more established entities who are realizing the advantage that lies in collaborating with influencers to reach the right audience instead of sticking to the old tried and trusted means of advertising.
A perfect example of this comes in the shape of Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer (CMO), Keith Weed who, according to a blog post on JWT, spoke about “The Future of Brands” in his keynote address at Cannes Lions 2016. In the talk, Weed spoke about how consumers engage brands that challenge stereotypes and address issues of environmental and social responsibility with a specific look at the typical stereotypical portrayal of women in advertisements:
“We need to find a different way of representing beauty and move to a much more enjoyable, non-critical perspective in reflecting women and how they are in everyday life.” – Keith Weed.
In the same talk he stressed the importance of how brands need to start moving away from these (usual) stereotypes and be more progressive by challenging the status quo in their advertising campaigns. The same post goes on to highlight Weed stating two approaches as being the best representations for the future of brands, namely:
- I: Individuals/influencers/impacts
- N: exponentially raising the power of the I’s
“It’s no longer enough for advertisements to speak to a certain age cohort or demographic – they must target individuals.”
“One of the best ways to reach individuals is through influencers and brand ambassadors. Weed explained how campaigns can be magnified by identifying “what people are talking about and who the power influencers are.” Unilever used supermodel Kendall Jenner to promote the launch of Magnum Double last year in Cannes. According to the company’s research, purchase intent goes up 5.2 times if campaigns use influencers, like celebrities.”
Read more on J. Walter Thomson Worldwide.
Webfluential’s Account and Content Manager, Thabiso Moloi, originally wrote this piece for BizCommunity. You can view the original article here.
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July 18, 2016 2:30 pm
Just how authentic is sponsored content? With influencer marketing now a regular part of many brands’ digital spend, the question of authenticity still pops up.
Some marketing experts argue that the very act of paying an influencer means the content they create for a campaign is compromised. And by compromised, they mean it’s lost its authenticity and the influencer’s audience knows it.
The problem with this argument about the transaction between brand and influencer is focused on the wrong end-product. When you pay an influencer, you’re not paying them for their opinion. You are paying them for their content.
Webfluential’s Business Relationship Manager, Samantha Wright, wrote an insightful piece on this topic last year for BizCommunity.com. If you’re still on the fence about the authenticity of influencer marketing you should read the article.
In the great authenticity debate in influencer marketing, remember these factors:
- When money changes hands a contract comes into play. You can hold the influencer to certain deliverables and require that they produce results; they’ve entered into a formal business agreement, after all.
- Once an influencer aligns with your brand, they’re unable to work with the competition as their audience already associates them with car brand A or beauty brand B.
- Creating content costs money. Influencers, no matter how much they love your brand, do have to eat.
That’s the heart of this argument. Influencers create unique, one-of-a-kind content and then share it with an audience they’ve painstakingly won over. They invest time, money and creative into this process. It makes sense that they charge for their work, helping you deliver the perfect custom-made message to your target market.
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