In most influencer campaigns, there are three primary stakeholders. You are probably one of them; a brand, an influencer, and an audience. Each of you has something unique to gain from the other as well as something unique to offer. Being able to both contribute and benefit is where the concept of shared value originates.
Shared value is a philosophy and a business practice that should be explored and practiced to make all those in an influencer marketing ecosystem happy. The long-term benefits of shared value relationships are loyalty, impact, enhanced communication, better return on investment and financial reward.
Let’s start with understanding the big picture, the needs of all stakeholders and where these overlap.
This graph shows some of the objectives, goals, and desires of the three groups. These are not ALL of the possible goals of each, but an example for the sake of getting across the point. You can substitute the ambitions for all on a campaign by campaign basis.
Here are some ways you can ensure you foster an environment of shared value:
An audience wants to be understood by a brand. Brands want to better understand their consumers. Influencers can offer a solution for both sides by providing brands with relevant insights into their audience. I have found that market research with influencers is a super underutilized benefit of influencer collaborations!
Influencers can take advantage of the additional production value of working with brands to create high quality, authentic content that their audience wants to consume and engage with.
The brand’s objective to amplify their content can be correlated to the influencers goal of getting paid for access to their audience. When a brand remunerates an influencer, they receive greater reach and impact.
When brands collaborate with influencers to build advocacy, influencers solidify their business, brands receive added value from the influencers and audiences develop stronger loyalty to the brand.
These are just a few of the cases where value can be shared by the community around your brand. It is important for brands not to think of themselves as islands, but as contributors to a wider economy of values. When starting to think about a strategy that involves influencer, consider using the graphic above as a template which you can fill in with your own unique objectives.
This is a concept that takes time and practice to get right. We need to be open to learning, making mistakes and trying again. When the result is one in which everyone wins, the effort is compounded to produce long-term results.
It’s important to note that sharing value does not mean meeting everyone’s needs. As a brand, you do not need to contribute something that does not provide a reciprocated value. Similarly, influencers need not provide a service if it does not benefit them to do so. Brands, influencers, and audiences are on their own journeys to meet their goals. The magic happens when there is overlap in the journey.
Marketers have always loved celebrity endorsements, and who can blame them? Research shows these partnerships are good for both brand lift and sales.
This article was initially published on Think with Google and we have re-shared it here for your benefit.
But consumer behavior is changing, especially among younger generations. Today, millennials are just as likely to seek style tips from a fashion vlogger like Zoella as they are from a more traditional celebrity like Victoria Beckham. Innovative and effective marketing campaigns recognize this shift and work it to their advantage.
That’s exactly what Clorox brand Brita did this year when it paired up NBA superstar Steph Curry with YouTube creator and social influencer King Bach. The result of this unlikely collaboration? A hilarious made-for-YouTube ad that generated over 2 million views and led to a 2,000% mobile search lift.
Kate Stanford, Google: Let’s start with some context for those who haven’t seen the ad. What was the thinking behind it and what were you trying to achieve?
David Kargas, Clorox: We’re always carrying out social listening to learn more about our customers, and one thing we noticed was that people would regularly complain about a roommate or partner who drank the last of the water in the Brita and didn’t refill it. Refilling an empty Brita used to take a few minutes, but our new product, Brita Stream, filters as you pour, so it eliminates the waiting.
The aim of the ad was to increase awareness of this product, specifically among urban millennials. We wanted to do it in a fun, playful way using a story that our target audience would relate to. So we took that annoying roommate scenario we’d heard them talk about on social media and used that as the starting point for the ad.
Steph Curry has been Brita’s brand ambassador for almost two years. What made you decide to pair him up with social influencer King Bach?
Kargas: In the past, we’d always used Stephen in the “traditional” advertising spokesperson way: we’d come up with a script for a 30-second TV spot in which he’d endorse our brand.
But this time we were particularly interested in targeting millennials. Given what we know about their consumption habits—research suggests they’re turning more and more to streaming services like Netflix, and online video platforms like YouTube—we decided to experiment with made-for-YouTube content. It didn’t make sense to try and apply the rules of TV to YouTube, so we went all in and teamed Stephen up with a YouTube creator.
What millennials want from brands is an authentic voice.
When it comes to influencer marketing, how are the rules of online platforms like YouTube different from TV?
Kargas: When we work on a TV spot, we pretty much control the entire creative development process, from writing to directing to editing.
This campaign was completely different. From the get-go, we decided we wouldn’t be creating, writing, or art directing. It would all be left up to King Bach. The main theme we kept in mind was the importance of letting go of control. That ensured we were creating compelling content that resonated with Bach’s audience.
Kai Hasson, Portal A: Traditionally, marketers tend to take a more heavy-handed approach to messaging. But what millennials want from brands is an authentic voice—content that comes across as genuine and fresh.
The best way of achieving this is to loosen the reins on your typical process, and trust your team to create entertainment that can break through the online noise.
Everyone involved should know two things: your objective and your boundaries. Everything else is creative space.
It takes a big leap of faith for a brand to hand over so much creative control. What advice do you have for other companies looking to do something similar?
Kargas: The first thing you must do is make sure you’re working with a creator that’s right for your brand. Portal A drew up an initial list of around 40 different YouTube creators, based on their popularity among our target audience.
We then narrowed that down and took a short-list to Stephen. If we were going to pull off the ad’s “roommate” concept in a genuine way, we had to make sure there would be the right chemistry between him and the creator we chose.
Once you know you’re partnering with the right people, letting go of control is much less scary. We could see straight away how seriously King Bach takes his craft. He didn’t want to do anything that he couldn’t walk away from and say, “This is outstanding.”
That being said, it’s really important to be clear from day one about your expectations. Everyone involved should know two things: your objective and your boundaries. Everything else is creative space. Remember, you’re working with creators because they have demonstrated a skill, so you have to stand back and let them do their thing. It pays off.
Scott Galloway, one of our favourite marketing masterminds, released his take on Influencer Marketing. His opening scene makes a bold statement. A statement we’ve been educating our clients about for years. A statement we know will change the face of marketing as we know it.
Influencer Marketing is the most effective way to reach young people.
Want to know what else he has to say? Watch the video below.
Some statistics highlighted in the video, that you should be considering carefully when planning your next marketing campaign or influencer strategy.
Instagram is the fastest growing channel when it comes to Influencer Marketing. #Sponsored content doubled on the platform from 2016 to 2017 and most importantly – Instagram is building features and tools to make brand-influencer collaborations simpler and more effective. We’ve seen a large shift towards Instagram in the last 18 months, with more brands turning to Instagram stars than ever before to reach young people.
Influencers with under 100 000 followers (micro-influencers) are on average delivering higher engagement, and offering more value in exchange for their sponsored campaigns. We’re seeing the same result prove true in over 95% of the influencer collaborations booked through Webfluential.
Pairing with the right influencers is what will make or break your campaign. It can cost your brand millions in undelivered ROI if you’re not working with the right social media influencers. We’re working on a new formula at Webfluential, one that covers 10 touch points and considerations before making a ‘match’ – if you’re not sure how to run a full audit yourself, chat to a member of our team!
That’s a wrap for the week. If you’d like to see more of Scott’s videos you can check out his YouTube channel here.