The decline of consumer attention in an increasingly crowded marketplace has driven the demand for new ways of capturing their attention.
The holy grail for any brand is this: notice me, buy me. Over the years, marketers are adapting to the new advertising landscape in which the explosion of information is at everyone’s fingertips. This led brands to the ultimate battle for attention, and they want to be present on social media newsfeed and inbox. While advertising has changed a lot, one thing remains and has always been about the valuable commodity: attention.
In other words, the presence of competing messages and low attention spans isn’t going away any time soon.
The decline of consumer attention in an increasingly crowded marketplace has driven the demand for new ways of capturing their attention. Every time customers spend in front of the screen, they are exposed to ads. Eventually they dodge all these ads and totally ignore them. That’s why, advertising is changing tactics and is recognizing the power of social media and its share button to support brand campaigns and activations.
Many people believe in the power of social media and getting the message across. The power of one’s social network can be harnessed for product discovery and purchase, all within the confines of community-based interactions. No wonder, marketing influencers are winning the internet with their presence and their opinions have powerful impact on people. They can connect with their audiences as trusted peers because of their authenticity. Their opinions can convert people into actually buying the products and later on as loyal customers.
Since influencers speak on behalf of the brand, how do you know if you picked the right influencer?
Relevance tops the list because one has to have expertise and credibility on the subject matter. For example, if you are promoting football gears, whom will you choose for your brand collaboration? Runway model and social media superstar Kendall Jenner with 107 million followers, or the Scottish American professional freestyle footballer and football coach Indie Cowie with 531,000 followers?
Each influencer has solid relationship with majority of their followers. In most cases, they work with brands they’re passionate about and relevant to their followers. Therefore, the sales conversion rate is higher compared to audience with no relevance to the product. Because of the similarity in the lifestyle and interest, you also capture their followers’ audience.
Influencers are very much aware that the number game is important in influence marketing. The higher numbers of followers means higher numbers of content views. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are flooded with millions of fake bots that are boosting likes and followers artificially. Therefore, it is crucial to check on the authenticity of influencers’ followers.
Examine if their followers has steady growth –it should indicate natural progress. If there’s a big spike, that influencer might have bought fake followers. Look for the number of likes per post if they are consistent. If there are posts with suspiciously high numbers of likes, it might have purchased fake likes to boost certain posts. It also helps you to assess their followers if they’re real and with substantial followers or just following huge numbers of accounts. Remember, you can’t sell your products to fake accounts and bots.
It simply means getting their followers to do something in response to their post. It may come in the form of click-activated reactions: like, comment, click to open picture or link, and share.
Through engagement, you can assess the credibility and reputation of the influencers by simply looking at the data if their followers are adhering and listening to the ideas they advocate. Remember, it all boils down to engagement: the number of likes, shares or any type of brand interaction from potential customers that goes beyond passive acknowledgment.
Influencers act as an extension of your brand and it is important to check their reputation and credibility as a person. Always bear in mind that the messenger is the message. Professional influencers really use the products or brands, and then write objective reviews. You can’t see them writing negative responses or opinions about other people and competing brands. They are aware that their actions – negative or positive– reflect to the brands they are promoting.
One of secret ingredients in the influencer economy is collaboration. Yes, influencers collaborate with other influencers. They appear in each other’s social media platforms to introduce new viewers to each other and to help reach new communities. They even collaborate with newbies to help them out and pay it forward.
The purpose of marketers in engaging with influencers is making their brand more “human” and how to interact better to the present-day consumer. Hence, the art of storytelling is important. Get someone who can write professionally and creative enough to produce quality supporting images. You don’t need an influencer who copies content straight from your PR materials. Note that the posts should be sharable –– bad and ugly memes are not exactly the kind of materials you want your brand to be associated with.
Never forget that you work with influencers because they are humans with opinions that matter to thousands or millions of followers. Ask them to create positive and trustworthy stories around your brand. Lastly, when you work with influencers, be reminded that customer service, brand messaging, activities related to your brand campaigns are put on spotlight . . . and everyone is watching at all times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Justine Castellon is brand strategist, a marketer and a writer. She authors in-depth marketing guides for entrepreneurs and other existing brands. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn: @justcastellon