Influencers and why you want them

The attraction and influence of celebrity status is an age old game.

In times gone by it was tobacco product placement and the silver screen stars making smoking appear glamorous – a la Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. Today it's the likes of an average $5 million ad-spend on superbowl commercials, that brings in product endorsement – last year featured Helen Mirren, Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino and Missy Elliott, to name a few.

No longer coined ‘product placement’, the #ontrend name of this digital world’s version of the game is ‘Influencer Marketing’: Hire a person of influence, whose target market you’d like to reach, in order to endorse your brand or product. When it works well, it’s because you have identified the area of the influencer’s following that aligns with your market, but who you are not necessarily reaching yet.

For example, fashion brand Lord & Taylor hired 50 Instagram fashionistas to wear the same dress. Lo and behold, the dress sold out. It’s easy to see here how a fashion label and fashionistas have that crossover area in their markets.

In other cases, the roll of an influencer may be a bit less obvious. For example, how NBC tv channel is using Vine video channel star Logan Paul to hopefully bring younger viewers on board watching the Rio Olympics. Why? Because teens and millennials are those least likely to engage with TV as a medium.

So what about for your business? Is it worth bringing “Brando” on board for your brand?

3 considerations for influencer marketing:

1) Compromise 
A celebrity is, him/herself, a brand. And as much as you need to protect your brand, they also need to protect theirs. If you are considering influencer marketing, you must be prepared to come to the table and compromise. Just don't compromise yourself in the process! It's all about communication. It’s wise to formulate a clear vision of what you desire from the campaign before you go into negotiations.

2) Strategy 
Is your plan to take over the world with the power of influence, powered by an all round strategy? If not … do not press the big red button just to see what it will do! It’s vital to understand: how does the person of influence you are contracting align with your overall brand values and the rest of your campaigns? What previously unattained market are you targeting, through influencers, and why?

3) Return on investment
You may need to take more metrics into account than usual. Where metrics might usually be measured by click throughs and conversions, for example, influencer marketing metrics might take into account media mentions and social sharing. The 'value' of an influencer may not be directly comparable to the dollar value of your spend. By the same token, is a massive spend (some celebs charge in the $100,000s just for photos) actually going to afford massive results?

Are you in or out? Whether you're rolling with a Brando kind of cool, or you've got your celebrity resistant shades on, we believe what's most important is your business story. If you just can’t get the words right, send us a line and we’ll help you start turning pages (and heads).


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