A recent study by ANA showed that 75% of marketers are currently using Influencer Marketing and that most of them will increase their dedicated budget in the next 12 months. This suggests that the industry is seeing a shift and that marketers have started to move from testing to implementing Influencer Marketing as a crucial part of their marketing mix. This is seemingly down to two main reasons: marketers are satisfied with the performance of their campaigns (54%) and they think working with online Creators is effective. Once brands have chosen their preferred Influencer Marketing partners and Creators, they gradually look to shift towards longer term always-on collaborations that allow them to evolve their stories and build deeper relationships with Creators and their audiences.
Smartphones and mobile devices have led us to this always on world: social media is always-on, consumers are always-on and therefore brands are always-on. That said, the concept of always-on becomes particularly relevant when you look to verticals that are heavily influenced by seasonal and/or key calendar events, which provide them with opportunity and require them to address their campaigns over the course of a year. A few of the more obvious candidates being fashion, beauty, food and beverages.
Right now we are starting to see brands in these areas focus heavily on the wedding and festival season, outdoor eating and BBQs, summer holiday fun, beach body ready, World Cup parties, and before you know it… back to school and fashion week! By identifying and hooking into key cultural moments in a planned way they are able to associate their brands in a logical way rather than force feeding content into people’s social feeds. They are also able to manage overexposure by sourcing multiple influencers in the mid to micro-space and build a suite of influencers that can offer a trusted authentic voice and tell their story in a consistent way, as part of a long-term content plan.
Not convinced? Here are a few other reasons why you should consider bringing an always-on approach to influencer marketing:
Influencer Marketing is founded on mutual trust: brands need to trust the Creators who are producing content and in-turn audiences engage with Creators and brands that they trust. By deploying an always-on approach marketers can build a deeper relationship with the influencers that they choose to work with and as their loyalty grows this filters through to their audiences. Trust needs time, but once it is established it brings with it huge value.
Creators like to be involved in long-term campaigns because they can get to know the brand and product better and this will be reflected in the content that they produce. The more they know and understand what the brand is about, the more nuanced the resulting content will be. On the contrary ‘hit and run’ campaigns, while they have their place, may only offer a superficial relationship with the brand that can sometimes filter through to an audience.
Content that is authentic is more likely to drive higher engagement, in particular at a time in which our social media feeds have been filled to capacity with sponsored content. Audiences are looking for stand out stories to engage with, otherwise they will just scroll down and look at the next post.
When developing a content plan, brands aim to craft a consistent narrative and tone of voice that can be delivered across multiple channels. A one-off piece of content can get lost in an Instagram feed, multiple posts over time consolidate the narrative and increase the awareness among customers. Moreover Creators can use the feedback given by their clients and apply this to future posts and stories.
Everyone remembers what happened with PewDiePie racial slur last year. Advertisers have reason to be sensitive and want at least a degree of control over the content they outsource to their Creators. This is often key to communicating their brands’ values and avoiding potential missteps and/or brand backlash. Tech platforms such as Buzzoole already enable marketers to choose Creators with the most affinity for their brand and to double-check any single piece of content before it goes online. Although it is hard to police a Creators behaviour in their spare time, always-on campaigns are likely to enhance brand safety as Creators will want the brand to work with them long-term and a relationship will naturally develop between the parties.
Whether you are an FMCG or a beauty brand, always-on campaigns will allow you to activate multiple touch points over the year. You can choose to ask Creators to produce and spread content across different products at different times. Say you are a fashion brand, you may want to run a campaign on different products for each different season using the same Creators. The content production might peak just before a flash sale, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, building the idea amongst audiences and customers that following certain Creators will ensure that they are up-to-date with the best offers from a brand.
By taking an always-on approach to influencer marketing and Creator content, brands can ensure that followers get the content that they would expect to come across, but not all in one place. They can also ensure multiple creative ideas and executions are delivered across a range of influencers – allowing for a cross brand approach and content than can be utilised across multiple marketing channels.
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