It’s becoming official that “Influencer Content” is outperforming brand-created content. Almost 50% of your audience thinks that brand generated content is “annoying and irrelevant.” And it’s official that over 80% of your audience will follow the advice or recommendation from what the industry is calling a micro-influencer. Furthermore, it’s also official from where we sit that “who an influencer” is or is not has dramatically changed. The shift to exclusivity and authenticity has forced “savvy brand navigators” to re-examine their social spending habits and change the way they identify and define influencers.
Why It’s Important to Understand Social Influencers
Helping clients understand the dramatic differences and benefits of Anti-social Exclusivity vs. Omnipresent Social Celebrity is a fulltime job. Leveraging the Omnipresent Celebrity Influencer (those with 500,000 followers and more) is a proven tactic to get attention quickly, add some credibility and reach a wider audience. But to sustain your conversation it’s the micro-influencers who drive the conversation and make it more intimate, one on one and personal.
Our job is to help clients understand who’s who in the Influencer Zoo, who’s exclusive, who’s cool, who’s under the radar, and who’s a diamond in the ruff. We call them Renegades. Research and data confirms that Renegade Influencers with 10,000 or fewer followers deliver more. They get more engagement, more clicks and more influence than those with 100,000 followers. 10,000 followers appears to be the so-called tipping point. The return on your investment goes up even higher with Renegade Influencers with fewer that 5,000 followers.
We also understand that Renegade Influencers who are active in their local community and non-profits, highly creative and extremely entrepreneurial draw the most passionate followers.
How to Find Renegade Social Influencers
Renegades are hard to find because they DO NOT WANT TO BE FOUND! Sounds painfully obvious and it is. The cookie cutter mainstream influencers with big followings are easy to find. They shout, they blind you with brand and are building their own personal brand at your expense and they’re often for sale to the highest bidder.
So what do we do? Look for the under the radar personalities, who express themselves in a unique way. We look for great storytellers because the biggest mistake you can make is creating your own content, image, and story that is influencing the influencers.
More importantly, we try to take a “hands off” policy when it comes to content. We don’t want to get in the way. The product or brand “placement” must feel organic, spontaneous and most of all, authentic. Your audience will smell the foul odor of a marketing gimmick instantly. The smaller the platform, the more passionate the followers are, so a more subtle and precise brand placement is critical.
Our influencer strategy is to hyper-focus on your audience and your audience’s perceptions, attitudes, personality, passions and preferences.
We ask questions about your audience:
- Who are they close to?
- Who do they look to for advice and put their trust into?
- And who would they invite to their next party?
- How does your brand, product or service solve a problem for them?
- How do you save the day?
You can’t force yourself into a conversation or invite yourself to the party. The “Lifestyle Intersection” must be authentic, sincerely and timely.
The Core Principles of an Anti-Social Influencer Strategy . . . the Good and the Bad!
What is it good for?
Renegade Influencers are a great way to increase brand awareness and help you reach new audiences. These campaigns are always on; these are not one offs, so the conversations are continuous. Talk about value. Keep it high level; keep it emotional, personal and passionate. A great Influencers campaign allows the guest, your audience, to expand the story themselves; they build the narrative, and you just listen. By allowing the narrative to flow in its most organic form, the narrative migrates in many directions at once, producing new connections, conversations and insights. Getting out of the way is simple, but letting go is a challenge for many brands.
The real tangible value is learning who your next and new customers might be. We call them the fringe audience, the curious ones who recognize your brand but have not made that emotional connection that leads to commitment. Igniting that conversation with the fringe audience is a distinct brand and business advantage not to be wasted. Most brands don’t need to confirm who their current brand fanatics are. Those fanatics are bought in, they get it, they want it, but every brand wants growth. So preaching to the choir might not be the best ROI.
What is not so good for?
With all the buzz around Influencer marketing it’s hard not to demand a lot from your campaign objectives. We believe that the heavy lifting of generating sales and driving lead generation is often much more difficult and a more complex campaign and a much bigger spend. Using influencer campaigns to manage or repair your brand’s reputation it also not easy. Learning when to have an Influencer speak up for your brand and when you need to speak for your own brand is a challenge. Using influencers to improve customer satisfaction is also a challenge. It’s not that these objectives are impossible but they don’t optimize the natural raw power, emotion and mojo of Influencer marketing.
-contributed by Michael Petan, MOGXP Trends Consultant
Not sure how to navigate marketing and the world of Influencers? It’s time to call in the experiential experts.
Speak with an expert here to find out how we can help your company. We look forward to working with you in 2020!