✨ Happy International Friendship Day everyone! ✨
Because we’re all a little socially distanced at the moment I thought it would be good to reflect on the current way in which many of us are interacting with our friends – via social media.
In this world of hyper-connectivity we have been able to keep up to date with everything our friends have been doing during quarantine (and the less official-sounding #stayinghome), sometimes even too up to date (looking at you Oversharing Steve).
But this new, more personal look into everyone’s lives has reaffirmed one fact – the closer the connection to the content producer, and the more authentic the content, the more impact that content will have on the audience – does everyone remember the sourdough breads?
What Happened Already?
Friends and family have long been considered the beginning of Influencer Marketing. Remember those Tupperware and Mary Kay parties (if you don’t, watch a TV show about the 70’s or 80’s) – that’s where it all started. Then when social media’s rise began, marketers saw an opportunity to leverage the intimate relationships that Celebrities had built with their followers. The celebrities would use social media channels to deliver product endorsements, just like your friends did at the aforementioned parties – but to huge numbers of people at once… which your friend hoped and wished for, but never quite nailed.
What’s Happening Now?
These mass messages worked for a while till the average consumer got savvy. That began two movements which are still happening today.
The first is the movement by brands was to go from Celebrity to Macro, to Micro, and now Nano influencers in order to help build consumer trust. The second was that influencers + brands started to become more selective about who they partnered with in order to ensure alignment between the two parties and hang on to that authenticity and credibility that are SO important for effective marketing.
What Does This Mean For You Now?
First off, not everyone has caught up to this shift in the marketplace. There are still brands and influencers alike who are making partnerships which are misaligned. This reduces trust in the influencer (thus devaluing any messaging from them), and in a lot of cases also hurts the image of the brands. If you are one of these brands that are paying the lowest possible rates to any influencer that will agree to work with you – you should probably rethink your strategy.
For everyone else, these shifts are actually great news. It means that if you are smart about your influencer selection process, and have campaign messaging that makes sense on that influencer’s platform, Influencer Marketing is still a great way to authentically connect with your audience/customers.
And you won’t need to spend $250K+ on single posts from a celebrity to move the needle. You’ll be able to build great campaigns using an army of brand-aligned macro, micro, and nano influencers!
This is a little harder to answer as my crystal ball broke last week, but marketers are looking for the next plateau. We are looking for a way to engage with our customers so that we can delight them with our products and services. However, as consumers become more and more vigilant to advertising it becomes increasingly challenging to connect with them. Does this mean we are moving back to Tupperware parties? I don’t think so, but there is a lot to be said about using an authentic message, about a helpful product or service, via the appropriate medium.