‘Hi, I’m Petra and I’m an influencer’. The first sentence of an e-mail I received recently of a blogger who was interested in a ‘collaboration’. A remarkable introduction, that says a lot about the time spirit of nowadays. Influencers are hot, but the sentence ‘I am an influencer’ is something that got me thinking. Like ‘influencer’ is a job or profession and fits in the line of bakers, lawyers and hairdressers. Like it is possible to follow an education and after graduation calling yourself ‘influencer’. What makes you an influencer?
It feels like a hype. Just like 8 years ago when social media was the magic word, nowadays influencer marketing or influencer PR is mentioned too fittingly. Instagrammers, bloggers or vloggers are used to promote products and brands on their social media platforms.
The literally translation of influencer is ‘beïnvloeder’. A well-known phenomenon in marketing. For decades actors and celebrities are playing an important role in advertising, promotion or PR. A couple years later supermodels were added and within a few years they discovered the influence of bloggers and Instagrammers. Mostly people between the age of 20 and 35 years are sharing their experiences with (sometimes) millions of followers on Instagram, Snapchat, blogs and YouTube.
Media for Millenials
Their reach is indisputably high, mostly among the millennials (generation Y) and generation Z, roughly 35 years and below. Influencer marketing is a powerful instrument to increase name awareness and promote engagement. Does this make every Instagrammer or blogger a successful influencer? Do you need at least 100.000 followers to be an influencer?
No, not at all.
The perfect match
Influencer marketing is all about the right match, both between followers and the target audience you want to reach. Let’s start with the last one. A way to measure success is ‘engagement’. This only occurs when the product or destination fits the Instagrammer or blogger in a natural way. Followers know immediately when a photo or vlog is made only for commercial reasons because of its lack of authenticity, passion and empathy. For influencers it is crucial to only collaborate with parties that really suit you. Only recommend products that you would use in your daily life, if you don’t do this, your credibility will get damaged in the end. The selection is for the advertiser just as important. A campaign finds a mare’s nest when the influencer and the product don’t match. Even if he or she got thousands of followers, it will not work.
Do you reach your target audience?
The second selection is about the target audience. Who are the followers? Does the profile of the fans match the desired target audience? YouTuber Enzo Knol is perfect to reach teenagers, for the promotion of a luxury car brand not so much. Anna Nooshin became big with fashion and lifestyle and signed a contract with RTL to reach young millennials as a target audience. However, she isn’t the most obvious choice for launching technical hiking shoes. A considerably small blogger, whose followers are fanatic hikers, will have much more impact.
Besides that, a client looks at what other brands the influencer works with. Questions like ‘connect those brands with my desired profile?’ or ‘do I want to be on a Instagram page next to brand X?’.
Interaction between the Instagrammer and his followers is also important. From this we measure how influential he or she actually is. How many likes or views is generated by a post, how is the response on a blog, how many comments does a post get and wat is the nature of these comments?
All these factors determine the impact you can create. Eventually it’s all about influencing behavior. Influence on the attitude towards a brand and the consumer behavior. A good example of a successful influencer campaign is the one of Tommy Hilfiger Eyeware 2016. With a couple of international influencers, including the Dutch Linda Tol, and photographers, they traveled to a tropical island to create content. This resulted in more than 16 million impressions, 104.5 k page views, an engagement rate and ROI of 442%. Part of the campaign was a own website with all images, photos and videos.