In the sometimes over-saturated media world where marketers are grasping at any opportunity to regain authenticity and trust with users, consumers and the public, influencers have buoyed their way to the top of the market. Today’s social media influencers have accumulated followings by the millions and hold the power to launch, change, or help to establish a brand’s message with proven success.
During Advertising Week, the session “Under the Influence” presented by NCC Media, brought together branding masterminds from both sides of the advertising campaign as they discussed an influencer’s potential to monetize and entertain, and do so in a way that appears organic and authentic, winning over the approval of consumers.
“I think you see such a success rate with influencer marketing because the audience helped build that business with the creator. For the brands that really believe that, those are the ones that are the most effective,” Pete Stein of Fullscreen Brandworks said. “We’ve seen the marketers get a huge lift from the demographic that is digital first. It takes a marketer who believes in working with influencers and marketing them.”
Karen Robinovitz, chief creative officer for Digital Brand Architects believes that while there’s been a surge of influencers making their way into the branding world in recent years, influencer marketing is arguably “the oldest form of marketing that exists.”
“Once upon a time, it was the aristocrats put on cameos to get people into an idea because people wanted to be like them. I don’t think brands can exists now without the support of other voices, because any day of the week, we want to hear a true opinion,” Robinovitz said. “With a brand telling their own story, there’s a loss of authenticity. But someone else telling that story feels legit.”
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, reality TV star turned author and entrepreneur, has dealt her fair share influence in the marketing world, as she explained to attendees how she navigates which brands she chooses to represent and what goes into that decision making process.
“Being in the public eye, you have a lot of people who want you to just tweet about random stuff, but I’m not going to over saturate my brand that way. I’m in kind of my transition, so when I do tweet about products or stuff like that, I want it to be meaningful to who I am right now,” Polizzi said. “Anything from fitness, to being a mommy or being a woman. When I actually use the brand’s product and I try them before posting them, then it’s organic to me and people can tell.”
The power of the influencer stems from the ability to give a product or a brand a distinct voice, and one with millions of pre-mediated followers and potential consumers piggy-backing along with it. Robinovitz said the science behind the power of the influencer is really quite simple.
“When you want to follow a voice, you want to follow a voice. As long as someone is making unique content and has something to say, we’re going to want to hear it,” Robinovitz said “It’s when someone doesn’t have a point of view that you’re going to lose an audience.”