The Age of Influence
Influencers...….if anyone in the communication or brand realm is not working with them let alone understanding who or what they are, we need to bring you up to speed, and quickly (we can help you with that BTW). The trouble with any ‘trend’ is how people and organisations try exploit the concept until the 'trending trend' becomes less popular (let's reference flash mobs, the bucket challenge and the mannequin challenge as some recent examples), but like Word of Mouth (WoM), the vehicle - alias 'influencer', will never disappear. The thing that will set them apart however, is the type of content they generate and how far into the conversation the discussion around financial compensation comes up…
There is so much conversation out there about content generation but very little follow up on how a brand can optimise the content for its audiences – how content can be effectively implemented. We believe the trick is to identify the experiences that make said influencers audiences tick and taking said audiences on a journey - narrated and guided by the influencer themself. Yes, this will require a little more effort than what a ‘system’ can spit out. It will require you to:
a) follow their profiles (don’t laugh, you’ll be surprised),
b)monitor the type of content that is generating engagement from their fans and followers and
c) work with the influencers on what they believe will work (not dictate the needs of the proof of execution report).
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (in fact, @NicolaCooperTrends says it too and uses #microinfluencers to describe them), true 'influencers' should be based on levels of engagement versus the amount of fans or followers he/she has - it's the quality versus quantity argument - how many people are actually listening to what you as a brand and/or what your influencers are saying.
If you take an interest in how an influencer, influences and stop worrying about how many likes, fans or followers said influencer has, you’ll soon find that the influencers themselves can not only help create your content, but will play a very active and ‘engaging’ role in driving the content to your potential audiences