As consumer trust becomes harder to earn, more than ever brands need advocates that their audiences like and believe in.
An influencer has gone from buzzword to accepted tactic. And the meteoric rise of web entrepreneurs speaks to an important truth: Audiences today want to connect with people they admire and can relate to, and those personalities can powerfully mediate people’s interaction with brands.
This comes at a time where consumers are more skeptical of brands than ever, fueled by questions of data privacy, targeting and more. Brands right now need human advocates that can build trust, inspire conversions, and build the positive public image – when done right, influencers do just that.
Our team approaches influencer marketing with a blend of research, market knowledge, and social awareness. We understand that the perfect influencer isn’t the one with the biggest following. It’s the person that makes real connections with their followers in the same way your brand aims to. Making that connection happen, however, takes a team that understands the influencer landscape, and how to leverage it for success.
Modern consumers still care about their favorite brands. On the other hand, there are many more brands they’re indifferent to. The difference between the ones they love and the ones they don’t comes down to relevance and trust – brands today are constantly vying for both.
But for the cautious consumer, it can still be hard to relate to a Co., Inc., LLC or even a startup: most of us are ready to push back on any brand that seems like it’s trying to sell us something (much as we might hate to admit when advertising works on us).
Influencers put a human face to a product or service, and provide a brand with an advocate that your target audience has chosen to follow. While most consumers understand influencers are typically compensated, a placement can still be more accessible, more natural and more relatable. And because influencers come with their own brand and credibility, your brand gets to ride their good reputation and grow some of its own as well.
All Hands on Deck
At Widle, we see influencers as an exciting way to build brands, but one that has to be used with care. Poor execution risks not engaging or, at worst, putting off an audience. That’s why we put your target consumer at the core of every influencer strategy.
Research is the backbone of our process. We make a point to understand both a client’s values and the priorities of their audience. Our team works closely with a versatile team of specialists who ask the questions you need to be answered, including:
- Who are your customers?
- Where are your customers?
- What do your customers appreciate?
We like to think we’re digital matchmakers, with a keen awareness of online trends and an understanding of what influencers need from brands in a partnership. Although we’ll do whatever we think will work, we often find the ideal influencer is one with a big enough following to enjoy significant reach but is still small enough to have a niche and a personal connection with their followers.
In true Widle fashion, we’re always results-crazy. Once a campaign reaches the wild, our team keeps a close tab on engagement and conversion metrics, feeding them back to our data team and using the insights they provide to improve for the future.
It Takes a Team
Cynics will say influencer marketing is dead, and they’re not totally wrong. With customers on the lookout for product placement, careless influencer marketing is dead (although it will stumble around in zombie form for some time yet).
Intelligent influencer marketing can still hit it big, but it demands purposeful action from brands. You need the right product, the right influencer, and the right audience, all at the right time.
None of these pieces fall into place by accident, which is why we see influencer marketing as more than just the final video, product plug or post. For Widle, it’s a whole-agency effort; the product of market research, creative direction, strategy and more. And it’s all done in the pursuit of consumer trust.