Collaborating with influencers makes magic happen

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Working with influencers is by no means a new trend. This means it’s harder to generate cut through in a market saturated with brands using influencers to spruik their products. It makes it more important to be smarter about how we create these campaigns.

When done well, working with the right influencer enhances the authenticity and sincerity of a campaign. What’s more, working with that influencer to create a campaign that benefits both your brand’s and the influencer’s respective audiences can significantly benefit the creative process. Bill Gates said that creativity is less of an individual characteristic than it is an “emergent property” that surfaces when people convene around a problem or situation. The more people involved, the more creativity.

So what happens when you collaborate with a group of influencers? If the right influencers are involved, this can be the difference between a campaign being good or great. A meeting of minds occurs, you experience creativity and individuality in bucket loads, and the knock on effects are mass reach and engagement with your own audience, as well as the audience of the influencers you have engaged with. #squadgoals

So how does this work? You need to create a setting to bring influencers together and encourage their uniqueness whilst also aligning with your brand’s values. Qantas mastered this in 2015 with their #Feelslikehome campaign that brought together bloggers and photographers to lead a series of ‘Instameets’ across the country.

We ran a similar campaign three months prior to this with The City of Armadale, partnering with Jarrad Seng (who also went on to do the Qantas Instameet – all hail our home-grown WA talent!) Jarrad guided a group of photographers who spent the day snapping Armadale which resulted in content being created and conversations about Armadale for months to follow (see the award-winning case study here).

Recently we hosted a ‘Social Space tweet-up’ with the European Space Agency to bring together likeminded, self-confessed space addicts to experience an ‘up close and personal’ view of the space station in Western Australia.

These tactics work because they are driving the trend that shifts us away from “interruption marketing” into a more collaborative style. In ‘Communities dominate brands’ by Tomi.t Ahonen and Alan More they discuss ‘engagement marketing’ – the act of getting involved in peoples’ lives rather than interrupting them. Hosting an Instameet or engaging with influencers who are able to create and influence their community without altering their authentic identity (read: sounding like a sponsored post and regurgitating brand messaging) is a fantastic way to do this.

Bringing influencers together creates the sincere and honest approach that we crave as marketers. By creating a setting that allows collaboration and co-creation, we are encouraging our audience to have two-way conversations with our influencers, and in turn our brand.

There is no denying that the notion of influencers or influencer meet ups isn’t new. It’s popular because it works. It’s important that we evolve our relationship with influencers to maintain sincerity in our relationships and create engagement campaigns that our audience know are genuine. As Seth Godin says, people want to buy “relations, stories and magic.” So I propose this: culminate relationships with many, create one unified brand story, and watch the magic happen.

Written by Ellie Swift.