The Age of the Influencer

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Across the globe, people are communicating more actively than ever – and often with people they’ve never even met. Social media has revolutionised the way we learn about and engage with our world.

Herald the Age of the Influencer. A time where we listen to people we think know more than us, are cooler than us and essentially have a much better life than us!

And business is tapping into this phenomenon. According to research from Linqia in the US, 86% of marketers used influencers and plan to double their investment in the next year.

This month we held an exclusive event featuring one of Australia’s top influencers, Jarrad Seng and WA Uber Marketing Manager, Jackson Cleary. Facilitated by our MD, Anthony Hasluck, we explored why influencers can claim so much power in today’s marketing strategy.

Just off the Survivor Island, Jarrad was fairly relaxed about his burgeoning following on Facebook and Instagram.

“For myself, the most important element of a working relationship is trust. Trust that both parties have each other’s best interests in mind, and trust that the job, campaign or transaction is mutually beneficial,” he said.

Jarrad is aligned with Qantas, Canon and Converse and does so because he really loves the brands. He knew he could honestly and easily share these brands messages in his content.

He advised people to thoroughly research their preferred influencer before shortlisting them for a campaign.

“Be careful about who you place your trust. And look beyond the numbers. An influencer can provide extra value beyond social media if they really believe in your brand.”

Jackson agreed. He was heavily involved in the Nic Natanui Uber Driver experiment that went viral in WA just after the brand was launched in this State. Unusually Nic approached Uber, which obviously jumped at the opportunity.

“The great thing about Nic is that he wanted to keep working at it until he felt he’d nailed it. He was really keen to show off the non-footballer part of him, particularly his singing skills, and wasn’t satisfied until he’d completed that mission.”

The result was a campaign that was really authentic and captured the hearts and minds of West Australians, regardless of their footy bias. 

According to Jarrad, the key thing he looks for is trust on both sides. Unlike other marketing channels, influence is not something you simply ‘buy’. Both parties need to establish a relationship that clearly outlines expectations.

“If the influencer feels like they’re being cheated or hard done by an arrangement, the content will suffer.  You need the influencer to *want* to promote your brand, not *have* to,” he said.

If you think your content marketing strategy could do with a boost, it might be worth thinking about how an influencer could help it come alive. Talk to our content team about what the best options might be for your brand. Get in touch today