For ages now, celebrities have played their role in marketing efforts aiming to generate buzz and build brand image. With media consumption and consumer behavior changing, especially among the highly coveted millennial target group, this phenomenon is shifting into a new dimension. The award winning movie star or top athlete might no longer be the most impactful ambassador for your brand. That quirky girl making movies in her bedroom or the geek reviewing video games from his attic might be a far wiser choice.
This new generation of “social celebrities” can make or break a brand. Let’s put aside the darker side of this coin for a second, we can linger on the severe consequences of a bad review by one of these influencers on a brand’s image some other time. Let’s focus on the vast opportunities for brands when embracing these connected content creators as brand ambassadors, which was discussed at length by Cubby Graham of charity: water, Jeremy Welt of Maker Studios and Rob Fishman of Niche, during their #SxSW panel on this subject
Content & Connection Creators
In the current flood of marketing and media messages, it comes down to breaking through the noise and creating a connection. And that’s what these social influencers are doing every day. They are passionate, connected individuals who’ve gained a massive following in their area of interest. Their stories are authentic and relatable, leading them to resonate strongly with a highly targeted community.
Increasingly, brands are starting to recognize the opportunities of partnering up with social influencers, and looking for meaningful ways to do so. And please allow me a moment to stress the deliberateness of my wording: partner is a crucial word in this context. Because no: it won’t do to send someone a big box of goodies, hoping they will be overcome with gratitude and spread the love all over their social channels. That’s just not how it works. How it does work, you ask?
Find your perfect fit…
As in any partnership, value should be added from both sides. Creating this value starts by finding the right fit for your brand or project. You don’t want the people with the highest reach, but rather those with the highest relevance. And that works from both sides. More and more, social content creators are turning down lucrative deals when they don’t feel it’s a good fit. Their audience is what matters most to them, so it’s only normal they are not willing to compromise that relationship. It’s all about a natural connection. You want to find those people that get excited about your brand and bring across that enthusiasm to their audience. And how could you expect this excitement when there is no natural connection?
… and then let go
Each network has different characteristics and each influencer has his or her own way of working, of telling a story. And guess what? This way of working, their very own recipe for creating content, is what has gotten them where they are today. So don’t try to over engineer the collaboration. Collaborate! Let go and let the creator tell you how they manage to get a distracted audience to pay attention every day. After all: they know best! Empower them to tell your brand story using their own voice and create the emotional connection you have been looking for.Like