How Influence Became the Currency of Marketing & Why It Matters
If you’re a longstanding fan of TV’s “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” you’ve probably lost count of the hundreds of contestants who have contended for roses and eternal love (or at least a plausible television wedding) over the course of the last decade.
Yet just because eliminated contestants may drop out of sight, doesn’t mean they drop out of the public’s mind. Many have devoted followings on social media that endure long after their time in front of the camera ends.
And marketers are well aware of this.
Ex-reality TV stars pitching products on Instagram and other platforms have become a cottage industry. Whether hawking teeth whitening strips or “flat tummy tea,” contestants from “The Bachelor” and other shows are cashing in. While they may have failed to find a perfect TV love match, they’ve found the next best thing:
A new career as a well-compensated influencer.
How influencer marketing became inescapable
At this point, cultural influencers have become both omnipresent and meme-worthy — just look at the new “Influencer” Halloween costume from Urban Outfitters, for example. Yet influencer marketing isn’t the sole province of reality stars and social media personalities. While it’s true that many of these influencers have built sizeable and devoted followings, you can also think about influencer marketing in a much broader way.
One such example is Nike’s recent campaign built around NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Though the on-field protests Kaepernick led and inspired were controversial, they were also deeply inspiring and influential to a large segment of consumers.
By creating a campaign that highlighted, in a central fashion, Kaepernick’s protest for social equality, the influencer marketing strategy agency tapped into the disposition in a very real and moving way. Of course, this isn’t the kind of influencer marketing that’s fit for everyone — it’s a polarizing issue with the potential to divide audiences. But it also allowed Nike to become a serious player in an ongoing cultural conversation — not an easy thing to do for any brand.
Another example is McDonald’s. As AdWeek notes, the burger chain has been drawing positive reviews for the minimalism incorporated in its new global design aesthetic. McDonald’s creative agencies seem to be on the same wavelength.
Remember the artist Banksy’s self-shredding painting — the one that self-destructed after being purchased at auction? Worldwide media was fascinated by the story (much as they are with anything Banksy-related), so McDonald’s creative team came up with two minimalistic takes on the art world phenomenon.
It was a clever way for McDonald’s to trade on Banksy’s influence, and the larger trends that are driving art, media, and design.
Do I need an influencer marketing strategy agency?
Influencer marketing is inescapable for a good reason — it’s highly effective. Brands can target highly motivated niche audiences by partnering with social media stars, or become part of larger societal trends by incorporating those themes into their campaigns.
The right influencer marketing strategy agency can play a key role in cultivating the necessary relationships with key influencers, while also helping brands identify the most influential trends with which to work.
At BIGEYE, we specialize in helping brands grow their audiences by implementing highly effective influencer marketing strategies. Contact us today and we can do the same for you.