They are known for their thousands of followers, and even to some extremes millions of subscribers on multiple social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. They have and still are a predominant role in a brand’s online strategy, and have even more of a role in brands’ online conversations. “They,” are the influencers mandated year after year by endless amounts of brands to help develop their reputation with their targeted audiences.
The potential benefits for brands can be endless, however, they still need an optimal approach. This is the main reasoning behind Quebec influencers Maripier Morin, Fred Bastien, Marc Fitt and several marketing agencies, including Republik, gathered together on October 17th in front of 250 professionals at the Infopresse conference to discuss influencers and brand ambassadors. Here are the top takeaways.
For those who are curious about how Republik has successfully reached 3 distinct groups through influence and co-creation, you can ask for our presentation here!
As we have seen during the round table with lg2, Garnier Canada, Made in and Citoyen Optimum, many brands are reluctant to give too much control to brand influencers and ambassadors. Agencies that do business with them should consider them as specialists of their audiences because they know exactly what content interests their following and how to approach topics in order to maximize engagement.
An influencer involved in the creativity behind a campaign process will inevitably be more motivated to promote and design it. According to specialists, the important thing is to find the right balance to build a win-win relationship.
Throughout different conferences on the 17th of October, many examples were showcased that confirmed this. For example, when looking at the Youtubers Tour created with Fruité, Republik left the creators a “carte blanche” when it came to the content. The result? A video co-created with Jemcee, that has been among the top 40 trending videos on YouTube with more than 100,000 views.
"Reflecting on the concept with the influencer helps to keep the authenticity of the editorial line while allowing the brand to interact better with its audience."
- Marie-Hélène Leclerc, project manager at Republik
It can not be said enough: the selection of a good influencer is essential for the success of a campaign. Bicom's Director of Digital Strategy, however, suggests going through a few basic steps before making a decision.
The first point to consider is the fit with the brand. Before even talking about money, one must consider whether the influencer genuinely likes and shares the brand's values. It is necessary that the message is coherent with the person chosen to transmit it in the most natural way.
Macro-influencers reach the masses and have significant authority, therefore they are ideal when wishing to reach a large audience. The micro-influencers are closer to the consumer, are often content creators and can help brands build loyalty because of the great trust of their following. Meanwhile, the nano-influencers have a significant smaller following (between 3000 and 5000) but are recognized in their immediate environment. Therefore, it can be interesting to work with them if you want to generate a genuine community and not a number of impressions. To properly select your influencers, take a look at our article on this topic.
JP Shoiry & Camille Brunelle during the conference on the 3 campaigns Republik executed for Lassonde.
The long-term relationship is gaining more and more control over ephemeral collaborations. Maripier Morin and Marc Fitt explained that this type of collaboration is mutually beneficial for both the brand and the influencer, as it brings more transparency, credibility and more creativity. The brand must build a strong relationship with the person who will be responsible for representing it so that they are involved, proud and add value in co-creation.
"What's important with a company is to have a great creative latitude. If the company does not accept me as I am, it will not work. This is where the long-term partnership is important. " - Maripier Morin
According to Fred Bastien, an influencer campaign can include several demographic subgroups. As a result, to ensure that you reach the entire audience, it is relevant for brands to collaborate with a variety of profiles.
For example, Republik's Del Monte Juice campaign in Canada targets mainly Canadians of South Asian, Chinese, Afro-Caribbean and Filipino descent who live in major urban centres across the country. To reach these audiences, the brand collaborated with influencers from different backgrounds and have been present at a handful of cultural events such as the Diwali Fest, Caribana Festival and Taste of Manila. Through this initiative, engagement with these communities were immediately visible on the various social media platforms.
From brands and agencies to influencers, speaking about transparency is a highly discussed topic. With advertising standards that are not always enforced consistently, it is important to demand transparency by using hashtags such as #Partnership, #Pub, #Gifted, and so on. Much more than a hashtag, these terms are especially important when building a trusting relationship with consumers.
“The influencers’ strength is the trust people have in them, as if they were a ‘virtual friend.’ But now, this is turning into more of a sensitive subject.” - Ashley Sivil, Bicom Communications
To conclude, the day was rich in information. Whether establishing a long-term relationship with content creators or involving them more in the co-creation process, brands and agencies can now incorporate these successful practices into their strategies.