November 23, 2023
Since the advent of social networking, a new profession has emerged: influencer. Influencers are opinion leaders who use their notoriety to promote a product or service. In return, he or she receives a financial or in-kind benefit. It is therefore essential for brands to adapt and embrace these new communication methods to remain competitive. Influencer campaigns are one of the best ways of doing this.
But before explaining why, we need to explain what it is.
Influencer marketing is a promotional strategy in which a brand collaborates with influencers to reach and engage a target audience. It's a way for the brand to use the influencer's credibility and authenticity to promote its products or services. For their part, influencers promote the brand to their followers through their social networks.
Now you know what an influencer campaign is! Now it's time to list the reasons why brands should use them.
The strength of influencers lies in their ability to gather large communities. Using influencer marketing means promoting your brand or interests using this strength. Influencers put your brand in the spotlight and drive their followers to consume, even if they didn't know you existed.
The best example is undoubtedly Nord VPN. Remember the wave of videos sponsored by this brand that swept YouTube 3 years ago? Squeezie, Cyprien, Seb, Mastu...Nord VPN collaborated with a multitude of influencers to reach the widest possible audience. It had become completely top-of-mind: when people talked about VPN, it was THE brand that was immediately mentioned. And it paid off, as revenues soared and the service was named "Best VPN" in 2023.
Until the 2000s, brands promoted their products and services through television and newspapers, which were massively followed by the population. Then came social networks, with the birth of Facebook, Skyblog and Twitter, followed by Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. On the one hand, people changed the way they get information, communicate and entertain themselves, and on the other, brands saw new ways to promote themselves. The interest of these 2 parties in social networks has continued to climb, so much so that today, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than traditional advertising (Linqia, 2018).
Put yourself in a consumer's shoes. On the same day, you see the same brand appear: in a TV ad and in your favorite influencer's latest video. What made you want to buy the brand more? The influencer, of course, because his ability to regularly publish videos in which he reveals part of his private life gave you a feeling of closeness and trust.
As you can see, running influencer campaigns means "surfing" on the trust that influencers receive from their community.
In addition to enjoying the trust of their audience, influencers are also seen as more legitimate and credible in promoting a brand. It's all very well for a brand to say good things about itself, but when a 3rd party does it, it's immediately more convincing!
By collaborating with influencers, you can generate authentic content that speaks directly to their target audience. For example, clothing brand Gymshark regularly uses fitness influencers to showcase their products in real-life settings. As a 2-year weightlifter, I bought products from this brand after seeing my favorite influencer promoting them. Why would I do that? Simply to look like him! I was convinced that wearing the new Gymshark would help me become huge and lean. It's proof that consumers can be convinced of the product if the influencers who use it show how it has helped them in their business.
However, be careful to choose the influencers whose content is closest to your business. Working with influencers who have no knowledge of your sector and your solution can be frowned upon, and can even turn controversial. We've already seen singers promoting NFT and reality TV stars extolling the virtues of trading courses...
As a brand, you know how important it is to find your consumers. After a few months, or even years, of development, you want to reach other segments of the population. That's where influencers come in!
With influencer campaigns, you can precisely target the audience you're looking for. To do this, you need to select influencers with a relevant audience.
In 1983, an absolutely historic campaign of influence was born: the collaboration between Pepsi and Michael Jackson. The brand's aim was to create a "young" image and make Coca Cola seem "old" and "outdated". And to achieve this, they pulled out all the stops: children drinking Pepsi in the ad, the appearance of an artist combining youth and success, and a cover of the song "Billy Jean" with a Pepsi twist. This ad had a major impact, not only because of the cost of the operation ($5 million), but above all because of the use of the term "Pepsi generation", which stuck in people's minds for a long time. In short, a well-placed marketing coup in the war between Pepsi and Coca!
Not convinced? Well, you should know that even politicians run influence campaigns! Take Emmanuel MACRON, for example. To make himself seem nicer to young people (and, above all, to garner votes for the presidential election), he has set up an anecdote contest with youtuber duo McFly & Carlito, in 2021.
Everyone dreams of going viral: influencers and brands alike. We imagine that we'll become cool, that people will talk about us and that we'll multiply our interviews. And it's true! You've seen the video of the American drinking his cranberry juice on his skateboard while singing Dreams by Fleetwood Mac? 45 million views later, he's given interviews to numerous media outlets and been offered a new car by the brand whose juice he used to drink. And that's not counting the 10,000 euros in donations received from his Internet fans, who were completely taken with his video...
Influencer campaigns have the potential to create this viral effect, encouraging consumers to share and talk about your brand. An iconic example is Always' #LikeAGirl campaign, which used influencers to change the negative perception of the phrase "like a girl". The campaign was widely shared on social networks, creating buzz and reinforcing the brand's positive image.
In short, influencer campaigns offer you a number of advantages, particularly in terms of brand awareness, trust, authenticity, targeting and virality.
We've touched on it implicitly, but using influencer campaigns obviously increases the revenue generated by your product/service. A larger audience means greater demand, and therefore greater sales!
To take full advantage of these opportunities, it's essential to choose the right influencers, create engaging content and clearly define your objectives. By adopting these strategies, you can create successful influencer campaigns and ensure you remain relevant in today's ever-changing media landscape.
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