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How influential are influencers actually?

Did you know that just 3 per cent of people yield over 90 per cent of impact online? When they speak, others listen, making them key players in building brand loyalty.

The balance between brands and consumers has drastically changed since the advent of social media. Attention has turned from ‘household names’ to ‘handheld names’ – people who are known and trusted based on their social media presence.

Influencers are now the most powerful and sometimes unpredictable force in marketing. Their product endorsements are 11 times more effective than banner ads, while Twitter reports that people trust influencers nearly as much as they trust their friends. Their opinions and recommendations resonate with fans in ways conventional ads are unable to, especially as 47 per cent of online consumers are now using ad blockers.

But not everyone is convinced they’re worth the cost. As Devon West, Director of Social and Video at Sephora, argues, once an influencer attaches themselves to multiple brands, their impact is diffused.

And to what extent does a high number of followers actually mean influence? After all, it’s the ripple effect that actually matters. As Timothy Armoo claims, the appeal of so-called ‘super influencers’ is dead. Today, ‘micro-influencers’ are far more valuable. For successful execution, brands need to identify topic-specific leaders who are trusted by their target market. Adidas saw success with this approach in launching its Glitch app on an invite-only basis.

Fashion and beauty brands have been leading the charge when it comes to cut-through influencer outreach campaigns, spending between 30 to 75 per cent  of marketing budgets on “partnerships with key tastemakers”. Take our work with Refinery29, who tapped Yanin and Roxi to create contouring tutorials featuring Rimmel’s Kate Sculpting Palette. They brought their relatability, expertise and unparalleled understanding of their followers to the project, driving impressive engagement. At the end of the day, it’s about matching authentic voices and strong followings with brand expertise to create content that’s worth the click.

Many agencies sell a network of influencers, which brands buy into for contact information or to have one post about their product. This transactional system – from which many a paid, one-time, off-brand post stems from – isn’t sustainable and has no real value.

Savvy companies build long-term relationships with a handful of relevant influencers and ensure both parties have aligned goals and values. The focus should always be on working together; co-creating engaging, thumb-stopping content that, in turn, generates its own influence.

If you’re interested in seeing how we can tap the power of influencers, get in touch here.