Thanks to influencers, the often impersonal and institutional tone of corporate communication is over! This contact is facilitated (even encouraged), which is why, in 2020, the global market for influence marketing will be worth 20 billion dollars compared to 6.5 billion in 2019.
Influence marketing is attracting more and more companies that rely on exposed profiles and attractive communities. The reason? Advertising fatigue and loss of trust in institutional discourse.
If influence marketing first proved its worth in marketing and quickly demonstrated its ROI, it now extends beyond sales issues and now extends to corporate reputation issues.
But if external influencers have already done wonders for your revenue, what about your image as an employer and a company player? What if the best influencers were already in your teams?
INFLUENCE MARKETING & REPUTATION IN BRIEF:
- Influence marketing has developed because corporate social accounts have not kept their promise in terms of audience and engagement.
- Social networks are human-to-human conversation platforms, which explains the success of influencers compared to brands.
- Influence must be used on strategic corporate topics such as the company’s reputation, its employer brand or its CSR commitments.
- The effectiveness of an influencer does not depend on the size of its community. It depends above all on his expertise, his proximity to the network and his ability to be perceived as genuine.
- Employees are authentic witnesses to the company’s commitments, whose legitimacy cannot be questioned.
- Managers and executives are perceived as experts and already possess the necessary leadership skills.
- Together, employees’ and managers’ voices enable a strong digital presence in favor of the company’s reputation.
EVOLUTION OF INFLUENCE MARKETING
Influence marketing refers to the set of practices that aim to use the recommendation potential of influencers on social networks. While these platforms are nowadays essential sales and communication levers, the social accounts of brands have not kept their promises: only 19% of French people (over 18 years old) follow them (source: OpinionWay).
It must be said that the approach to institutional accounts generally consists of considering social networks as advertising platforms or media. Whereas in reality, the use of social networks is much more widespread: they are platforms for exchange and conversation, from human to human. This is precisely what makes their strength and generates engagement.
Influence marketing was born when social network enthusiasts, more or less famous, started recommending products to their communities. Their followers followed their recommendations and sometimes changed their buying decisions accordingly. Brands obviously saw this as a godsend and, quickly, the influence of these web celebrities became a real business that B2C marketers hastily seized.
Even today, 64% of companies that use influencers do so to increase their sales (source: MediaKix). But the concerns of consumers and employees have evolved, and the stakes of communication with them, in B2C as well as in B2B. It is no longer just a question of selling products or services, but of talking about the entire company with its mission and values. Because whether they are prospects or candidates, today’s men and women want companies that are meaningful, committed and responsible, attentive to people and their environment.
NO INFLUENCE WITHOUT INFLUENCERS
To meet these different sales and/or reputation issues, you obviously need to know how to choose the right influencers. There are at least as many different profiles of influencers as there are companies! But depending on your issues, certain clues can already help you identify them.
THE SIZE OF THE COMMUNITY
In the case of a partnership with an external influencer, the size of the community usually justifies the price: the more followers it has, the more expensive the bill will be. However, depending on what’s at stake, it’s not always size that counts.
- Mega-influencers: More than 1 million people follow them on social networks! They provide an important reach to brands in need of notoriety and allow them to reach a very varied audience but with a quality that is difficult to verify and above all not very committed.
- Macro-Influencers: With more than 100K followers, they also offer advertisers significant visibility. But their communities are also not very loyal, the reactive members remaining in the minority, and the impact of the message is diminished.
- Micro-Influencer: Their communities have between 10K and 100K subscribers and are made up of a generally targeted audience. They manage to maintain a certain proximity with their network despite its size, and their followers trust them. As a result, their engagement rate is on average three times higher than that of Mega-Influencers and their conversion rate is twice as high.
- Nano-Influencers: With less than 10K followers, they may appear less attractive than their peers. Yet their community is perfectly targeted and very loyal! Generally speaking, on niche topics, they obtain engagement rates that surpass all records and are perceived as referring experts.
Depending on their background, their activity outside of social networks, and the way they communicate, influencers can be classified into three categories:
- Content Producers: Their main activity consists in creating content for social networks: articles, videos, visuals… They have mostly made themselves known directly on these platforms thanks to their personality or verve rather than their expertise. They mainly share entertaining content on their daily life that makes them endear to their community that identifies with them.
- Celebrities: Singers, actors, sportsmen,… Celebrities are above all known and appreciated for their talent outside of social networks. They generally communicate in much the same way as Content Producers, with the difference that their everyday life seems exceptional. They have gained the admiration and trust of their community, who look to them as role models and seek to replicate their lifestyle.
- The Experts: The Experts are above all recognized for their diplomas and experience. They are generally professionals in the sectors they communicate on. They often express themselves on niche subjects and share their knowledge in a particular field with their community. They enjoy a great deal of credibility with their subscribers, to whom they share their views and advice.
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