The craze of hyperconnected consumers on social networks has for several years led to the development of so-called “influencer” marketing. This allows brands to reach out to an audience that is wary of advertising communications, by making themselves visible through influencers – who bring proximity and credibility – on sought-after platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, or other TikTok.
The pandemic and the lockdowns have further reinforced the need to stay connected and social networks are in turmoil. The influencer market now represents almost $ 150 million and this figure is expected to rise to 350 million in 2027.
Becoming influential is the dream of many aficionados who already see themselves at the top of the bill. For example, 17% of young Britons under the age of 17 indicate that their dream job would be to be YouTuber or Vlogger. However, only a few will manage to be spotted and make it their profession.
So how do you stack the odds in your favor when you start influencer marketing? The question is, how do you go about making your voice heard? The studies Our recent research sheds light on key factors in understanding how some are doing well.
Themes, Talent and Work, this is a “three T’s rule” that we propose in the first place to get noticed. The “followers” come to seek content corresponding to their areas of interest. There are many expectations and depend on the area concerned.
In beauty, cuisine, tourism and fashion, Internet users’ expectations remain centered on the search for new ideas and original sources of inspiration. In areas related to games and humor, it is above all a hedonic motivation, centered on the pursuit of pleasure and entertainment. Finally, in specialized fields, linked for example to sport, politics, culture or DIY, motivation is often useful with the search for relevant and transparent information.
In any case, it is important to create a dialogue around what your community is looking for so that they are engaged and want to follow the influencer regularly. This is to avoid browsing with a different subject every day, because it is important to be recognized in an area of expertise. Certain influencers thus succeed in bringing together impressive communities on very specialized topics on which they develop a strong credibility.
Let us quote for example, on political subjects, ” hugodecrypt “Who has 1 million followers on Instagram,” Dr Nozman “And his 3.89 million YouTube followers who follow his videos on biochemistry, or the channel on the history of France” Nota Bene To which 1.7 million people subscribe.
Interviews with influencers were enriched by an opinion from influencer marketing expert Édouard Crémer, Managing Director of Sampleo and Talent Web Academy at Webedia Creators. For those who work with influencers on a daily basis, we must already agree on what is meant by “making your voice heard”. The number of followers is not the only criterion for measuring influence. The engagement rate of its community also illustrates the interest that an audience has in content.
Creativity, originality and charisma are then essential elements to provide an inspiring voice. It is difficult to give a method to be a “creator”, there is not a ready-made recipe to inspire your audience.
A fashion influencer must demonstrate that he has an eye for spotting future trends, that he has “good taste” and a sense of aesthetics, but it is difficult to define how this is acquired: it is a rare talent. To know if you have this grain of genius, you have to get started by sharing your passion, and check whether you manage to convey your vision in an engaging way.
At this point, it is not all won because talent is not enough.
Like any profession, that of influence has codes and techniques that can be learned and cannot be improvised. Influencers know the right tone to reach their audience, the right frequency and the best time to post during the day, choosing the social networks that are right for their readership. They also know how to get noticed through the use of new features, a detailed understanding of the algorithms of each social network and the mechanisms of sharing visibility with other creators.
Today, video is the format that performs the best in terms of attention and interest. However, creating and posting great video content takes skill. Influencers must also agree to take the time necessary to respond quickly to their followers in order to retain them and foster the future engagement of their audience, who will feel valued.
Faced with commercial intentions
And when success comes, how can you not lose your soul in collaborating with brands?
One of the major challenges is managing the tension between brands’ business intentions and the search for authenticity from followers. However, there are winning strategies for overcoming it. We have dissected a ten collaborations between brands and around 40 influencers.
The analyzes of nearly 500 posts within the framework of these collaborations and the textual analysis of more than 5,000 words made it possible to identify, in addition to the rule of the three T’s, the proposition of the “three C’s” in the collaborations: choice, creativity and contract.
The right choice of brands is a first essential element in this strategy. These brands must be relevant and attractive to the audience, while being consistent with the interests and positioning of the influencer. For example, specializing in meaningful travel around respect for the environment, the influencer Sophia li only accepts collaborations with socially responsible brands.
According to the 2020 Kantar x Sampleo study of 300 influencers, 61% of them have already been offered partnerships with brands whose values they do not share. Among these, 67% systematically refuse them.
Once the partner brand has been selected, it is a question of not being confined to a role of transmitting an advertising message. The influencer must be given the freedom to create their own content and formatting, matching their style and the expectations of their community. He remains a creator, who offers a personal and different vision in all his speeches, even when it comes to expressing himself on the products of partner brands.
Finally, in order to create the conditions for effective and long-term cooperation, it is essential that the parties agree on a charter of conduct and on the duties of each in the short and medium term. The contract should not be seen as a lack of mutual trust but as a code of good conduct that allows you to start on a sound basis to build a lasting relationship. Both parties must accept transparency on the sponsored nature or not of the content related to the collaboration.
In conclusion, to break into an influencer must find the right themes, offer an original point of view and acquire the codes of the trade. Then, to last, he must get closer to relevant brands and define clear rules of collaboration while retaining his creative freedom.
Gwarlann De Kerviler
Associate Professor – Head of Marketing & Sales Department, IÉSEG School of Management
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