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Today, Fanie, Head of Storytelling at Better&Stronger, and Nadine, our Account Director, are covering the topic of Influence marketing at great length. Check out these great opportunities that companies shouldn't miss out!
When she joined Better&Stronger in 2020, Fanie Genovese didn’t think she would end up developing an Influence marketing offer, hand in hand with Nadine Bilong. But it’s happening! Rich of their past experiences (Wunderman, HighCo, DDB for Fanie and Influence4You, Meta, BNP for Nadine: to only quote some!), they seized the opportunity to meet their clients’ profitability expectations by creating this offer.
Today, they will go back to the basics of Influence marketing, tell you more about the trends and what you should expect from this rapidly expanding market. They will also tell you more about our offer at Better&Stronger, and how we’ve applied it with our clients.
Better&Stronger - In 2022, the influence marketing industry should generate $16.4B. Nadine, as an expert, how would you explain the attraction of this market?
Nadine Bilong - “Influence marketing is a marketing branch that uses influencers to promote a brand to a larger market. It offers endless opportunities to create impactful and engaging operations and, in the long run, boost sales.
Lately, we’ve seen a professionalization of influence marketing in the digital industry. It’s very encouraging to see this fast-growing tendency when we think that only 5 years ago, there was a massive lack of regulation. Nowadays, various laws have been set up on the market to bring confidence to the advertiser, credibility to the agencies, and legitimacy to influencers.
In only 2 years, the digital world has become more and more complex for brands. This phenomenon has been accentuated by the pandemic and the shift of consumers’ behavior. On average, we estimate a 30% increase in time spent on screens compared to 2019, with an average of 2 hours and 32 minutes per day on social media.
Therefore, influencers are now perceived as genuine entertainers. Brands don’t consider influencers anymore as “brand ambassadors”, but as real “business drivers
B&S - Fanie, as our Head of Storytelling you are exposed on a daily basis to your client’s business issues. What are the social media challenges they face?
Fanie Testa Genovese - “Well, I think that today, it’s difficult for brands to keep pace.
In 2020 we saw the rise of TikTok, 2021 was Twitch and Discord’s moment of glory. In 2022, Metaverse is the hot topic, and then what? New platforms surface more and more often. As a brand, you can’t show up everywhere efficiently. You need to entrust your brand image to influencers to find your place. You can’t get around that.
As content creators, influencers have the specific knowledge to help you be responsive and consistent. Let’s say that if you want to send a good message at the right place at the right time, you have no choice but to leverage influencer marketing to target your audience.”
B&S - How does influence marketing take place in a global marketing strategy? Is it just relevant for social media? Where does it appear in the prospect funnel conversion?
Fanie - “If we’ve all seen what influence marketing looks like on social media, we shouldn’t stop there. Influence marketing doesn’t only apply to social media objectives.
Let’s see what it means in terms of conversion funnel:
But at Better&Stronger, we prefer to see influence marketing through a flywheel view because we work on all the aspects of the funnel at the same time.
B&S - Nadine, according to you, what are the most relevant platforms in 2022 to gain visibility, convert and engage an audience?
Nadine - “First and foremost, you must multiply your presence on several platforms and identify the most relevant ones according to your marketing objectives: is your brand looking for consideration? engagement? entertainment? It would be a mistake to stay focused on one platform.
B&S - 2022 is undeniably the year of “live shopping”. What impact does live shopping have on businesses? Do we have figures to prove its effectiveness?
Nadine - "Livestreaming provides a direct, and impulsive connection with your audience. Herein lies a compelling opportunity for e-commerce. For brands willing to move fast enough, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to build a deeper relationship with customers – one that creates true two-way connections and sees sales skyrocket.
The figures speak for themselves. In 2022, 49% of consumers rely on recommendations from digital influencers to make their purchase decision.
Moreover, in the past few months, Live Shopping was an excellent way to increase sales (+35%) according to benchmarks of iResearch, Gartner, or Deloitte. A promising score for brands.)
B&S - Could you talk about your influence marketing offer at Better&Stronger? Did you already implement influence marketing campaigns for one of your clients?
Fanie - To start with our offer: influence marketing has become a true pillar of our global Storytelling offer. We include influence marketing in our social media offer; it’s nothing completely independent.
But note that we also support some of our client's thanks to influencing marketing without being a true retainer. Now, to give you more concrete examples; I want to talk about 2 of our clients:
Since 2019, we’re helping Timberland EU manage its social media strategy. With them, we go further than just influence marketing support. Hand in hand, we’ve created a family or a pool of influencers that are willing to work with Timberland in the long run.
We’re operating in France, but also Germany, the UK, Italy… to create a long-term social media strategy around their influencers.
Many people think that influencer marketing applies only to B2C, but it’s not true. With TADA (a B2B company), we implemented lead gen campaigns thanks to influencer marketing. It requires an important casting of experts (more than influencers).
We can help them find the perfect experts to match their products thanks to our expertise. We know that in B2B markets, whenever an “influencer” or an “expert” agrees to promote a product or a service, it’s because the ambassador wants to be more efficient, his/her credibility is at stake.
B&S - How do you measure the impact and results of influence marketing campaigns?
Fanie - “You can’t measure the impact of your influence marketing campaigns if you don’t define clear objectives and KPIs beforehand. Many brands don’t know what to expect from influence marketing. They just go headlong. Here are two approaches they could adopt.
Think about where you want to go with your business? When do your customers leave during their buyer journey? Why do your results decrease? After you’ve answered these questions, you need to set up your objectives and the KPIs that will help you monitor your progress.
Let’s say that if you want to increase your visibility, you will prefer macro-influencers, and thus go for impressions, views, visits statistics; while to convert more, you will select micro or nano influencers and check your sales KPIs for instance.
You can also look at influence marketing with a ROAS approach. Brands often compare influence to other media. But they shouldn’t monitor the ROI as they would do to see if their Facebook investments are profitable. They should check their ROAS, to see if the ad spend is worth it.
B&S - What are your predictions for the future of influencer marketing?
Nadine - "One influence marketing trends will probably be responsible and committed influence. The influencer 2.0 must give transparency and confidence to a brand and its public. He is a real professional. Nowadays, brands need to make business decisions consistent with environmental and societal issues as the consumer no longer wants to consume any hold."
Fanie - "I think that the power of influence marketing will be in the hands of brands that display their own influencer shows. Influencers will become brand ambassadors, as they will animate and host media through shows, podcasts, short Netflix series… It can take so many forms!"
B&S - Thank you both of you for answering our questions. Thanks to you, we now know what to expect from influence marketing. Don’t hesitate to come back to give us more details about the impact of influence marketing on your clients’ campaigns.
You read the whole interview but are still left hungry for more? You wish things could get more practical? Discover our influencer expert’s guide.
By Emma Jeanpierre
01 Mar, 2022