Influencer Marketing: What you need to know from AdWorld 2021

With the pandemic still ongoing, we have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. And by all means, major changes in marketing are on fast-forward, likewise the words “adapt” and “innovate” are even now on everyone’s lips.

AdWorld 2021 was by itself one of a kind event. Thousands of established speakers shared their expertise with participants in the pursuit of grasping insightful tricks on improving marketing strategies. If you are anything like us, you’re probably starving to get the picture of the successful advertising stories and catch up with the latest online trends. We’ve wrapped up the most valuable tips on influencer marketing for you to benefit from them.

First and foremost, let’s talk about AdWorld 2021, which is now officially the largest online advertising event in history. We can call it the DAVOS for digital marketers. For three days, over 50,000+ of the most creative spirits in the industry met head-on and shared secrets about Digital Advertising. Short and sweet, AdWorld 2021 gathered 53,721 attendees from 153 countries in 291,566 streaming hours. The last-mentioned is the equivalent of 17 years and 110 days, which can simply lead to one conclusion: when online, not opening your computer is the only limit.

You probably already know the nuts and bolts in influencer marketing, but let’s review the basics.

How should we label influencers?

Influencers are classified by the number of followers they have on their social media platforms, accordingly:

  • nano (2k-10k)
  • micro (10k-50k)
  • mid-tier (50k-500k)
  • macro (500k-1m)
  • mega (1m-5m)

In her speech, Courtney Spitzer from SocialFly divided these into three categories:

  1. “RELATABLE” (from 1k to 50k): your “girl/boy next door,” with top-notch content and a highly engaged audience
  2. “BELIEVABLE” (from 50k to 500k): proficient creators who show credibility and drive conversion
  3. “ASPIRATIONAL” (over 500k): major-league social media actors in raising awareness and persuading their audience

Think big, think…micro 

No two ways about it, the ongoing trend of micro and nano influencers continues its ascension in 2021. They have become increasingly significant for the brands since they are as noteworthy as mass influencers due to higher engagement levels. Often their connection with their communities is even stronger and their posts may reach many people. Moreover, with the pandemic affecting companies’ budgets, many brands are willing to work with social media actors who have lower rates and highly engaged following. You are big, little ones!

#AdWorld: Information worth spreading

What are the key points in influencer marketing anyway? Cut to the bone, “influencer marketing is all about getting access to a fan base, not just an audience”. This was the leitmotif of Oliver Bourque’s speech, from which every marketer with no ifs, ands or buts can catch powerful insights.

How to pick the proper partner for a brand

Finding the perfect match for your brand seems like a no-sweat task when in reality, it requires a whole hands-on operation. Trending figures on social media wow every marketer at first sight, but one shall not be dazzled by popularity. Behind the choice must be a rational process and thinking regarding whether a long-term or a short-term engagement is wanted, as well as a one-time-only or recurring purchase. What do you feel like your brand deserves/needs?

After you figure out the demands and set the objectives, the next step is researching. Exactly, dig into the influencer’s past, previous campaigns, and appearances. You need to make sure your association won’t do damage to your brand. Look for any controversy that may occur and leave no stone unturned: what happens/has happened in their private or public life affects the way your audience sees your partnership.

So, if you decide to cooperate, don’t assume they will change for you. Bourque drew attention to not push them to change, but “to take them as they are”, just as when easing into a relationship. Of course, that points to the fact that you should foresee both the goods and the bad and answer the following question: does the influencer share the values your brand relates to? Take a gander at the other brands he worked with and triple-check everything you have access to. Better safe than sorry!

Work with influencers or reviewers?

… Or both. The very compressed answer Oliver Bourque gave to this question came with a later-on explanation.

Influencers help you win an audience that chose to follow them explicitly. Their fan base trusts what they see them posting. They go all-in for the product, as it is their image they are risking. Promoting something without any knowledge regarding it is no longer on the table. Influencers want to inspire credibility, so if they align with your brand, they will do the utmost to make their audience believe they trust the product. Pick the corps d’elite for your brand and it will be a great bet.

Howbeit, the reviewers are more rational than emotional. They are a free-from-danger choice, as their content is mostly evergreen and underpinned by a powerful SEO strategy. The bonus you get is people focusing on the product, not on the person in front of or behind the camera. Their posts are long-lasting, as people seek out reviews even from previous years when the product still viable.

So, getting the best mix out of working with both will increase engagement and visibility. Still, keep in mind: “influencers should be part of your marketing strategy, not be your marketing strategy”, and reviewers, a reinforcement tool of your brand’s already-rooted image in consumer’s mind.

When is an influencer more efficient?

Is an influencer more productive to your campaign when launching a brand or when promoting an established one? There is a risk vs. reward and an instinct vs. ration type of battle. Consider the following:

  • A new brand needs awareness and to show trustworthiness #asap, while for an established brand is not a priority
  • An older brand can use influencers to refresh its image and appeal to a new audience

Are influencers better at raising awareness or generating sales?

Marketing campaigns are meant to set transactions in motion. Oliver’s advice? “Use influencers to close sales and use your channels to raise brand awareness”.

Do not improvise! Outlining, measuring, and adapting are the ABCs in tailor-made influencer campaigns. You call the shots, so eyeball when and where the influencer posts, track the results and adjust the plan when in need. With any campaign, you can and certainly should get involved in optimizing influencers’ content and flow.

Video content is the big wheel

In her remarkable fruitful speech, Claudia Cameron reinforced the idea that TikTok is taking us by storms, and marketers should be prepared. The user-friendly algorithm can make everyone famous overnight, but the 15-minute-success is not what brands are on the hunt for there.

Inventive, tuneful, and crowd-pleasing, TikTok has room for influencer partnerships. They are “the least invasive and most organic forms” of advertising on this platform. Write this down to know backward and forward when partnering with a creator:

  • Tell a story, but don’t be obtrusive: people want to enjoy the ad just as if it’s a storytelling-based video on their feed
  • Smooth along in the For You page: doing a try-hard influencer campaign will do anything but good, so keep it as close to usual TikTok content as possible
  • Focus on engagement and user-generated content: invite the influencer to encourage users to join the campaign

Last but not least, Reels & IGTV have the same potential many influencers want to explore. The format gives creators a more dynamic way to interact with their audience and we love this because we’ll see more innovative marketing campaigns.

Commitment is all that 2021 is about

This is the next big word to be said out loud. On and off relationships are indeed not brands’ choice, especially in 2021. The latter highlight from AdWorld 2021 we’re exposing is that influencers will become from now on brand partners. Long-term partnerships are getting the better of short ones, as brands are now focusing on inspiring trust and credibility. Maximize connections and engagement and ensure your brand does not disappear from an influencer’s profile after one campaign.

What’s more?

Walk away today knowing insightful tactics to master influencer marketing in 2021. These types of campaigns remain king, being in a constantly emerging rush for creativity.

With the Ad World coming to an end, we are looking forward to attending the next edition in autumn and bring to light the freshest trends about to bloom.

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