Instagram influencers are taking social media by storm, and it seems like marketers and the public can’t get enough of them.
In marketing circles, the din surrounding social media influencers is growing louder by the minute. More and more, marketing professionals are talking about industry topics such as branded content ads, sponsorships and paid partnerships – all fueled by billions of dollars funneled to social media influencers.
Not too long ago, it was taboo to talk about endorsements, payment systems and product partnerships. Now, social media influencers have changed the conversation. At the same time, emerging consumer groups such as millennials and Gen Z – are increasingly vociferous about demanding transparency – and they’re emphasizing their opinions with their dollars.
Speaking to Gen Z With Brand Messages
It takes a certain amount of charm to win over today’s informed internet users. Now, marketers and social media influencers must understand their audience and tailor their brand messages to meet the fans’ desires.
Today’s internet audience isn’t as interested in statistics as previous generations. Resultantly, it’s a good idea to present them with data only when it’s necessary.
Today social media stars must possess exceptional communication skills. For instance, social media influencers must have the skill to insert pauses in their dialogue with just the right timing. Also, no influencer is going to rise to the top if they appear unprepared or anxious.
Eye contact is another essential communication tool for influencers. For example, darting eyes, too much eye contact or too little eye contact will turn off the viewing audience. Influencers must also possess an energy level that aligns with their persona and their product.
The nature of the relationship between a brand and an influencer is also critical for the success of any marketing campaign. The two must have the ability to grow together.
As a part of the millennial and Gen Z demographics, influencers have helped to increase the impact of the opinions of these groups. Resultantly, their influence is slowly forcing corporations to deliver more transparency.
Contemporary internet consumers demand to know the truth about partnerships and brand messaging. To pull all his
off successfully, influencers must partner with brands that have similar values or risk appearing insincere to their social media viewers.
It takes a lot for the right kind of brand-influencer relationship to come together. When it does, however, the level of success enjoyed by those partnerships is phenomenal. Ultimately, value alignment makes or breaks these kinds of collaborations.
The Thing About Transparency
It takes time for brands and influencers to build a trusting relationship with each other. When done right, it results in meaningful, long-lasting partnerships that create a positive image for brands.
Marketers must also understand the relationship between authenticity and transparency, as well as the difference between the two characteristics. Transparency is possible for brands and influencers. Authenticity, however, stems from both parties as well as the trust that consumers place in both the company and the celebrity. In other words, when authentic marketers align with genuine influencers and their values also align, the audience intuitively trusts them.
Resultantly, honesty is the best way to promote transparency and marketing success. Today’s savvy online consumers can sniff out deception from a mile away. Therefore, authentic brand-influencer relationships are the only marketing relationships worth pursuing.
Social Media Rock Stars in the Digital Flesh
Already, marketers have spent upwards of $8 billion in a year on influencer marketing. Indeed, social media influencers are modern rock stars – and their popularity is on the rise. In 2022, for example, analysts forecast that marketing spending on influencers will almost double, skyrocketing to $15 billion.
Every major social media platform attracts the attention of marketers and influencers. However, Instagram is the leader in the field. The top social media platforms rank as follows in market share:
- Instagram 79-percent market share
- Facebook 46-percent market share
- YouTube 36-percent market share
- Twitter 24-percent market share
- LinkedIn 12-percent market share
In part, Instagram’s over 1-billion-member user base has catapulted the platform to the top of the influencer marketing vertical.
Although Instagram is at the top of the heap, there’s more to the platform than just sheer numbers. The platform’s strength lies in the Instagram Groups feature, which marketers can use to corral potential buyers with similar interests. Clothing manufacturers can pursue fashionistas, restaurants can pursue foodies and the list goes on.
Within these groups, influential figures eventually emerge. Their ability to sway group members comes from their charisma. Once these individuals gather enough followers – a social media star is born.
The entry of millennials and Gen Z into adulthood marked the beginning of a positive and unique relationship between brands and consumers. Fortunately, the relationship is mutually beneficial.
Today’s consumers, however, are exceptionally well-informed. Now more than ever, marketers must create sincere campaigns and form real relationships with potential buyers that are built on a foundation of respect.