Keys to creating an epic influencer campaign

NZ influencer @kedecc

An influencer campaign will allow your brand to partner with thought leaders who can amplify your voice and reach new audiences. One of the tricky parts, is finding an influencer who genuinely believes in your brand and provides relevant, authentic content that strikes attention and resonates with both yours and your influencers audience. Here’s a list of key things to keep in mind when creating an epic influencer campaign.

Create a genuine, authentic and transparent partnership.

Brand partnerships always work best when the brand and influencer align in values and honestly rate each others work. This is where the magic happens, as the influencer campaign becomes an authentic collaboration rather than a paid placement. When an influencer really believes in a product/brand, it will fit seamlessly into their feed. For instance, Loic Quedec (the influencer in the image above) is known for his monochromatic themed images. So when he shared a photo wearing Ice Breakers grey tracksuit (which he loves, and would wear anyway) it was completely genuine and authentic. Likewise, Social Club influencer Renee Amber, in a recent collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines, shared a dreamy picture of herself under the grapevines holding a glass of chardonnay. Since Renee’s feed is filled up with culture, travel photos and beautiful scenic shots, the advertising content was able to fit seamlessly with her feed, and generate awesome results.

Influencer @reneeamberx collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines
Influencer @reneeamberx collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines

However, if a healthy vegan influencer was to promote a fast food burger, it would stand out like a sore thumb. Their followers would call them out on it, and the fast food burger brand would get a bad rep.

Consumers are savvy, they know payment is often exchanged for sponsored posts. But, if the collaboration is authentic, they don’t mind! We have found that with the release of the new ASA guidelines, brands have questioned how it will impact their influencer content performance. What we have found is that: if the collaboration is genuine, authentic and transparent, a #collab or #ad has absolutely no effect on the results of the influencer campaign.

Influencer @kellie.pardoe Adairs Autumn Campaign

Add value to your audience with quality content

Influencers should be focused on adding value to their audience. Consumers on social media are looking to be inspired, which is one of the reasons why they follow influencers.  71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. To activate that 71%, a key question to ask is: How will this piece of content add value to and benefit the audience? Whether that’s offering a discount, providing a new insight or wowing them with amazing content. If you create great content worthy of reading, sharing and engaging with, users won’t mind if it’s a branded collaboration.

Additionally, it is important to understand who the influencer’s audience is. There are a few different factors to take into account: audience age, gender and location, all of which can be filtered for on The Social Club platform. These factors can be important when running localised campaigns or events, as well as campaigns promoting a product that is targeted at a certain gender.

The Social Club Platform Audience Filtering
The Social Club Platform Audience Filtering

Remember, the influencer is the creative

You may have hundreds of amazing creative ideas, but in the end the influencer knows their audience and what makes them tick. They are the ones who built their following after all! Because of this, it’s important to give the influencer enough creative freedom. Of course, you need to be clear in your brief on the campaign objectives, key messages, inclusions and exclusions. Influencers know what types of content perform best on their feeds and receive the highest engagements, so trust them!

At The Social Club, both our full-service team and platform can support you through all of these areas. You can use our platform to deep dive into influencer audience demographics and connect with your exact target audience. Or chat to one of our campaign specialists to develop a creative, engaging strategy that will drive results. Hit us up if you have any questions or would like to have a chat!

Instagram’s new shopping feature finally comes to New Zealand!

instagram shopping new zealand

At The Social Club, we’re super excited for the new instagram shopping feature and we know many of the brands we work with are too.

Instagram has just launched their new Instagram shopping feature in New Zealand which allows transactions to be made between businesses and users. Instagram now allows brands to have click through tags and shop buttons on their content to take users to their website where they can purchase the featured product.

With 74% of consumers using social media to make purchasing decisions, the new feature takes the entire Instagram user experience to a whole other level. For both consumers and brands, the process becomes far more direct and simplified. Which as a result, makes it easier for brands to accurately track and calculate their ROI.  

Instagram isn’t charging for the feature at the moment, since the value for the platform is in the data – gathering information on people’s purchasing habits to perform better advertising.

Instagram shopping feature in New Zealand

Currently, the feature can be used on any unpaid or organic posts selling physical products e.g clothes, appliances and beauty products. However, it will be interesting to see if the feature expands to include services as well.

For influencers, it’s a massive value add as it allows them to send direct traffic to a brands’ website seamlessly, removing the pain point of the previously clunky “link in bio”. It’s also very exciting for us, as it means we can accurately track the campaign performance.

Overseas, some brands have seen rises of between 20 and 60 per cent of their business coming from Instagram Shopping. Now, brands who aren’t on Instagram may begin to see the value as they are able to track the success of their content.

If you’re interested in giving an influencer campaign a go, you can contact one of our campaign members, or check out our platform – we always love teaching people how successful influencer campaigns can be!

If you’d like to find out a bit more about the new Instagram feature and what it means for brands, check out this article from The NZ Herald, featuring our very own CEO, Georgia McGillivray!

Micro-influencers: How Micro is getting Macro results for brands

Micro-influencer, @pipartus

Apparently, bigger isn’t always better, with the recent word through the social grapevine being:

The smaller the social influencer’s audience, the stronger the engagement.

To put things into perspective, a social influencers following can range from 1k to 100’s of millions (so pretty damn broad). Micro-influencers generally covers the 1-10k mark, and macro-influencers and celebrities tackle the rest. So micro-influencers have, for a lack of a better word, a very micro following. But those micro numbers are getting macro results for businesses, and we’ve put together a list of five reasons why micro-influencers can be the key to influencer marketing success.

1. COST

The main reason brands & agencies are increasingly willing to shift down the popularity ladder to influencers with smaller audiences, is because micro-influencers are highly cost-effective.

How? Well, it’s like hitting 20 birds with one stone. Your influencer budget could get you one celebrity influencer, or 20 micro-influencers. Not only are micro-influencers significantly cheaper than macro-influencers, but they reach a niche (generally local) audience, that is far more engaged which generally leads to a higher conversion rate and return on investment. Where possible, a combination of both micro and macro influencers works best. When it comes to price, the market is always changing, but in New Zealand you can look to spend about $100-$500 for a post by a micro-influencer, depending on factors like follower count, engagement, industry and more.

2. HIGHER AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT

Smaller audiences are not only more loyal but far more engaged (liking, commenting and sharing). To put it simply, the smaller the following, the closer their followers are to being actual friends. Which means, they generate high engagement. Once an influencer builds a larger following, their followers are further removed, resulting in less engagement.

In a strange way, it’s kinda like being at a Ricky Martin concert (or any concert if you’re not a fan of Ricky). The front row is like the micro-audience, and the back row, the macro audience. Ricky can get up close and personal, look right into the eyes of the front row, give them a high five, even sweat on them a little. As the rows go back, and the crowd gets bigger (or the followers) that personal connection, authentic engagement, and overall relationship dilutes. See what we did there.

3. BRAND AWARENESS AND EXPOSURE

As we mentioned before, about hitting the 20 birds with one stone thing. Well, it’s not only cheaper to use multiple micro-influencers, but, it also gives you the ability to reach lots of strong niches through different avenues. This will ensure your target audience is regularly exposed to your brand or product. And therefore, allow you to strategically reach your target market, and increase brand awareness and exposure. Boom!

4. AUTHENTICITY OF THE MICRO-INFLUENCER

You’ll believe your friend’s recommendation over a celebrity’s, right? Well, we hope so. It’s the same case with macro vs micro audiences. That’s because a micro-influencer isn’t a celebrity living their life in the spotlight, constantly being paid to promote every brand under the sun. In fact, most people wouldn’t recognise them if they were walking down the street. Which makes them much more relatable. Maybe they’re a friend of a friend, live in the same area, go to the same local coffee spot, maybe they’re a dog lover too.

Whatever it is, their following encompasses a much tighter, engaged circle. And with that comes trust and believability. So when a micro-influencer promotes a product they truly love, it comes off as much more authentic to the viewer. Which is key, because people are becoming excellent online BS detectors.

Picnic by micro-influencer, @pipartus in collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines

5. BULLSEYE TARGET AUDIENCE

Since micro-influencers have a niche audience that’s far more refined and specific, it’s now a piece of cake for brands to cut through the millions of Instagram users and communicate to their exact target audience. However, in order to effectively connect with the influencer’s audience, it’s important to make sure your brand or product is authentic to the influencer’s messaging, morals, and overall Instagram feed.

All in all, micro-influencers are beginning to change the game of social marketing into something, well, macro. From having authentic, believable content, higher engagement with your ideal audience, while also being a cost-effective option. It’s only logical why more and more brands, with both small and large marketing budgets, are getting on the micro bandwagon.

If you’re considering working with a micro-influencer, or any social media star – you can get set up on our platform, or talk to one of our campaign experts.

Everything you need to know about the New Influencer Marketing Standards in NZ

Noise on social media, we’ve all seen it. In order to penetrate through the noise and communicate with consumers, brands must pivot their approach from ordinary traditional & digital marketing.

That’s where influencer marketing has grown as of late, particularly in New Zealand. As consumers move their attention online, brands have followed. In 2016 online advertising spend exceeded that of TV advertising spend.

“Once brands were powerful and people were grateful, now people are powerful and brands are grateful”

Kiwi’s are using social media platforms more than ever, and at higher proportions than Australia, the US and the UK including many other countries.

Adhesion shows that of all online Kiwis:

  • 81% use Youtube
  • 79% use Facebook
  • 46% use instagram

This new space has allowed brands to deliver branded content to consumers in authentic ways by using the highly engaged followings of influencers. This begs the question, as consumers, how do we know what is advertising vs. content from a friend?

 

Change in the NZ Market

The Advertising Standards Authority in New Zealand recently announced that a new code of ethics has been formed around influencer marketing to more clearly inform consumers of the nature of content that they are consuming.

“The ASA Code of Ethics states that all advertising content controlled directly or indirectly by the advertiser should be identified as such, regardless of the medium used to distribute it.”

Additionally, financial payment does not necessarily qualify content as an advertisement. Free product with controlled messaging can also be classified as an advertisement.

Our CEO at The Social Club, Georgia McGillivray, looks forward to the introduction of these standards.

“We are pleased to see the ASA Guidance Note includes guidelines for identifying influencer marketing as well as other forms of advertising. It is a welcome development for influencers, brands and agencies to gain clarity around their responsibilities. We believe these guidelines serve to validate the influencer market in New Zealand and we are excited to implement them as foundational values here at The Social Club.”

 

What does this mean?

Here are a few scenarios to help brands identify whether their content through influencers is advertising or organic content.

  1. An instagram makeup influencer receives free samples of a new product and the advertisers message to them is “Hey, here’s a sample of our new product for you to try.”
    • The influencer uses the product and uploads a positive post on their instagram feed about their experience.
    • This is not likely to be an advertisement as there was no review requested by the advertiser, or any control of the copy.
  2. The same influencer receives more product for review with content provided by the advertiser. The influencer is able to make additional comments as a part of their review.
    • This is likely to be an advertisement as the advertiser has control over the content and requested a review, even though the product was free. It should clearly be identified as such.
  3. The same influencer is provided with a caption copy and script as well as a payment for a review. The caption includes the brand’s name and a call to action to check out the link.
    • This is an advertisement as payment is involved. The call to action and brand name are likely to be obvious and sufficient as identifiers.

 

How do I maintain authenticity as a brand?

Advertising identifiers can be used in many ways, whether that is integrated into the visuals like the use of a logo, or in the copy such as a brand name.

For example, incorporating the brands name or a hashtag such as #ad #collab, into the caption helps to identify that the content is indeed advertising.

To maintain authenticity it is important that the brand & product fit the values of the influencer and their profile, and vice versa. An example of a non authentic relationship would be if an influencer who publishes a vegan lifestyle was to partner with a burger joint. On the other hand, if an avid runner was to post content wearing a major shoe brand’s apparel, the message would be perceived as authentic as well as reach an engaged audience.

Another important aspect to look at is the ratio of advertisements and non branded content on an influencers page. With a healthy ratio, their audience will remain engaged and not feel bombarded with too many ads.

Since the introduction of similar standards overseas, studies with over 86,000 influencers have found that followers tend to engage more with sponsored content than non-sponsored content across most follower ranges. This shows that authentic and high quality content remain the key for high engagement.

If you’d like to read more, click here to check out the full Guidance Note by the ASA which includes more examples on when advertisements need to be identified.

For more information on running an influencer marketing campaign and how it can help your brand, you can reach our team at enquiries@thesocialclub.co.