Influencer Marketing: Adapting to Markets and Cultures

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See what is happening in our world – who is influencing whom and why.

Influencer Marketing: Adapting to Markets and Cultures

May 11, 2020

Managing influencer campaigns within specific territories or cultures can be very challenging, particularly for brands and marketers who don’t have expertise within particular regions. There are challenges related to culture, audiences and legislative requirements and restrictions.

At R-Squared, we operate globally, running influencer campaigns for multi-national groups in a variety of vertical markets. We have expertise in managing campaigns within a range of regions and cultural realities. We believe that understanding how influencer marketing differs from region to region is fundamental to the overall success of a campaign, affecting engagement and campaign costs.

Setting individualised missions for influencers is essential, factoring in all of the market and influencer-related specifics. Questions to be considered include market maturity – is influencer marketing well established in the region, or is it still a developing market? The answers will affect how competitive the market is, whether an audience will click on a link (conversion rate), influencer fees and influencer availability.

Once a brand or agency has established the above in the specific local markets internationally, and has created a brief for the influencers, the brand or agency should work with the influencer to understand their lifestyle, and how to integrate the brand concept into authentic content.

By sending one brief to all influencers for the same campaign, all influencers will produce very similar content. Within specific verticals, there is often an audience overlap, in which case, followers following several influencers who are all part of the same campaign will see the same type of content produced, which may alienate the audience. At this point, the importance of influencer mission setting plays a role in the success of the overall campaign.

It’s paramount to match the missions to the influencers and not the influencers to the missions. With the influencer tailoring lifestyle journeys, the content the influencers’ create will reinforce the brand message in their signature style. The tasks the brand or agency set should be a framework for the influencer to work from, not a script.

Thinking out of the box is necessary when it comes to dealing with influencers. It’s all about creating the perfect framework that allows for full creativity, authenticity and engagement while remaining aligned with the brand’s objectives and protecting its brand equity. Authenticity in the content is crucial to ensuring the message resonates with the target audience, in a way that is original and organic. In our opinion, agencies discussing individual missions with the influencers, and agreeing on those missions and objectives together, ensures that the content perfectly tells the influencer’s story, while aligning with the needs of the campaign.

Michelle Marais, Digital Marketing Manager

Michelle Marais

Michelle Marais is the Digital Marketing Manager at R-Squared, a leading influencer marketing agency partnering with some of the largest brands in South Africa and internationally. Our team focuses on out of the box solutions for authenticity in influencer marketing.

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Is your paid partnership paying off?

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See what is happening in our world – who is influencing whom and why.

Is your paid partnership paying off?

October 15, 2018

In a world of uncertainty, can brands and influencers afford to lack transparency and disclosure? Does disclosing a partnership harm or reinforce the credibility of both the influencer and the brand? Why is disclosure of partnership (besides the legal requirement) important to consumers? If you’ve been asking yourself the questions, you’ve come to the right place because in a few short paragraphs; you’ll have the answers you’ve been looking for!”

It’s not surprising that Influencer Marketing is a popular way for brands to get their message out. When it comes to trusted sources of information, word-of-mouth recommendations always rank highly. Consumers are also more likely to trust those they can relate to and that’s why micro-influencers play such a big role in Influencer Marketing. Consumers follow them because they value their opinion and recommendation on specific subjects.

“According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual global survey of trust and credibility, 55% of respondents say, “Individuals are more believable than institutions, and a company’s social media page is more believable than advertising.”

Influencer marketing is now big enough that disclosing partnerships between brands and influencers is a necessity, not an option. Although compliance is growing, there are many examples where it doesn’t happen. There is evidence showing that consumers engage more when there is disclosure and when the post is highly personal and authentic. Twitter partnered with Annalect to research influencers on the platform. This study has revealed some very interesting influencer marketing statistics. For example, 56% of consumers are influenced by their friends and peers on their purchases. The study also revealed that tweets from brands increase the purchase intent by 2.7 times. This is in comparison with the purchase intent of audiences who haven’t engaged with such tweets. When these were coupled with tweets from influencers, the purchase intent increased by 5.2 times in the same study. This is when the influencers generated their own content and disclosed a partnership, rather than sharing the brand’s static content.

With this being said; what defines adequate disclosure? It is no longer sufficient to just tag the brand in sponsored content, due to recent regulatory changes in the Influencer Marketing framework. So here are a couple of tips when it comes to Influencer Marketing disclosure.

  • Disclosures should be clear and use widely accepted hashtags such as #sponsored
  • Disclosures should be independent of social media network or channel-specific settings (e.g. it is not enough to just use Instagram’s “paid partnership with…” feature)
  • In videos, disclosures should be upfront and identifiable
  • Disclosures should be made in the language of the endorsement
  • Disclosures should be in close proximity to the endorsement
  • Disclosures should be specific about the brand, products, and what was received by the influencer
  • Disclosures should be clearly communicated
  • Disclosures should be written with unambiguous language

But why is all of this so important in Influencer Marketing? We need to look back at the debate around authenticity in order to answer this question effectively. Influencer Marketing harnesses the power of word-of-mouth recommendations, which in today’s world is one of the most powerful concepts to enter the marketing landscape. However, it is only as powerful as its perceived authenticity. All consumers, in today’s day and age, crave authenticity. Influencer disclosure of paid partnerships is certainly one way to remain transparent

Consumers are bombarded with generic advertisements from most brands on a daily basis. I say generic because this is why consumers crave something original, something fresh and new, and something personal. By providing disclosure, the influencer is able to say that even though they are being incentivised, the recommendation is genuine. Conversely, when no disclosure is provided, followers may immediately detect that it is a paid post, and the lack of transparency would impact the credibility of the recommendation.

Another positive aspect of disclosure is through the use of Instagram’s “paid partnership” feature. Studies have shown that using this feature on Influencer posts drives higher engagement and conversions on the post. Again, all the more reason for brands to encourage their influencers to disclose the partnership between themselves and the brand.

The dynamic world of Influencer Marketing will undoubtedly keep changing over the next few years, and we’ve already seen it come such a long way since its inception. This leaves plenty room for many more changes in both its nature, and the regulations governing it. We look forward to seeing the industry continue to flourish yet also become more sustainable in its nature through more stringent regulations.

“Influencer Marketing is most efficient when authenticity is absolute, and this comes with full transparency and disclosure on sponsorships.”

If you’re dying to know more now and you’d like expert assistance with creating and managing your influencer marketing campaigns, you can contact us on partners@r2digital.co.za

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