The year that has just begun heralds a significant challenge for the brand-consumer relationship, in the context of major changes in the mindset and consumer behavior. For the third year in a row since the outbreak of the most powerful contemporary global event, the pandemic, the communications industry and its tools need to be reinvented, in order to be relevant for the new reality.
By Romanita Oprea
Influencer marketing was already one of the fastest growing areas in recent years, with an increasingly important role in the communication mix. Today, even more in the new context that is taking shape, with the huge universe that is Metaverse, brands need to truly understand the mechanisms of the platforms, the behavior & culture of users and the conversation tools.
In this context, Ogilvy talks about transformative trends for the industry and the rethinking of influencing, from a simple “add-on” in communication campaigns, without significant impact, to its integration in all phases of a campaign, in a unitary manner. Influencer briefs need to be aligned with the broader strategy of a campaign and the content set up to be trackable, so that the return on investment can be assessed against true business results.
On the local market, Ogilvy deploys integrated creative campaigns that include collaborations with influencers in order to open interactive conversations with relevant communities, whose success rate is measured both by awareness indicators and by response rates or quality traffic towards the assets created in those campaigns.
“At Ogilvy, we see influencing as a science in itself, based on experimentation, with the goal of long-term results and efficiency. From B2B campaigns with influencers, before it became a trend, to campaigns where we challenged influencers to write their own brief, as co-creators of content, to campaigns where we used pets as influencers, when there was still no significant appetite for such twists. Today, we are again at the point of experimentation, from new communication channels, new topics and, implicitly, new opportunities for brands. We are looking for the concepts with the greatest potential to create a connection and a conversation with the public and to ensure ROI for clients. The interest in innovation and the exploration of new technologies have already allowed us to pilot, together with local influencers, creative hacks in different platforms, thus managing to move the experiences that were suspended during the pandemic into the digital space “– Ana Sișu, Head of PR &Influence Ogilvy Romania.
Some of the most important trends identified by Ogilvy experts, defined as brand growth opportunities:
#1 Create culture, don’t just be a part of if − Brands should define their own culture and generate organic and authentic content through influencers, rather than translating various cultural movements from the public space into their social networks.
#2 Go beyond trends to make an impact − The purpose of a brand itself is no longer enough, brands need to act accordingly and create a real impact, and influencers need to be selected based on the common values they share with that brand.
#3 Inclusive influence equals better results − 38% of consumers are more likely to trust brands that cast diverse people in their ads.
#4 Experience is the new e-comm − Creating a memorable consumer experience has become essential in e-commerce, and influencer marketing is largely based on entertainment. Consumers are more likely to act when brands provide an experience, that goes beyond a static product post published on social media.
#5 B2B Influence or How influence reshaped B2B marketing − Online content influences consumers’ purchasing decisions regardless of industry, and in 2020 the B2B influencer industry was estimated at $4.6B.
#6 Influence goes metaverse or how this new virtual realm impacts the influencer marketing industry. It is no longer enough to live stream a physical experience anymore, experiences must be designed from the start for the digital space. The metaverse offers influencers the opportunity to collaborate in ways that were not possible before, to co-create experiences that consumers are actively looking for.
#7 Think system, not silos – Influence performs best when integrated into the wider marketing mix. The return on investment can be increased by up to 30% for each channel where influencer marketing is used.