What Bernie Sanders and Charli D’Amelio can teach you about influencer marketing
May 17, 2021
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.
Some things in life will always remain classic – the look of a vintage Mercedes, for example. In the world of marketing, however, the whole game has changed with the rise of social media. The day of payment to put your product on the front page of a newspaper is over. Now, it’s about having enough creativity in a timely manner to keep someone’s thumb from scrolling through their social feed. If you haven’t made the switch to influencer marketing yet, some people might think you’ve fallen off the face of the earth.
What you say may stay the same, but now it all depends on where you say it
Brands have always sought out famous people with social influence to promote their products. This is nothing new. Celebrity endorsements date back to the beginning of the advertising age.
But look at how people actually spend their time in today’s world. Especially in the past year, when people all over the world have spent time consuming massive amounts of media on a daily basis. People don’t drive on highways where they can see billboards, walk past printed advertisements in cities, or walk past flyers hung in the city as before. People don’t even watch commercials on live TV anymore. They watch Netflix on demand instead of cable. Smartphones and high-tech home devices have made mobile immediacy king. No one waits to see what’s in the mail anymore except maybe a paycheck, and even these have gone digital.
Enter social media.
Related: Here’s why brands fail in influencer campaigns (and what to focus on in 2021)
For the most part, influencers are good business
Whether they choose Instagram, Twitter TikTok, or some other social platform, people have moved their conversations online. It’s on these platforms where people – including the Kim Kardashians of the world – are visible in real time. And because that’s where people are now, using traditional marketing like print or TV ads is essentially screaming into the void.
To a large extent, effective marketing is simply about getting the best value for your money. So here’s a pop quiz: if you can spend less than $ 3 to reach 1,000 people on social media – where, remember, people actually interact with your brand – or $ 28 to reach 1,000 people via TV, what’s the better deal?
Good publicity isn’t all about money. It’s also about knowing your audience’s behavior. And right now people attach prejudices to traditional forms of advertising. You are “this” if you watch News Network X, for example, and you are “this” if you watch News Network Y. Brands don’t want to take sides or be labeled like that in many cases. They just wanna market a group of people.
Social media doesn’t have this problem. If you market there, publishers don’t instantly color what you do. You just use the reach of the platform’s daily customers like everyone else. Except that the voice of these influential customers might actually be able to change the buying behavior of their subscribers. Doesn’t that sound much easier than having to reposition your brand to match the demographics and expectations of certain publications?
Trust is a key part of doing business. With confidence comes security, and with those two maximums, sales follow. This is the big advantage that social media influencers offer. As supporters of these influential voices, we already have an innate confidence in them and what they publish. Enough confidence to at least give them time to read what they post on our social networks! By using influencer voices, brands don’t seem to pay just to put products in front of consumers’ faces – they allow the creator to create content about the product that can be told.
Think about Bernie Sanders photo which went viral during the presidential inauguration of 2021, for example. The reason it became such a meme was that it seemed to capture emotions that we’ve all felt before. This kind of relatability has propelled memes far and wide, reaching huge audiences. Now imagine the meme is influencer content featuring your product – you get the trust and reach, two for the price of one.
The value of unbiased authenticity
Keep in mind that influencers aren’t just there to make cold money. They have a style of their own, having gained their popularity by working hard to create original content relevant to their niche and demographics. They won’t give it all up for the companies that come by and wave a paycheck in their face.
Most influencers want to work with brands whose convictions legitimately align with theirs. That way, they can stay true to who they are and stand up for what they think is important, and they don’t cheat on their followers. The influencers refused or moved away from the marks, sometimes halfway, if they didn’t like the way the brand acted morally, ethically or socially.
The collaboration between Dunkin ‘Donuts and TikTok star Charli D’Amelio is a prime example of a successful brand-influencer couple. D’Amelio made no secret of his love for the chain’s coffee. She had given Dunkin ‘well over 100 million free impressions just by having their products in her videos just because she loved them. Thus, the brand joined forces with her in September 2020 and created a brand new drink, the “Charli”. Because people saw the relationship as genuine, the company saw 57 percent peak in daily app downloads and a 45 percent increase in all cold coffee sales the day after launch. The partnership drew millions of looks, many new to the brand, and none of it felt forced.
The perfect relationships between the brand and the influencers are the ones that feel organic and make sense in the market. If your brand represents certain social movements, deploy an influencer who feels the same to speak positively about your brand. As you jump into the drawing board and pick influencers for your next social media campaign, think to yourself, “Would it feel natural to me if I saw it on my own feed?”
Related: Are you genuine?
It’s time to find your own social media influencers
People have gone online and gone from most of the old fashioned marketing techniques. They want transparency and born want to waste their time. It makes social media marketing a smart move. Influencers know their way around this popular space. They are ready to share your post. The only question is, are you?