SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL -
Something brands often say they want us to do is create an influencer programme that will engage their fans in an authentic way, that has a "legacy" and builds real love from talent and influencers toward their brand.
To find influencers to achieve this we use our Influencer Match Tool (tm), our trademarked system that sources Influencers whose values match those of the brand we are working for. We then choose a mix of large scale and micro influencers to engage with. The micro influencers may have a low following today, but we are ultra confident that in 9 months they will have a huge online following / be a household name. By brands supporting them at this nascent point, four things will happen. First, the influencer will love the brand for supporting them and the fans will too. The cost will also be low and the brand is likely to get better, cheaper deals once the influencer has popped - out of a sense of loyalty.
Yet, over 85% of our recommendations are knocked back. These is the same with bloggers who have low followers but we can see them getting to 200k in a year, or actors like Alicia Vikander who have a slate of huge films lined-up but were not known when we pitch them, or musicians like Disclosure, models like Cara Delevigne.
Why is this? The cost is low, we have a strong track record and a scientific process related to product pipelines and partnerships that means we can pretty much guarantee these influencers will be household names within a certain period of time.
I think it's because of two reasons. Firstly, marketing team turnover. What's the point in putting a legacy plan together and building real relationship with influencers if you are going to be in a different role in 18 months - better to go for the sugar rush now and book some likes and engagement during this quarter with some bigger names - even if this strategy doesn't have the same kind of authenticity or long term value for the brand.
Secondly, risk. Your relying on our advice - what if we are wrong - will you look silly for backing the strategy?
Well my answer to this is that you can't afford to not engage. As Millennials become more dominant they will eat alive any company that brand slaps, in fact they will eat alive any influencer who brand slaps - just look at all the negative comments when an influencer does an advertisement that doesn't seem authentic... the period of quick fixes is fast losing its effectiveness.
The only way for the kind of considered, long term, authentic influencer integration strategies to really be backed by marketing teams is for it to be led from the top down, for the CEO to demand and judge his teams on utilising a more considered, grass roots, authentic influencer engagement programme. Sure brands should still use big influencers to aid message distribution, but for brand love, its micro and real partnerships that count.
So bear this in mind when you look a our new music picks for 2017, they might not have massive followers now, but they will, and the small investment you make today, will repay itself massively.
Dudley Nevill-Spencer - CEO Brand Revolution / The Influencer Group