Harnessing the Power of a Community: Influencer marketing at Advertising Week Europe

“Influencer marketing equals the modern day British Royal Warrant” – Paul Scannell, Head of Influencer Marketing at INCA.

This, for me, was the QOTD at my day at Advertising Week Europe 2019.

Since the 15th century, the public have bought into brands and services that have been given the Royal Seal of approval. Why? Because we, as a community, trust the Royal family and their opinion. Nowadays, or since the start of the twenty-teens, tweenies or teens, we as an online community and digital world, are looking elsewhere for inspiration & guidance on our purchase decisions. Cue – Influencers!

But whoever is providing that seal of approval or influencer endorsement requires more these days. One of my biggest takeaways from the various talks I attended at AdWeek Europe 2019, is that it’s not a one way street. Rather, we need to be focusing on the importance of relationships across influencer marketing.

Below are the key relationship takeaways:

Influencer to community

The significance of relationships became abundantly clear from the talk on ‘Harnessing the Power of a Community’, in which the panelists stressed the importance of influencers knowing their community and building a ‘common passion’ amongst them. In this talk, it was interesting to hear how passionate the influencers who spoke were about their community. Christopher ‘Sacriel’ Ball, global gaming influencer actually said “My audience is an extension of my family”, which I found very endearing.

Correspondingly, it’s also profoundly important for brands to recognise who the influencer’s community are, to ensure they are a great fit for the campaign or activation at hand.

So, I bet you’re wondering which type of influencer receives the strongest engagement from their community? The general consensus seems to be that micro influencers tend to have the richest community engagement. This is because the micro influencer tends to be dedicated to a specific passion area, and it is for this specific niche that their audience follows them, meaning they are heavily engaged.

Brand to Influencer

We all know, I hope, that the more you show respect to someone and speak to them on a professional yet friendly level, the more that person will respect you back and therefore go above and beyond. This is just as relevant in the realm of influencer marketing, and was a key theme at AdWeek. Christopher ‘Sacriel’ Ball explained “The strength of the relationship between an influencer and a brand shines through in their content”. Want more from your Influencer marketing campaign? Pay more respect.

Relationships are SO important that, according to the industry professionals and influencers themselves, a trend to look out for in influencer marketing 2019 is the longevity of brand and influencer relationships.

To summarise, the key message from my time immersing myself in everything influencer marketing at Adweek Europe is – in a world where we talk through screens, emojis and likes, it is important to make an effort to get to know one another and build relationships – whether it be online or offline.

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Danielle is Senior Executive at OMD Create

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