Creativity in influencer campaigns

Do we even need it? Won't influencers come up with it themselves? And then what about that famous authenticity? If you've ever asked yourself questions like these, you've come to the right place.
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Creativity? Yes, you need it.


Because the days when it was enough for an influencer to recommend something are gone. The recommendation is still there, but the form of it is a whole new discipline. Influencer marketing today is a business like any other, even with competition in the feeds. Your brand is not the first or the last to appear there. But you want it to be seen. And there are few influencers who can create unique, tailored commercial content; most slip into one tried-and-true but tired model. Besides, your brand should be consistent everywhere, even on third-party platforms. It doesn’t mean an influencer will share your TV spots, but you should still get to know each other – otherwise, what’s the point of building brand awareness?


Who’s going to come up with it?


While we don’t have exact definitions on hand, we can probably agree that not every influencer is also a skilled creator. We look at reach and engagement when we are making a decision BUT a bigger influencer doesn’t automatically mean higher quality or more creative content. And this is especially true with celebrities. It makes a big difference if an influencer is creating content or sharing their personal life. If he has a topic and some expertise on it, or if he just needs to let his audience get a glimpse into the background of his life. Neither is wrong, but each type needs to be approached differently – and know how much to “help” it to a good result. So that in the end there is the expected authenticity, but not at the expense of quality.


Authenticity versus creativity


The key to making content authentic is making the right choices. You simply have to trust the influencer that they have actually tried this product or service and were satisfied. A discouraging example would be an unnamed hockey player and an unnamed mobile phone brand. The second assumption is to know the limits of your influencer. Count on not being an actor (okay, some are) and not having a professional crew on hand. Therefore, the assignment you send him must match his capabilities. And you should expect production quality similar to the rest of his work.


Also, count on the fact that influencers don’t usually think in concepts. They think in the context of their platform. That may or may not be enough. If you have a concept, it’s up to you or your agency to translate it into influencer-friendly form properly. In fact, if you want creative content from an influencer, it’s highly recommended to give them inspiration along with a clearly defined message. Your influencer should know what the user should take away from their communication. The degree of creative freedom then depends a lot on the skills of the individual influencer.


Where is the influencer’s place in your campaign? There are three possibilities.


1/ Influencer as the basis of the whole 360


The option where the influencer’s own channels are secondary and you build a classic campaign across paid communication channels. Here the influencer plays the role of ambassador and is more of a celebrity at that point than “just” another medium. He gives meaning and content to the campaign message, usually based on his persona and his story. He works where an unknown influencer wouldn’t work nearly as well. In other words, the type of campaign that was around before the rise of influencer marketing.


2/ Influencer extends an existing campaign.


The most common form of collaboration, where the influencer adds their content and, more importantly, their followers to an existing commercial campaign. Thus, it is not only his/her face that is crucial, but also reaching a unique, even niche target group. Again, it is important to keep in mind that the campaign concept may need to be adapted to the needs of influencer communication.


3/ “Influencer alone will do.”


And here, beware. With few exceptions, influencers alone usually cannot pull off the entire communication concept. This is precisely because their outputs won’t be unified, they don’t hold together without an overarching communication and many times they don’t even have anywhere to refer to afterwards. Their outputs are also usually not owned. The last and probably most important argument is that it is just another one of many (!) relevant touchpoints that can lead to conversion. It’s important, but it’s not the only one. And since the customer journey, at least in the FMCG segment, has long been non-linear, it would be shortsighted to put everything on one card.


So how to think about an influencer campaign?


Like any other. You need to know what you need – communication-wise, business-wise and strategically. Get clear on why you want to use influencers, what results you expect and how you will measure them. Do you want to sell, raise awareness, deliver relevance, reach niche audiences…? A properly set up influencer communication can help you with all this. And as with any other campaign, it’s better to have a partner who knows what they’re doing.

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17. 5. 2024

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