We’ve already surpassed the hype and the initial scepticism that some brands might have held; social influencing is here to stay.
The influence of bloggers was first used by fashion brands who were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Fashion bloggers are no longer seen as a threat to the more traditional fashion media outlets, but as part of the way to get your brand across to a younger audience.
Influencing before social media
Actually, using influencers is not new. Brands have always used celebrities to sell their products, by having them wear and use their products. It can also happen that a brand is embraced by a group of influencers that catapult a brand without them even being aware. Think about Tommy Hilfiger, who was embraced by the hip hop scene mid-90s. The brand went from preppy to street; all after one simple line in a hip-hip song.
That was then, before we even heard about social media. The group of influencers has grown and shifted to non-celebrities. Influencers are now Instagram-famous instead of television-famous. A simple tag or a hashtag by the right people can set off a complete new hype, trend and wave.
Social influencing is no longer restricted to fashion brands only, loads of FMCG-brands make use of the power of social influencers as part of their marketing mix. The advantage for brands to use social influencers is that the association with a certain influencer of group influencers can totally rebrand them and their brand image.
The latest trend is healthy living, a combination of exercising and eating healthy. If you check the hashtags like #healthyfood #healthlife #fitgirl etc. you’ll see that the results are endless. Of course there are a lot of brands who jump on this trend. Supermarkets push their healthy products, juice bars and restaurants as well. This trend even has its own type of influencer, the fitfluencer. They have a huge following on social media and their reach is any marketeer’s dream.
How to connect
As a brand it’s about finding the right influencers to connect to your brand. The content they produce should fit to your image and style, the message they send to their audience should fit your message. But how do you find social influencers? There are various platforms and agencies that can help you, however when you are just starting out as a brand, click on the hashtags, spot the influencers and contact them directly. You’ll never know when your brand is Instagram-famous.