No More Smoke and Mirrors: The High Stakes of Authenticity in Influencer Marketing
Mireille Iskander, Influencer Manager at Socialize, part of the We Are Social network, talks about the importance of authenticity from influencers in building meaningful relationships and trust with audiences.
We’ve danced this dance before, haven’t we? Even before the world was abuzz with tweets, likes, and shares, the “influencer” concept existed in guises like celebrity endorsements or ambassadorships. Yet, amidst evolving digital landscapes, one truth remains constant: the authenticity of influencers’ content is crucial. Now with digital empowerment at every consumer’s fingertips, it’s paramount to nail it. But how?
Consider this: How many times have you scrolled past influencer-branded content that felt too scripted? That disconnect is what brands risk every time they miss the mark on authenticity. This is especially important when attempting to connect with Gen-Zs and Gen-Alphas. They’re not just watching; they’re evaluating with every swipe.
To chart these murky waters, brands must harness the true currency of this era: Authenticity. Sounds simple, but is it?
To help you understand its complexity and how to win, we dissect authenticity into two key pillars: Audience Authenticity and Content Authenticity.
Audience Authenticity: It’s not just about numbers, it’s about resonance.
- Authentic Followers Analysis: Remember that influencer with a million followers but eerily silent posts? This metric ensures you’re not wooed by just numbers but by genuine engagement.
- Engagement Rate: An indicator of the pulse and energy of an influencer’s audience compared to their community size.
- Follower Growth Rate: The consistency of growth revealing content’s resonance within the community.
Content Authenticity: This is where the magic (or tragedy) happens.
- Engagement Sentiment: Differentiating passive scrolling and the thousand “❤️❤️”, “Cool Post”, etc from genuine interaction through heartfelt stories and cultural relevance.
- Content Affinity: The ultimate compatibility test. Does the influencer’s vibe match the brand?
Ignoring authenticity can be a slippery slope. Consider the potential downfall of partnering with an influencer boasting vast followers but lacking genuine engagement.
Drawing from real-world scenarios:
A campaign by Socialize in Dubai for Home of Switz during Ramadan spotlighted maternal love. The subtle observation of a mother’s gestures and the ensuing heartfelt conversations garnered impressive engagement. Remarkably, the highest engagement rate, a whopping 11%, was achieved when the influencer had a genuine conversation with her mother about her behavior and why she makes those gestures. The brand was subtly introduced at the end, cementing an authentic connection.
Another campaign by KOBE for United Overseas Bank in Singapore featured two distinct creators. A comedy creator delivered well-scripted content, while a lifestyle TikToker remained candid, genuinely emphasising the bank’s attractive interest rate. The outcome? The TikToker’s content, infused with authenticity, performed 10 times better than the scripted humour content, leading to increased reach and brand relevance.
As you mull over this, recognize that integrating authenticity into your influencer marketing strategy isn’t just beneficial; it’s imperative.
A Final Reflection:
Brands should think of influencers not just as marketing tools but as partners. When an influencer’s tone, style, and ethos align with a brand, the real magic happens.
Before embarking on your next influencer journey, think about these:
1. Audience Fit: Does their audience echo your brand’s spirit?
2. Brand Fit: Do their values intertwine seamlessly with yours?
3. Content Fit: Does their content storytelling harmonise with your brand’s tale?
Now here’s a final question for you:
Can you recall a time an influencer’s genuine vibe made their recommendation feel like advice from a dear friend?
Are you ready to build true connections? Get in touch to find out how we can help you connect with your audience in meaningful ways by partnering with influencers.