Businesses are just beginning to understand the power of social listening when combined with influencer marketing. Historically, brand- influencer partnerships have been no more than a short sponsorship segment in a video or a shoutout on social media. However, there are some brand and influencer partnerships that have taken this concept a step further.
This connection between consumers and brands can carve meaningful relationships, leading to a better understanding between both parties and higher levels of engagement and business growth.
Moving beyond disconnected partnerships
Brands are starting to enter deeper partnerships with digital talents to co-create innovative content, products, and services. It’s no longer a case of giving an influencer a brief to follow or a script to read from, they’re now an integral part of the creative process and are given more creative freedom.
This is important to create engaging content that resonates with audiences of both the brand and the influencer, but can also lead to user-generated content which adds valuable content to a brand’s marketing campaign. These partnerships have the power to draw in much wider audiences and keep them engaged for longer, raising the customer lifetime value.
When the Amirys group launched the Purecane™ Brand Sweetener in 2019, they enlisted the help of MG Empower to spearhead a new consumer-centric approach to product innovation. By bringing together talented professionals from diverse backgrounds and key influencers within the industry to form an all-star multidisciplinary marketing team, the goal was to immerse the team in a 3-day process of innovation, collaboration and true commitment to creating a brand that was built for consumers, with consumers through the power of influencer marketing.
Content creators connected with their audiences for real-time feedback and insights on their relationship with sugar and sweeteners. This innovative digital strategy included the use of interactive media such as live videos and Q&A stories which allowed audiences to engage with the campaign and become part of a larger collaborative process.
This is an excellent example of how the right partnership with influencers can generate valuable real-time data from their audience, but also create opportunities forengagement that helps to build a stronger bond with their audience. It shows that the brand cares about the audience’s opinions and invites them to become a part of their creative process, leading to products that are built for consumers in a genuine and innovative way.
The results of this co-creation process were phenomenal, landing Purecane™ a spot in Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative food companies of 2021. This shows that this isn’t just a proof of concept, but a highly successful strategy that brings together brands, influencers, and consumers.
“We wanted to engage with influencers, we wanted to connect with their followers, we wanted to get real time feedback on how our thinking was evolving so we could redefine this relationship that the consumer has with sugar. It was amazing the amount of insight and amount of learning.”
- John Melo, CEO of Amyris
Matching brands to the right influencer
Picking a random influencer from a shortlist isn’t going to cut it for effective co-creation. Both parties need to agree to the partnership and it’s essential that there is a level of overlap between audiences and a tru match in purpose.
With the right partnerships, both influencers and brands can expect to see benefits such as:
- Increased innovation effectiveness which breeds creativity and true consumer centricity
- Staying relevant in a demanding industry with evolving needs
- Improved communication effectiveness between brands, influencers and consumers
Brands and influencers can better align their goals if they take the time to communicate and understand each other. With the correct approach to influencer and brand co-creation, businesses can expect to see advantages such as:
- Improved communication effectiveness created by strong relationships between brands and their audiences.
- Enhanced innovation effectiveness from bringing together influencers, consumers, and brand experts to uncover brand-new product and advertising possibilities.
- Increased speed to market through increased involvement and co-creation that lead to quick buy-ins for new products and services.
- Growing relevance that makes it easier to stay on top of the latest trends and developments as they happen, in order to stay on the top of mind of the audience.
Takeaways and recommendations
- Brand-influencer collaborations are now a huge component of every mixed marketing strategy.
- Innovation, speed to market and an increased brand relevance can be achieved through a collaboration-focused approach to influencer marketing.
- Work with influencers that share your brand purpose and value - This is key to achieve authentic and successful results.
- Communicate with influencers to align marketing and engagement goals.
- Include influencers in the creative process to develop unique products, content, and services.
- Utilize audience engagement to generate real-time data and feedback.
There’s no doubt that influencer marketing is an optimal strategy to grow a business both now and in the future. However, taking a careful approach to ensure that brands choose the right influencer and include them in marketing campaigns will yield far better results than the disconnected approaches that the world is currently used to.
To discover how brands and content creators can collaborate together to empower their reach and strategy, listen to our podcast episode with Global influencer and communicator Camila Coutinho.
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