Louise on 'Why brands must re-think their influencer strategies'

Brands must start to change the way they think about influencers. They must start to be innovative and exciting and educated in the way they approach influencers. Brands must not only work out what influencers they want to work with by analysing back-end data and audience demographics – but why and how they are going to (and note, this shouldn’t just be providing free product and never speaking to that influencer again).

Brands must story tell rather than product seed. Time is so valuable and attention spans so short that who are brands to waste it? Wasting a potential customers time is certainly one way to never convert them to a customer. That’s for sure.

Brands must focus on creating fun and authentic brand content. They must learn that 10 sponsored posts with 10 influencers (read: strangers) all ‘claiming’ to love their product (#ad) will not generate the click through or conversion they want.

Instead, brands should nurture and work those who truly believe in their products or truly can help them tell their story. Brands must create content about these individuals that is exciting, engaging, different and eye-catching. Content that is re-purposable, that makes the influencers look great AND that makes the brand look great.

Forget one #sponsored post that will disappear in 24 hours - brands must start to thinking about video series, personalised products, experiential experiences, getting to know the brand and the people who use it and sharing the brand and their story. We might roll our eyes at a #sponsored post, but we understand the time, effort and energy campaign behind any sort of influencer activity that goes over and above this generic post. We LOVE escapism - we want to see things we don't see in our day to day life. We want your brand to sponsor a video. We might not have been watching your product for 2 minutes, but we loved EVERY SECOND of those 2 minutes we did watch - and we know you created it. You are on our radar, in our minds - without selling to us. Think Jay Alvarrez - he knows whats up.

One of our experiential fire-breathing, champagne flowing, acrobat twirling, influencer-filled events for 1Rebel reached over 800,000 people on Instagram in 24 hours and had people talking about the brand for weeks to come. Did the brand have to spend the next few weeks shouting about themselves? Of course not, the influencers attending the event were doing it for them. It was a gym and we threw a party. We weren't shouting 'we are a gym, come and use our gym'. Instead, we let our client shout 'we are a gym but more importantly we are a community. Look at the fun we have! Come and join us'. It is these types of events and content that will be watched and shared time and time again and make far more an impact than one sponsored post.

And so what do we think? We need more open communication and discussion around influencer marketing, it's benefits and it's pitfalls. If it isn't working - maybe we should re-think how it might work better.

It's time for change. 

Louise Rumball