Advertise with

We are living in the age of influence. Some of the largest brands doing an equity play in advertising have influencers at the helm, driving their brand messaging over the short or long term.
We are living in the age of influence. Some of the largest brands doing an equity play in advertising have influencers at the helm, driving their brand messaging over the short or long term.

Micro-engagement in the age of influence


By John Beale, head of communications at Pernod Ricard SA - Jul 30th, 09:46

We are living in the age of influence. Some of the largest brands doing an equity play in advertising have influencers at the helm, driving their brand messaging over the short or long term. SA’s pool of celebrity big names, television personalities, musicians and mega-creatives are pulling the big brands. 

But are influencers with the largest followings the best route to go?

If you have deep pockets, getting big names to the negotiation table is as simple as naming the number and watching the Insta-stories switch from brand X to brand Y – contract dependent. Long-term relationships in this space are highly valuable and can prove a great reach channel for the brand.

However, the big hitters are only an option for a few large brands and there is growing concern about the credibility of influencers with a smorgasbord of loyalties on their posting schedules. There are other ways to skin the social media cat, so the route many brand managers are taking is working with “micro-influencers”.

Pernod Ricard SA has, for quite some time, seen the value in top-quality smaller networks that are highly engaged. We have the country’s leading brand ambassador team, all with relatively small followings in comparison to the big names. They energetically promote our leading premium spirits brands through their social media networks, engaging consumers in real life and educating them through real-time content that shows high rates of engagement. They also post lifestyle and educational content on their social media channels to grow their reach.

In every way, the large-scale influencers (1-million-plus followers) have high reach but engagement rates that are in line with or well below the average 1%-3% you see on branded accounts. Online reputation management tools that map networks of influencers show that large-scale influencers don’t necessarily provide the long-term reach, but drive massive peaks in conversation that drop off quite quickly as the next conversation topic takes over.

In comparison, medium-micro influencers show consistently higher engagement rates on average. They also have more meaningful conversations, as responses can be better managed on a smaller scale.

The trend for more authenticity and more “real me” in the Insta-fake world means micro-influencers that curate content showing transparency and relevance to their real lives deliver higher-quality engagement. This translates, in my opinion, to higher-quality connections in the influencer-brand-consumer triangle.

The tough job for marketers, should they want to focus on micro-influencers, will be to push their agencies to really go out and hunt for those influencers who match their brand credentials, who aren’t multi-brand advocates and who provide reach outside of the obvious space, Instagram. YouTube-, vlog- and podcast-driven influencers are on the rise, and well-established influencers in this space are there, ready to work with brands.

For their part, influencers need to be open to engaging with brands beyond pure monetary transactions. Look at building relationships, with longer-term rewards. And focus on showing return on the brands’ investment through key performance indicators such as coupon code redemption, engagement, click-through rates or reach rewards.

Business Live 

Related News

Push and pull strategies work together to keep consumers coming back for more
26/11/2019 - 10:20
The retail sector is under increasing pressure as consumers have shrinking disposable income in a strained economy. Maintaining share of wallet is critical. Relying solely on a push route to market strategy from manufacturers into retailers is not enough to get consumers buying products. A pull strategy needs to coexist with the push to drive brand consumption. Integrating these strategies requires intelligent and insightful decision-making. This, in turn, requires data generated through smart technology which provides line of sight across the value chain from manufacturer to distribution, retailer to the consumer.

Today’s customers are loyal to speed and convenience, not brands
25/11/2019 - 11:15
Consumer expectations are rapidly shifting as technologies such as mobile, geolocation, social media and increasingly, Internet of Things devices and wearables, connect people to a world of easily accessible information and convenient services. With the ability to browse, compare and order with a few swipes and taps, consumers are becoming trained to value convenience and service above nearly anything else.

Pick n Pay shares five of its Black Friday deals
25/11/2019 - 10:10
Pick n Pay has released five of its nationwide in-store Black Friday deals as a teaser of what customers can expect this Friday.

Pick n Pay moves to make healthier eating more accessible
22/11/2019 - 11:20
South Africa has been named one of the unhealthiest countries in the world1. Complicating this is the fact that healthy eating is often seen as expensive or complicated. Pick n Pay will now help customers make more informed choices in a major healthy eating drive to make healthier eating cheaper, easier, and more accessible.

Online reviews shape how buyers make their decisions
12/11/2019 - 13:37
Requesting online reviews from customers is proving to give brands access to a host of opportunities.