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How to successfully work with digital influencers in 2021

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Digital creator filming a video
Influencer Marketing had a great 2020, despite all challenges

Last year, a global pandemic helped shape the way brands and influencers collaborate.

Previously, a content creator with a sizeable number of followers would easily land a new contract based on reach. However, in 2020, several other factors impacted the favoured partnerships for remote content creation.

From being able to produce photos and videos when all studios were forced to shut – reinforcing that influencers are not merely a modern way to distribute marketing messages – to showing more diverse and inclusive casts to represent brands. Influencer Marketing couldn’t have had a better year.

Additionally, in 2020, enter authenticity and timing. These two facts factors, no doubt, helped brands – and consumers – pay closer attention to the conversation in times when, most of us, had plenty of time to spot the genuine companies. We could now identify the companies who truly cared about their supporters, teams, suppliers, and the overall public. Plus, crucially, the ones that didn’t.

We are still in the early stages of a brand-new year. Things can dramatically change over the next 12 months, but we definitely need to consider how, moving forward, to make the most out of creative partnerships.

Here, six professionals with influencer marketing as part of their strategy for this year, share how they intend to successfully collaborate.

 

Find niche influencers

“We have recently doubled our social traffic by creating collaborative content with tech influencers.
When we work with technology leaders who have previously worked with IBM, Microsoft, etc., we include their quotes in our blogs. They are more likely to share the posts they are featured in with their extended network on social media. The main priority for 2021, with regard to growing our social traffic, is to primarily focus on this strategy.”

Eleanor Bennett – Digital Marketing Specialist at www.logit.io

 

Create a collaboration program
“Due to customer buying behaviour changes that have occurred since the pandemic, we have shifted a lot of our marketing budget towards influencer marketing on social media. We also plan to continue to adjust our marketing budget as we go. Most of the time, we give the influencers free products in exchange for a video testimonial/usage and recommendation. We also have a collaboration program, where we get access to influencers’ Facebook page/Instagram page to advertise their generated content. Depending on the influencer, we give $100/month base pay for getting access to their FB page. This approach it makes the content more personalized and gives our brand more reach. We also use a platform called Everflow to set up the offers that influencers can push and give them a 5% revenue share of all sales that they generate through their dedicated links.”

Ashwin Sokke – Co-Founder at vegan beauty brand WOW Skin Science www.buywow.com

 

Don’t ignore newer platforms

“In 2021, we will invest at least 80% of our social media budget into nano- and micro-influencer marketing. We are going to put it at the heart of our social media strategy. Currently, we collaborate with quite a few influencers, but we are planning to increase the number to 100+ collabs/month. We will also grow our presence on TikTok, the platform that we have somehow ignored until now. Hashtag challenges could bring great engagement for our brand.”

Daniel Seeff – CEO at www.footcardigan.com

 

More User Generated Content, please 

“It’s been difficult to yield growth on social media as a small business, especially with the current channels becoming so saturated with content, as well as pay-for-play. To cut through the noise, my social media strategy this year is to invest more in influencer collaborations to capitalize on mutually beneficial partnerships. These partnerships will allow us to share more UGC and expand our reach. More storytelling will play a big part, as we have to learn to connect better with people on social media through it – whether it’s behind-the scenes, long-form captions, more appearances from our CEO, etc.”

Lola George – Digital Marketing Specialist at www.overnightflowers.com

 

It’s an influencer’s year

“After two years in business, I noticed a big increase in sales with the onset of the first wave of COVID restrictions early in 2020. Many people were panic shopping and basically just buying anything they felt they might need during an extended home lockdown. Although we had a great year in business, once we started our second lockdown, customers were adopting a more conservative approach to purchases. Subsequently, sales dropped as shoppers aren’t impulse buying to the same degree. Our social media engagement is still healthy, but it hasn’t worked as well as before so we are switching a proportion of our budget to influencer marketing. We believe this is the way forward, because people are at home on their phones, and connecting more with big name influencers who were previously less available.”

Corey Pattakos – Branding consultant for Shopify stores and CEO at www.blkdiamond.com

 

Find influencers passionate about your brand

“We’ve just finished a podcast with influencer Bradley Simmonds (400k Instagram followers), which was a success as he fits our brand image. The days are gone of brands mostly working with influencers with the biggest following. Instead, for an influencer to be effective for your brand, the fit must be perfect. If that means using smaller influencers, then fine. This way, the passion for the brand will come across in the content created by the influencer and your chances of generating sales are greater.”

Miles Branford – Marketing Executive at personal training gym www.intent91.co.uk

Marketing

The alcohol industry to set global standards for influencer marketing

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The alcohol industry to set global standards for influencer marketing
The influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $13.8 Billion in 2021.

After years of digital content not being properly filtered or disclosed as adverts, influencers working with some of the world’s leading brands will be subject to the first-ever industry-wide set of global standards for influencer marketing. These changes are under a new partnership aimed at establishing more concrete steps towards preventing minors from seeing alcohol marketing online, and reducing harmful drinking among adults.

The global initiative launched by International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), whose members are the leading global beer, wine, and spirits producers, in partnership with 13 leading advertising, public relations, and influencer agencies, will help ensure alcohol marketing by social influencers is responsibly advertised and aimed at an audience over the legal purchase age. Avoidance of making health claims, promoting illegal or excessive consumption, or positioning alcohol abstinence negatively will all be part of a set of commitments to be followed.

“This is a major step towards preventing minors from seeing alcohol marketing and IARD is proud to have united the world’s leading agencies to help raise global standards. It is a world-first initiative in raising collective standards of responsibility across multiple digital channels, and we call on our partners in the alcohol, advertising, and influencer industries to join us in our ongoing work to ensure that alcohol marketing across all forms of media is responsible.” – says Henry Ashworth, President and CEO at International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

Influencer marketing is predicted to grow to $13.8 billion across all sectors by the end of 2021, according to an Influencer Marketing Hub Benchmark Report 2021 recently released.

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Marketing

Third edition of the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards

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Coco Rocha, Foodgod and Ellen von Unwerth attend the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards 2021 | Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images
Coco Rocha, Foodgod and Ellen von Unwerth attend the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards 2021 | Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

Despite the COVID-19 situation and travel restrictions, the WIBA 2021 gathered the most prominent personalities from the Influencer world together at a much-awaited offline event in Cannes, hosted by Greta Sapkaite.

The titleholders of WIBA 2021 were “digital” supermodel Coco Rocha, iconic photographer Ellen von Unwerth, and the most influential food personality, Foodgod. Sadaf Beauty, Victoria Bonya, Nataliia Gotsii, Akash Mehta, Luanna, Kat Graham, Elisabetta Gregoraci, Philippe Uter, Lara Leito, and Malcolm the Akita were also among those awarded prizes.

“During this challenging year, influencers, more than ever before, have proven their value in society. They have provided useful advice and tangible initiatives, and many of them now play a crucial role in their countries.” – says Maria Grazhina Chaplin, CEO of the WIBA.

The World Influencers and Bloggers Awards was established in 2019 by the World Influencers and Bloggers Association, representing a community of bloggers and influencers with over 200 million followers on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube). WIBA is the first and only event of this kind that unites and celebrates top social media talents, as well as opinion leaders from different industries and continents.

In recent years, Influencer Marketing became a big game with social media users spending a significant amount of time consuming content. According to a May 2020 GlobalWebIndex survey, 96% of US and UK consumers who followed influencers were engaging with them more, or to the same extent, compared to before the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s no wonder that brands have been eager to tap into that high level engagement: Spending on influencer marketing in the U.S. will surge past the $3 billion mark in 2021, according to the latest projections from research firm eMarketer.

To find out more about the World Bloggers Awards, visit their official site here.

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Marketing

OMD Worldwide tops global media agency ranking

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Florian Adamski, Global CEO at OMD Worldwide
Florian Adamski, Global CEO at OMD Worldwide

Despite a historic disruption, shrinking marketing spending in 2020, a new report from international research company COMvergence reveals that OMD Worldwide, named Adweek’s Global Media Agency of the Year in 2019 and 2020, has been ranked the number one global and EMEA media agency based on annual billings.

The 2020 Global Regional and Country Rankings report shows that the media group, formed with billings of $21.3 billion, outperformed its nearest competitor by more than $1.3 billion. Additionally, in a year of accelerated digital transformation and an exponential surge in ecommerce investment, OMD also dominates with $8.7 billion in digital activities.

The ranking bookends OMD’s performance at last month’s Cannes Lions – where the agency’s 38 wins made it the most awarded agency of the 2021 festival, taking place in France.

“Winning awards and dominating rankings is a by-product of what we strive for every day: a relentless focus on better business outcomes for our clients. What really matters is that OMD entered 2021 with the highest ever client satisfaction scores and a huge share of new business conversions and retentions. When we started our own transformation journey 3 years ago, no one could have foreseen the seismic shifts in our wider ecosystem and society, but it allowed us to build a start-up-like ability to respond to the business realities of a post-pandemic world.” – celebrates Florian Adamski, Global CEO of the agency founded in 1996 in Paris and currently present in over 80 countries.

According to COMvergence, OMD is well positioned for another strong year, having added more than $800M in new business wins and retentions in the first half of 2021, including Philips, The Home Depot, Citrix and the World Expo.

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