Web influencers: the new marketing challenges

At a time when the digital visibility of brands is the subject of considerable investment, legitimate questions are being asked about the levers for creating e-reputation . In particular, the role of influencers – bloggers or YouTubers – and the use value of tools such as websites or social networks must be analyzed. While research has long demonstrated the strong credibility consumers give to sources of information external to the brand, the maturity of these same consumers in the marketing field could tend to reduce their interest in sources considered biased. However, influencers meet the vital need for a human presence and opinion in the digital age, a fundamental need for the younger generations of consumers.

On February 10, the conference “ Web influencers: new marketing issues” was held at the ICD International Business School,  organized by the students of the Bachelor Event Management . During the conference, the testimonies of Pierre-Olivier Carthage of Divvy Media, Mehdi Boufous of Octoly, Emma Bonneaud of the blog _All I Need Is Clothes , Horia , jOsSpace and Colas Courjal of Studio Bagel made it possible to address the key points of the ‘affecting. This article provides a summary of the conference and uses marketing research to highlight new trends in digital influence.

The Influencer: who, what is it?

“At the beginning, you have two views including your little brother who says to you: keep going! »Through this testimony JOsSpace (600,000 subscribers) evokes the genesis of its activity, linked to the passion for video games. For Horia (1.5 million subscribers) makeup advice and a taste for video editing were decisive. Gradually, our witnesses like many enthusiasts become influencers on the web. In other words, they bring together a community of Internet users sharing the same tastes and become a reference for these consumers.

Influencers rely on different social networks (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) to distribute their content. Little by little, they become more professional, generally under the advice of a “network” (an agency managing the activities of an influencer and relations with brands) and can make a living from their activities on the web.

Yououtubers and other bloggers can thus receive, depending on their notoriety and the size of their community, sums ranging from a few hundred euros to several thousand for a video, a Facebook post, a tweet or any other form of recommendation. digitalization of a product / service. From a passionate status, influencers thus become relays for the dissemination of knowledge about a product.

The influencer in the history of digital marketing

In the history of marketing, influencers have embodied the modern, digital form of word-of-mouth and prescription. The phenomenon is not trivial and the use of media / social networks in this context has become a field of research of increasing importance since 2015 .

Influencer marketing, defined as the sum of actions aimed at getting a brand or product talked about by a person with an influence, is therefore gaining momentum.

On the one hand, it complements and fits into the communication-promotion mix of brands at a reasonable cost compared to traditional media. It contributes to the development of notoriety and brand image. On the other hand, it has the advantage of being less intrusive. It is a paradox for consumers to trust third parties (influencers) perceived as independent when these are funded by brands to promote the product.

But the human intervention of the influencer makes it possible to promote the emergence of a “beautiful story” ( story-telling ), to promote the production of a strong and shared discourse on the brand ( brand content ) and to strengthen interest in this same brand among the communities of interest thus created.

Engagement: key objective of influence

For brands, the use of influencers is first and foremost dictated by the need to create a strong commitment that reveals consumers’ desire to extend their relationship with this brand. Marketing literature suggests different forms of engagement that social media can foster.

Cognitive engagement materializes the attention paid by the consumer and the absorption of new knowledge about this brand. This can be particularly true on technical products. Affective engagement responds to the desire to initiate an emotional relationship with the brand and to stay close to it. Fashion products, cosmetics and more generally brands with a strong symbolic content can generate this type of commitment. Finally, behavioral engagement, often linked to passion, is characterized by the intensity of the relationship that a consumer has with a brand.

Thus, influence on social networks can contribute to the different stages of a purchasing process . Social networks offer heterogeneous levels of performance with regard to these objectives. While microblogging networks (like Twitter) appear to be on the decline, image-privileged networks (like Instagram) seem particularly effective. The impact of the visual, photo or video, short exposure times and the ability to quickly share information seem to be determining factors of efficiency.

Video-sharing platforms, notably YouTube, also remain very popular, encouraging Youtubers to adopt _ Multi Channel Network solutions . These solutions allow multi-channel content broadcasts and better monetization of video productions produced by influencers .

Virality: ultimate benefit and path to conversion

The brands hope that a community strongly committed to an influencer will develop a strong virality , an objective favored by the collaborative and interactive tools of Web 2.0. The likes , shares and comments on social networks are the first expressions of this viral behavior. These forms of consumer expression, if they become intense both from a qualitative and quantitative point of view, should influence purchasing behavior. In order to measure the effectiveness of these digital approaches, tracking and web data analysis operations ( data analytics ) will make it possible to monitor the behavior of members of a community and measure conversion rates.

But to all the young and old that the El Dorado of influence can attract, the witnesses of the conference have repeated it many times: influence is a discipline that is becoming highly professional and whose multiple key success factors induce strength. , patience and daring for newcomers.

This article was originally posted on Web influencers: the new marketing challenges

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