This article focuses on Instagram Influencer Marketing.
Influencer Marketing is projected to be worth an astounding $10 billion by 2020. There is now even an Instagram Influencer Rich List which ranks the most valuable celebrity Influencers by how much they charge per post. Unsurprisingly, Kylie Jenner tops this list by commanding up to $1,000,000 per post followed by Selena Gomez ($800,000) and Christiano Ronaldo ($750,000).
Luxury brands have attempted to tap into Influencer Marketing with varying levels of success. Some have failed spectacularly at the first hurdle due not fully understanding the phenomena of Influencer Marketing.
Some brands fail to understand that working with Influencers is a collaboration. It’s not only about brand promotion but offering Influencers products or services that will wow their followers and fit with their carefully curated Instagram feed.
For example, Jamie Chua is a Singapore based celebrity, socialite and entrepreneur. Her Instagram feed is very carefully curated. She posts about the most luxurious brands such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and others. You will note many of the product she posts are limited edition or one of a kind made especially for her. Every post is beautiful and luxurious. She presents a dreamy and aspirational lifestyle on her Instagram account.
Jamie must ensure that whatever she posts on her Instagram feed or Stories aligns with her lifestyle and followers expectations.
A brand wishing to work with Jamie would need to present a product that not only promotes and drives customers to them but fits with Jamie’s curated Instagram lifestyle; unique, luxurious, one of a kind, personalised, the best of the best.
A brand that thinks they can simply send their products in standard packaging for Jamie to unboxing or promote on her Instagram account would probably not succeed. This could also indicate to Jamie a basic lack of understanding of who she is and what she is about, possibly causing offence.
When Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong
I work extensively with luxury brands who work with celebrity Influencers like Jamie to create high-end one of a kind influencer packaging.
For example, if a luxury brand is sending products to five celebrities, instead of sending one standard packaging to all five, I work with brands to create or customise bespoke and personalised packaging for each celebrity.
When it comes to celebrity influencers, the first and most important advice I offer my clients is this, you only have one chance to get it right otherwise kiss that opportunity goodbye.
There have been times when clients have not taken my advice and it has gone horribly wrong for them.
When a client first approaches me with an influencer brief, the first thing I do is to research the Influencer. I look through their social media and online presence to understand what kind of lifestyle they are presenting. Do they post about high-end brands? Or do they post more about masstige and premium brands? Do they love the finer things? What would they appreciate and what would they be comfortable sharing with their followers on their social media platforms? How do we create a personalised experience for the Influencer without losing the essence of my clients brand?
I recently had a client who was trying to break into the MENA region (the Middle East and North Africa). Their main strategy was to send a package full of their most popular products to a number of celebrities (singers, actors, writers etc) to open live on Instagram Stories. One of the influencers my clients secured is a hugely popular singer in the Middle East.
After reviewing her Instagram account I was sure that my client would have to go all out and splash on the best bespoke packaging possible for this celebrity (e.g., personalisation, Swarovski crystal embellishments, the full works).
The client decided they were more concerned with the cost as opposed to the returns that having their products featured on this influencers Instagram account would give them.
The client decided they wanted to go with their cheaper option and guess what? The influencer refused to feature their product on her Instagram account. Her reason? She had a reputation to maintain and to show packaging that, in her opinion, looked cheap was not going to happen.
Not only did the client alienate this celebrity Influencer, but they also damaged their brand and wasted money.
Working with influencers (whether celebrity or not) is a very different dynamic than traditional marketing methods. You are dealing with individuals who have more control and more of a say of what they get to post on their social media.
If you encounter an Influencer who is happy to take and post whatever you hand them, you may want to reconsider working with them as you are possibly wasting your money.
- Understand the Influencer you are working with
- Can you create a personalised experience whilst ensuring you receive an ROI? If not, they are possibly not the Influencer for you
- Don’t skimp. Think of the returns as opposed to the costs. If the returns are not higher than the costs, then this might not be the route for you
- Influencer Marketing is not for every brand.
Have a question or a comment? Want to collaborate? Just have something nice to say? I’d love to hear from you! My contact details are in this LINK.