From your perspective, what is it about influencer marketing that has caused such massive market interest in the last few years?
Monica:I think consumers were fed up with seeing the same celebrities promoting products/services in a very-sponsored, uncreative & inauthentic way. The industry wanted to see more from relatable people, who put a lot of hard work into their content because they are genuinely passionate & knowledgeable about the brands with whom they collaborate. Watching the self-made Joe Blogs create a business out of influencer marketing is refreshing to see.
Olivia: There’s been a clear shift from traditional advertising in print and TV, to digital media. A huge part of this is working with influencers. Brands are now able to use trackable links and the influencer’s own stats / insights to record actual ROI, which sets it apart from traditional advertising.
What would you say are the main benefits of paying for an influencer to be involved in your advertising/campaign?
Monica: Influencers have a loyal fan base, and they put a lot of creativity into promoting your products. They are a lot more cost-effective than celebrity media campaigns, and you can use lots of micro-influencers to spread the risk. There are also lots of different types: beauty, fitness, travel & food, so it’s beneficial to take advantage of their expertise in your field.
Olivia: Firstly, you can track the success of the campaign in real time, and continue to monitor engagement / uptake in the months afterwards. Using an influencer allows brands to access an audience they might not have appealed to otherwise. And finally, using an influencer is a far more organic, credible way of securing brand endorsement than the trend for using celebrities, which was loved by advertising during the past few decades. Influencers work hard to build their own brand image and authenticity, and brands can benefit by aligning with this.
How do you personally go about deciding whether or not to work with individual companies?
Monica: If I didn’t buy it myself, I wouldn’t promote them. I have to believe in the product, and it needs to benefit my readers. Authenticity & honesty is essential.
Olivia: I think you have to stay true to your own personal brand and the niche you have carved out for yourself. Consumers are now more savvy than ever and can be ruthless. So if you are vegan for example, you wouldn’t post about products that use animal product. I think some influencers fall foul of this when they are blind-sided by the offer of a high fee. It’s an easy trap to fall into and the better influencers are the ones who avoid it.
Talk to us about the importance of your connection to your audience; do you target a certain demographic? Or do you allow your audience to find you?
Monica: I don’t target a specific demographic, not everyone is going to like my content, but I’m happy with those that do!
Olivia: Personally I allow my audience to find me – with the help of hashtags. I know the unique messages on my brand, so I use that in post and story hashtags to appeal to a wide range of followers.
As an influencer, how do you strike a balance between something which has become your job, but is also still your passion? Is it a ‘one post for them, one post for me’ type system, or is your process more nuanced than that?
Monica: I try and do both! I want to give my audience something that they can take away, rather than just information on a product, I like to share my story, or lifestyle advice alongside.
Olivia: I think mine is more random than that! I just post what I love. I will never publish a negative post – if I don’t like something, I just won’t post. I guess my followers have sort of bought into my lifestyle, so I’m assuming they want me to continue documenting it!
To view Monica’s Influencer page click here
or to view The Wong Blog click here.
To view Olivia’s Influencer page click here.
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