Keeping tabs on branded influencer content in December 2016
REDPILL’s Influencer Top 10 chart is keeping tabs on branded influencer content so you don’t have to. We analyse what’s at the top to provide insight into the perfect influencer marketing campaign.
Hosting on the brand or influencer channel?
We have added brand channels to our chart to compare the strengths and weaknesses of the two methods of delivery.
Brand channels tend to host content that is well produced and showcases the product nicely by integrating the brand and the influencer into a single creative strategy. This can work very well. The standout piece of influencer content this week is GoPro’s Dunes – Sand Skiing in Peru. Shot 100% on GoPros, it shows off the product in a spectacular way, with jaw dropping shots and feats of athleticism.
Do you need an influencer or an actor?
Another interesting note is the use of influencer here. The influencer is used more as talent than for his social clout, but that talent is what gives the video its social value. This is something that should not be overlooked when selecting an influencer. This strategy can be very effective if backed up with an organic distribution plan (more on that later). GoPro’s selection is perfectly in line with the product and its customer base. The video would not be the same without Jesper Tjäder.
Compare this to Porsche’s latest video. Ali-A is a massive gaming YouTuber – he’s got plenty of clout to carry just about anything. But in a video about an expensive sports car, he feels like an arbitrary choice. Anyone could have been in his spot and the video would be the same. The comments are quick to point this out.
While Porsche did its best to make the film feel like a videogame, there is also the nagging thought of how much overlap there is between potential Porsche customers and Ali-A’s gaming audience. It feels like a ploy for vanity views as opposed to effective advertising.
Planning for a partnership or a shout-out?
On the influencer channel side, Pewdiepie’s latest for Lootcrate dwarfs anything on the brand chart in terms of views and engagements. Many people would be tempted to ask why even use brand channels in the face of this evidence. I would respectfully draw your attention to how the product is showcased here. In the middle of the video, in a section that feels like a commercial break between the masochistic fun, Pewdiepie unpacks his monthly loot. Not only does this feel shoehorned in, he is retching and dripping sweat as he does it. And his flippant, half-hearted review of the product feels like it was done at gunpoint. This is the crux of the question – all the views in the world won’t mean a thing if the viewers can’t recall the product or are turned off by its presentation.
In the battle between the native influencer channel or the brand channel, it’s always going to be about which brand is the dominant one. If you can manage your influencer to create strong, engaging content that presents your brand as equal to theirs and manages to fit in well on the influencers channel you have influencer gold. However, the reality is that checking all those boxes is damn near impossible – but it can be done with experience and carefully built relationships, something we specialise in at REDPILL.
On the flip side, partnering with an influencer on the brand channel allows you to ensure that this equal footing is achieved while maintaining an authentic voice. To reach the numbers on native influencer channels, a carefully thought out distribution strategy is necessary. Critically, the distribution strategy must result in the content spreading organically – as soon as influencer videos pop up as interruptive paid ads, all the work done to ensure the authenticity and genuine engagement is destroyed.
Influencer Marketing News
An interesting and positive trend sees brands starting to back male beauty influencers. To hell with gender binaries! From AdWeek.
I’ve been saying recently that YouTube will become the Netflix of reality TV. And the stats back it up – more teenagers are watching it than cable TV.
Keep up to date on the latest trending content via Matt’s guest column at The Drum.