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Is Influencer Marketing Really All That Influencing?

I asked five marketing professionals to weigh in about this.

Influencer Marketing isn’t new. What’s new is the types of influencers and how they are marketed to consumers. The definition of influencers has transformed. Moving away from traditional celebrities, influencers are now a melting pot of social media personalities across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. These platforms gave the everyday individual the opportunity to create their personal brand. The ability to curate content and stir engagement from a global virtual stage. Just listen to this statistic from Google, “70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities.” Crazy, right? Or, is it? The change it seems, like with most things in society, evolved as new generations emerged. New generations who follow what influencers are endorsing and endorse it themselves. Over the last couple of years, brands across all industries have taken notice. Making influencers a valuable asset in marketing for brands at large.

I asked five newly or seasoned marketing professionals about how influential is influencer marketing on the Gen Z audience. This is what they shared:

Jessica Jones: Marketing and Graphic Design Specialist at Eventeny

“In today’s social media powered society, it can feel as though everyone is trying to become an influencer. The result is an oversaturation of noisy advice and sales pitches driven by eager brands ready to slice and dice audiences to generate awareness and leads. However, influencer marketing can still be a potent tool for brands targeting the Gen Z audience when partnerships are selected carefully and are used in storytelling to drive connection.”

Patricia Fontaneda: Co-Founder & Marketing Director at Ibiza Bijoux Corp

“Influencer marketing is fundamental to our strategy when targeting Gen Z. They are savvy shoppers, who trust influencers more than celebrities and many aspire to be influencers themselves. They are also a generation that influence an entire household in their shopping decisions.

Milagros Munoz: Marketing Manager at Florida Professional Law Group

“Influence marketing has become a huge phenomenon with the rise of social media! Social media allowed for individuals to create a huge following and therefore a personal brand. With these followings come the opportunity to work with brands to promote their products in services. Brands can choose influencers that relate to them and can represent them well, and in exchange they get a more humanized approach to advertising to their intended audiences.”

Yanyn San Luis: Founder and CEO of The Win Woman

“We live in a world where everything is on the table. It goes without saying that as we continue to forge new paths in the digital space the idea of compartmentalizing your professional and personal brands will often prove difficult. In the past, perhaps matters of religion and politics were topics that were off-limits at the dinner table, however, in today’s space consumers often want to know where you stand as it relates to matters of racial or gender inequities. Choosing not to respond to these topics can be seen as being tone-deaf and often turn off customers and vice versa. When contemplating what type of brand and how to cater to Gen Z, if you want to build consider the following:

Weigh the options of a personal brand vs. a business brand.

Set limitations and boundaries of how much you are willing to share.

Be flexible, and know its ok to change your mind.

Overall, you’ll want to build a brand that feels genuine to you and doesn’t feel forced”

Javier Herran: CMO of Sedano’s Supermarkets

“Any brand that wants to be seen as trustworthy or authentic to the Gen Z audience must showcase their items in a relevant way. Research has shown that the Gen Z audience has grown to see the social media world as their source of information and truth when making buying or shopping decisions. By partnering with Micro and Macro influencers, we have been able to showcase our brand and stay relevant in the eyes of our consumers. Thankfully, we have been able to partner with influencers who have literally grown up shopping in our stores. From holiday feasts to birthday parties, their parents would bring them to find authentic food. They are a part of the larger Sedano’s family of customers and employees and they are able to convey an authentic love for our brand to their followers. This is where influencers can make a huge difference by helping create a connection that cannot be established by everyday TV and Radio commercials or static digital ads.”

So What Does This Tell Us?

Influencer Marketing is an effective tool for marketers in all different industry backgrounds. Brands thrive off long lasting relationships with their consumers. The addition of influencers can create the connection you need to build a relationship with Gen Z. Gen Z is the first generation to grow into the rise of social media. A 24/7 connectivity that generations previously never experienced. 

You have this online world where people from all kinds of backgrounds, locations, experiences, and cultures all share the same space. A space building a generation who speaks loudly and advocates boldly. Gen Z is like the authenticity police. They are used to digesting infinite amounts of data available at the touch of their mobile devices. They are a generation who cares. Who wants the truth. Your truth. That’s where the strategy comes in.

The asset of influential marketing lies with the trust built between the influencer and your consumer. In a way, today’s influencers are just like us. And who do you trust more than ourselves? Social media’s longevity is largely due to the relationship influencers have cultivated with brands trying to promote themselves. The feeds are now largely promotion based content or entertainment. The alliance of a brand with a like minded influencer can be the perfect marketing strategy. Influence Marketing builds online communities, starts conversations, sparks change or even simply just makes you laugh. Whatever the case may be I wouldn’t sleep on influencers. They wake up a whole generation each and every day. With a simple click, quite literally.

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