Influencer marketing can be a highly effective way to interact with specific target audiences and drive conversion, according to a new WARC report which observes how the channel is maturing around the world.

Over the past year, senior marketers like Keith Weed, formerly of Unilever, have expressed concerns about certain aspects of influencer marketing – like the buying of followers – but an assessment of the winning entries to the 2018 WARC Media Awards highlights how effective this approach can be when executed well.

Influencers in the media mix: Lessons from the 2018 WARC Media Awards notes that influencer marketing helps brands communicate authentically with elusive customers, especially younger age groups.

Not only can this win their attention, it says, it can also drive conversion, particularly in the short term. (Read Jerry Perez on how influencers helped cosmetics brand Maybelline sell 20,000 lipsticks in 20 seconds in China).

Clearly that doesn’t just happen by accident – an influencer component needs to be integrated effectively into the media mix to avoid it looking like a last-minute bolt on.

More and more brands are getting that message, especially in Asia, where influencer marketing has matured to such a degree that advertisers can feasibly consider how an influencer can evolve into a cultural touchpoint, such as ŠKODA’s ‘shoulder-shaking dance’in Taiwan.

Further west, Gillette demonstrated that influencer marketing doesn’t always have to be about bright young things with thousands of followers on social media. A bit of lateral thinking saw the personal care brand enlist local rabbis in Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel and a range of offline channels for I Don’t Roll On Shabbos, a campaign for its deodorant brand.

Media owners need to innovate to keep up with advertisers’ demands regarding influencers, the report adds.

“Tried and trusted platforms for influencers are already starting to innovate and more will emerge as media owners increasingly work directly with advertisers on their influencer activity.”

Non-subscribers to WARC can download a sample of the report here.

Sourced from WARC