Our fourth week of Influencer Month kicks off with WeAreTENZING. Here, founder Brooke Howard-Smith talks creating authentic content through interesting individuals.
1) How have influencers changed the ways brands operate on social media?
Brands have always had access to external advocates, ambassadors, “friends of the brand” but in a social media-driven world external advocacy has changed in four important ways:
● Brands and organizations have greater access to more affordable advocates
● These ambassadors are often capable content creators who can create
content for brands owned channels
● These content creators don’t require as much amplification because they
have a loyal, trusting audience built-in.
● Because they are creating content for their audience on a daily basis with
direct feedback they are constantly improving how they communicate with
their audience (who could be your target audience)
● They can drive both awareness and drive action leading to traceable direct
2) The influencer market is very heavily saturated, what does it take for your campaigners to stick out?
I don’t know if I’d agree that it is saturated, perhaps with micro-influencers but if anything we are desperately trying to find more people capable of creating quality content that have been able to develop audiences of 20,000+. Because growing a following of significance is so much harder nowadays, there is a very limited supply of quality content creators, our most common request comes from Brands or PR agencies searching for new creators hoping to access new audiences.
3) How do you measure the success of a brand and influencer partnership?
This will depend on what the brand’s intended outcome is. For a lot of brands that are keen to increase awareness, reach as a metric, is more important over engagement.
Or if a brand wants to measure actual sales, utilising Instagram Stories where advocates are able to direct people to web links via the “swipe up” functionality (providing the influencer has over 10k following), which opens up a world of ‘direct message to action’ content that TV or Radio simply can’t supply (or accurately measure).
4) When did WeAreTENZING start and why?
We’ve been living through an incredible time, watching the democratization of content happen in real-time. People’s access to even better recording equipment (both audio & video), editing tools and sharing platforms means that change will only increase. In this new world, there will be individuals who create better content and inspire others, while having the ability to speak directly to those who they inspire.
I left TV and we started WeAreTENZING in an effort to help those creators focus on purposeful content and clients like Jess Quinn, Jazz Thornton, and Nicola Easterby (Polkadot Passport) are doing just that!
5) How has the definition of influencer changed since then?
Influencer is a terrible term. For starters all advertising is influence, but the title also implies an intention that’s simply not there. These people haven’t grown followings by trying to influence them, they’ve grown because they are living interesting lives and they are creating great content, telling their story, which in turn has offered value to others.
People have chosen to follow them to learn more, or share in their experience whether it’s about parenting with storytellers like How to Dad, Daisy Dagg or Happy Mum Happy Child. Or about fashion with creators like Amber Peebles, Caitlin Taylor, Stacy Heyman, or if they are inspired to explore the world by the amazing content that the likes of Ben Mikha, Torrell Tafa, Lauren Gosling, or Cameron Graves and Lana Van Hout are making.
Or if the day to day stories from inspirational folk like Jess Quinn who are helping those that are struggling by providing them with the strength to help them in their lives.
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It’s time to let your inner beauty shine people! @swissenz has backed me on a mission to remove the filters and expectations we often live our lives through. Follow the link in my bio to learn more about my mission to reset our perception of beauty and support me by signing my petition. #NoFilter
6) This year we have seen Instagram trial the removal of Like counts. What’s had the biggest impact on influencer marketing since WeAreTenzing was founded?
The removal of like counts has helped increase activity on Instagram, and it will do the same as they roll it out on Facebook. In the context of our business, it is a non-event as we can still see the likes amount and all the other deep analytics and share that with agencies and brands we are actively working with. The biggest shift though is about to happen in the next 6-12 months as Instagram rolls out in-app purchase. It has the ability to shift retail in a big way. We have a great presentation that I’m happy to walk people through (shameless plug!)
7) How has WeAreTenzing responded to that?
We are always working to make sure our clients (the content creators) are ahead of the curve when it comes to the tech side and understanding content trends. We are lucky enough to work with over 40 amazing agencies like Mango, Fuse, The Social Club, Drum, and Socialites who provide brands with expert social and influencer strategy our creators can then make their own and implement. In terms of innovations like direct retail through Instagram we continue to work with our content creators to make sure their feed accurately represents their purpose and passions, and we continue to partner them with brands that share those passions. Retail is simply the next phase in that relationship.
8) What advice do you have for brands that don’t know the first step to working with an influencer?
Start by getting an understanding of who, let us know what you are trying to achieve and who your target market is, we’ll help identify some candidates. We have exclusive contracts with a significant number of the best content creators in the country and we work with hundreds of others. Once you have an idea of who, start thinking about what. There are so many channels brands aren’t using well such as Instagram Live, or Instagram Live With (dual video!), IGTV, polls, Q&A…
Make sure all parts of your business are on board with the partnership so that when you have content made that it is utilised across all your owned comms channels, as well as including in your earned and paid marketing strategies.
Think about involving the content creator from the beginning, remember these people are at the coal face of audience interaction 24/7 and their insight could be invaluable to your business.
Don’t limit your campaign to just awareness – social media, and specifically Instagram and Facebook can be fantastic sales leads channels that will no doubt keep your sales team happy and supportive of the process.
Most of all, email or call us. We have 7 full-time experts who spend their time developing solutions for companies and agencies who don’t know how to navigate this space, and they’re by far the best 😉
This story is part of a content partnership between WeAreTenzing and StopPress. It’s also part of a StopPress series examining influencer Marketing. To read more on Influencer Marketing, click here.