The universal language of the influencer


All over the world, people are taking to social media to share their latest makeup hack, home improvement purchase, or secret ingredient they’ve discovered.

From Russia to Taiwan, from Argentina to Greenland, the language of influencer marketing is global. One of the universal words in this language is given. As global brands seek to create and engage with key audiences, knowing what data to use when evaluating influencers and results is an important part of success.

Data is data in any language

As influencer marketing continues to evolve, brands are starting to mature their approach to engaging with influencers. But influencer marketing is nothing new. Before there were models, politicians or athletes, there were influencers like the emergence of Santa Claus as a spokesperson for Coca-Cola in 1931.

In recent years, we’ve been seeing influencers who are digital natives. These are people who are content creators at heart and able to make genuine and authentic connections with their audiences. And this generation of influencers is used to the demands of brands which are becoming more and more critical of their expectations of influencers.

Brands around the world use common marketing metrics like reach, engagement, and impressions. But as influencer marketing has matured, a new perspective has formed.

In the early days of influencer marketing, brands were content to use a cost-per-post model that was optimized just for reach. Using an integrated audience to expose their product to that person’s subscriber was enough. But brands are realizing that they can use metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA) or cost per install (CPI) to measure the true effectiveness of a campaign.

CPA and CPI campaigns are more aligned with the funnels that marketing teams already use for the rest of their efforts. These data points are important to brands and are interchangeable in each market. For CPA and CPI campaigns, brands track impressions, clicks, and conversions to recognize campaign performance.

The evolution of the celebrity spokesperson to the matrix of different levels of influencers has also gone around the world and follows the same basic rules regardless of geolocation. Measuring the size of an influencer audience is also a universal metric that brands around the world can use. We find that brands are successful using a matrix of different types of influencers. We divide them into the following categories:

  • Celebrities
  • Pro / Macro influencers
  • Micro-influencers
  • Nano-influencers

Nano-influencers (less than 10,000 subscribers) and micro-influencers (less than 100,000 subscribers) regularly offer trustworthy and authentic content. They have developed a follower base organically based on a particular topic or vertical. This level of influencers is essential when a brand wants to reach a passionate and engaged audience.

On the other hand, macro-influencers (> 100,000 followers) and celebrities are best for reach. With their millions of potential followers, celebrities and professional influencers might not have the natural levels of quality engagement. But what they can offer is huge reach, which is of value for many CPG programs.

Brands all over the world are looking for measurable ways to reach key audiences and the ability of an influencer marketing campaign to accomplish this is undeniable. But there has to be an underlying strategy behind how you deploy an influencer campaign in any market.

Keep the connection authentic

In the Latin American market, where we specialize in connecting brands with influencers, most influencers have developed a meaningful relationship with their audience. This normally translates into a better understanding of their interests and, ultimately, their buying decisions. This is deeply beneficial for brands who need to target their customers precisely.

From a public perspective, different markets have different verticals that are more passionate than others. For example, the LATAM audience seems eager to get involved in political affairs and tends to participate on a daily basis. This is a very powerful tool for politicians to understand public behavior and pay attention to social listening to reach the public accordingly. Travel, beauty, fashion, and home improvement are also commonplace in many different markets.

In Russia, we have had success using an unboxing program to increase awareness of an online point of sale. By connecting with influencers in the marketplace, you are able to reach audiences who turn to these influencers for trends and updates.

Many brands look to influencers in the local market to build a profile of a brand already established in a different market. This means we see campaigns from airlines, toothpaste companies, and even TV shows. A recent campaign for Amazon Prime Video’s “The Good Doctor” series was truly inspiring. The brand contacted “influencer doctors” who asked their audience if they would agree to be operated on by an autistic doctor. The brand shared their amazement at the emotional and genuine responses the content generated.

Global strategy with local tactics

There is pressure to be on a channel, if your brand is not ready to engage in a channel then an influencer might be the best way to access the platform. Integrating with influencers native to a market you’re looking to make an impact on is a great way to use geography-specific social media. Whether it is Sina Weibo or QQ in China, VK or YouTube in Russia, or Facebook or TikTok in Argentina, it is possible that your brand is not optimized to have a fully prepared strategy for these local networks. Rather than hiring a full agency to create a detailed strategy, your brand can connect with key influencers who already have an established presence in these channels.

Choosing the right channel is also an important part of your overall strategy. Some platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, are all about ‘stories’, which are meant to have a short lifespan. While they may come up with calls to action such as “swipe up for a link” or a link in a bio, these engagements are short lived. But we are seeing much longer results on other channels.

On YouTube, for example, we regularly see traffic to videos that are several years old. These videos can live on an influencer channel in perpetuity, giving your audience a resource they can discover at any time.

But regardless of the vertical or the channel, creativity is a universal truth. It is fascinating to see the level of creativity that must go into the publications of influencers in different markets. Content creation is a skill that needs to be added to expertise in the area the creator is focusing on. At the end of the day, great content always generates the best results.

Brands around the world are looking for quality content, and consumers around the world are looking for expert information from trusted sources. Influencer marketing is the tactic to achieve these two goals, from anywhere in the world.

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