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From the rise of YouTube Vloggers and Instagram stars, to the decline of TV and traditional advertising models #InfluencerMarketing is an exciting new take on ‘who owns brand’ and the relationship between brands and their audiences.
As the first of our Brand New Thinking events – designed to stimulate new ideas and fresh perspectives – we explored the topic with an expert panel, chaired by our Trustee Clare Fuller.
Reaching back into the origins of Influencer Marketing, Sean Davey (Partner & Strategist) argued that history is cyclical and influencers through the ages have included door-to-door salesmen, celebrities, advertisers and people posting on review sites. Exploring what brands can learn from influencers, Sean’s view was that trust, relevance and ‘finding your tribe’ were all key factors.
Sharing a first-hand perspective was Craig Neale, who talked about his experience working with YouTubers to promote the Harry Potter studios, then driving Sky’s social media spend, and finally launching his own YouTube channel CraigTV. Craig emphasised the role of authenticity, and how influencers understood that they don’t ‘own’ the social media space they occupy, but have to create value for their audience to justify being there.
Olivia Morris, Editor at Orion Publishing Group, talked about her experience working with celebrities such as ‘The Body Coach’ Joe Wicks, and how publishers are tapping into influencers to drive wider engagement with books. Olivia’s view was that the social media buzz and injection of energy that working with influencers has created has a positive ‘halo’ on other authors and titles, and should inspire other industries.
Finally from a more ‘corporate’ perspective Patrick Fuller talked about his experience as a Director of Haymarket, where he led the acquisition of the PistonHead community. Patrick relayed his fears at the time of how a heavily engaged community could abandon the platform Haymarket had acquired, and how they worked with the key influencers to avoid this and instead build it into the thriving community it continues to be today.
Thank you to everyone who attended- we look forward to seeing you at our next Brand New Thinking event!
“It’s sometimes difficult to think outside the box, especially when you work in-house and in one industry, the Brand New Thinking talk was a great event with an insightful and interesting panel. It allowed me to stop, reflect, rethink and question traditional marketing channels that we’re ‘trained’ to rely on, and explore the question how else can we effectively push through noise to get buyers to interact with us? I can’t wait for the next one!”