Date Posted: Wednesday 19th June 2019
DIARY directory recently caught up with Adam Williams, CEO of Instagram influencer marketing platform Takumi. As a marketing service, Takumi works with global brands including, Clarins, Kellogg's, Visa, Pernod Ricard, and Mercedes, to deliver campaigns on Instagram. Takumi works with brands and Instagram influencers through safeguarding Instagram users and tackling fraud.
What would you say the key is to successful influencer marketing?
Influencers can have a huge impact on their audience’s purchase decision and people could feel misled by content which isn’t clearly signposted. Influencers need to ensure they state clearly if they have received payment for products they endorse; there needs to be authenticity and transparency in what is posted on social media.
Have you noticed any key shifts in the way brands have been working with influencers over the last few years?
Over the last three years, influencer marketing has gone from strength to strength, thanks largely to greater regulation and the efforts of brands to create more impactful, authentic campaigns. As more brands get involved and put more money into marketing, we are seeing a shift in the way that brands use influencers by moving in more creative ways.
What would mark as the measure of a successful marketing campaign?
Takumi has run c. 2,000 campaigns for global and local brands alike and each one has been run with a clear goal, whether that’s related to content production, reach, engagement or tracking direct business goals like sign-ups or sales. Influencer marketing has been shown to deliver real business goals like downloads, orders, and sales. One view is that good, traditional advertising is slowly dying from too much focus on measurement. Facebook or Google Adwords might account for the largest share of your website’s traffic, but those are probably not the best places for people to discover your brand. Influencer marketing is very powerful when it comes to targeted brand awareness.
How do you authenticate the influencers you work with?
At Takumi, influencers are subjected to an 11-step vetting process using a combination of both software tools and human insight, and then continually monitored by our team of Community Managers. We only accept 7% of applications, and regularly review all profiles.
What metrics are more important to you, reach or engagement?
We find that working with micro-influencers at scale and using engagement as a metric can provide stronger insights for measurement. These smaller, more focused niche influencers connect on a deeper level with their audiences than celebrity or macro-influencers and generate greater engagement. Influencers with 1,000 followers generated 85% higher engagement than those having 100,000 followers, and as the number of followers increases the engagement tends to decrease. A smaller audience means much more hands-on, personal interaction, the micro-influencer's followings tend to see themselves as peers of the influencer rather than fans.
Do you have any tips for brands branching out into influencer marketing?
Brands should consider influencers as part of their social and digital marketing strategy to support the wider business, it’s a cost-efficient method to build a brand following and a consumer base via digital. However, it shouldn’t sit in a silo and it should be incorporated into the wider marketing strategy so it can support or amplify elements of the business. Always have a clear objective of what you want to achieve. It’s necessary to outline a clear and coherent strategy in order to achieve the set objectives for each campaign.
Do you have any tips for keeping content fresh and creative?
Brands and influencers need to get back to basics – every strategy should start from the product truth, to ensure the stories we tell have authenticity at their hearts. The power of social influence lies in its perceived authenticity. Influencers need to embody the narrative they are trying to sell.
1. We need to make brands work collaboratively to ensure the creativity comes out for the influencers.
2. The brief needs to be more creative and progressive, meaning, where possible, brands should bring influencers in as early as possible in the planning stage so they feel part of the project.
3. No 'one size fits all' brief! Influencers are unique individuals and you can’t put them in a box, you need to understand what their creative strengths are and give them room for creative interpretation.
4. Use the features of the platform in different, innovative ways.
Where do you see the future of Influencer marketing heading?
As the industry continues to mature, brands/agencies will be seeking long-term partnerships with influencers to create brand ambassadors. These sustainable long-term partnerships naturally yield better, more organic content and opportunities for the influencer in the long run.
What does it take to be part of the Takumi community?
Through Takumi’s proprietary app, approved Instagram users with 1,000 followers and upwards can browse a selection of jobs listed by brands. Individuals then have the option to decide which campaigns they want to support by sharing their own creative spin on the proposed brief.
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