I don’t have your attention for long. No one does. That’s the problem.
Whether it’s online or offline, we as people have a lot going on and we are constantly being bombarded by ads or people who want our attention. Giving you benefit of the doubt, even if you wanted to give your attention to everything that reached out to you, it would be impossible. A recent study from Microsoft recently shared our attention spans are now less than a goldfish’s attention span, 8 seconds. Think about it, how many ads have you seen since you got online today, you probably don’t even know because your brain is doing such a great job at blocking the unnecessary content, or “noise” out.
The Curated Culture
So there’s too much noise, and we can’t shut out everything so in order to make sense of it all, we rely on curators.
Curators are people who go through the content, highlight the best, the worst and what you need to know or don’t know. It’s not just one, you rely on many, different curators for different interests you care about. For example, for news maybe it’s Trevor Noah on the Daily Show or Philip DeFranco on YouTube. Each has their own audience who look to their curator for information. For example, I love technology so I follow Casey Neistat, Robert Scoble and Marques Brownlee.
We refer to these curators in marketing as, “influencers.” They inspire people to make decisions based off their input and motivate actions. This incredibly valuable for brands, because these are people you have chosen not to block out, these are people you listen to for advice.
When it comes to marketing, you either have an audience or you need someone that has an audience and that’s where influencer marketing or word-of-mouth marketing comes into play.
Brands that want access to these audiences can either start at the bottom and try to win over people individually within their target audience or they can win over the influencer. Look at the influencers as generals, if you win the general they will bring their army.
It’s Not One Size Fits All
Many brands and platforms make the mistake and assume that if someone has a lot of followers it automatically makes them an influencer. Now I don’t want to discredit follower count completely, it does give people the perception of validity but overall it’s a vanity metric when looking at influence – influence should be contextual and relevant to you and your brand. For example when you search on Google, the results are the most relevant links to your search, not the most visited links on the Internet.
Influencers are extremely contextual and their value for brands is their ability provide your content translated exclusively to their audience in a matter that audience would best understand.
At Zoomph, we look at influencer engagement differently than most influencer marketing platforms. We attribute influence by content scoring with an algorithm we call ZPoints, this allows us look at an individual’s content over time to assess whether they are truly an influencer to their community or not. This also allows us to identify a number of things from outliers, people who posted something that went “viral” because they posted the right thing at the right time, but are typically not driving the conversation to niche influencers for specific conversations. We use a multitude of signals across social networks to attribute and normalize this score to understand the right person, from the right platform at the right time for your conversation.
The key thing here is that you should be using some sort of social listening platform, and you should have your top influencers identified for your brand. These people are important to your audience, and in turn, important to you. The strongest indicator of influence is their relevance through content.
What You Should be Doing
Depending on your brand and campaigns, you are going to have multiple influencers, and each one wants to work with you for different reasons, whether monetarily or for the experience that really depends on the campaign, but you should be leveraging your influencers to amplify your social media campaigns.
Once you have identified these influencers, the goal is to highlight them and their actions, our philosophy we practice is, the more observable something is, the easier it is to imitate. By highlighting your influencers, you can allow other people to understand what behaviors they should be imitating to engage with your brand correctly.
UGC Campaigns: Content at Scale
UGC (user generated content) campaigns are a powerful tool for marketers to scale content creation by relying on your audience to generate content on behalf of your brand. By highlighting influencers through a UGC, you can inspire others to join the conversation and to create content to share as well. These campaigns are powerful because each of three parties benefit.
- The Audience: They get to see how real people use your service and products
- The Influencers: They receive the brand recognition and attention from the audience
- The Brand: They get to see what motivates people to share content and they can better relate to their audience
Using a UGC social hub on websites is great way to aggregate fan content in one location, it’s important to understand that social media are important channels, but they should be building bridges from social media, to your owned platform, like your website. Here’s great example here from SeaBags and their #Seabagsighting campaign, they’re a retail company that uses recycled ship sails and turns them into handmade purses and bags or even how Chris Barrows has his for Why I Social.
At the end of the day the campaigns are great ways to collect better data. The data is important is the critical factor in how you better connect to and relate to your audience. You need to know if you are hitting your demographics, what are the best times to post content, what are the terms and topics your audience is using and even what emoji is the most popular from your audience. Social media visualizations without real-time social media data and listening is only a percentage of the process. True visibility is earned by your audience, to achieve this you need to use social media listening with visual tools like Zoomph to help sustain and identify the best collaborators to create positive conversations around your brand. After all, you are who your audience says you are.