The accelerating way of change to the new social science of marketing
In recent years, the concept of influence in social media marketing has evolved very quickly. Leaders now understand the importance of using content to stand out. They recognize the strategic impact of influencers in social media and are integrating content into their marketing budget.
The perception and understanding of the influence of measurement tools in social media also quickly changed. To the social score from early years, blogs and social media has adopted a more contextual analysis and personalized message. The notion of influencer is relative, and more companies are turning to their own employees for ambassadors.
With the emergence of mobile and portable technologies that promote the dissemination and production of content by users. Agencies and brands are beginning to experiment with this new marketing channel. In this context, augmented reality, 3D printing and the Internet will grow very quickly and will be expected to merge to bring new opportunities yet unimagined.
To use a metaphor from Mark Schaefer: We find ourselves at the dawn of a new science of marketing in social media, much like the silent film era, when we already raved before the first discoveries, while the best is yet to come.
The five C’s influence in social media marketing
The influence of marketing in the digital age is a complex science which uses more sociological human factors than technological. If we want a full assessment of social media influence marketing, we must look beyond the surface. In recent years, influencer marketing in social media has also evolved in depth, to achieve a new level of maturity.
At the beginning of the year, the French firm Augure Marketing + Communications has released a study showing the three major challenges of influencer marketing, according to marketing professionals and communications:
- 61% = identify relevant influencers as part of specific campaigns
- 56% = develop and maintain profitable relationships with influencers
- 44% = calculate the ROI of an influential marketing campaign in social media
(See also: The three major influence marketing challenges)
However, throughout the year, in all aspects of influencer marketing, there have been major transformations that have changed consumer behavior, and influenced companies and organizations. These changes in some ways confirm the issues that emerge from the study Augure France (See also: The five C’s influence in social media marketing)
Content: Content is, more than ever, the cornerstone of influence in social media marketing. Brands and organizations now include the major role of content and think more as new media. Marketers are now adopting a multi-channel tactic, focused on a combination of paid media, owned and earned (POEM). Transmedia storytelling, personalization of content and visual communication were particularly distinguished and will continue to create buzz. The major brands create content to meet their needs, and influencers take more of a role as co-creators.
Context: If content is found to be the KING of social networks, context is the QUEEN. The acquisition of Klout by Lithium at the beginning of the year has definitely swung influence in the social media from quantitative analysis, based on purely mathematical algorithms, to a more contextual analysis focused more on content relevance than the scope and amplification of the message. Identifying influencers takes on new value, and businesses are turning more to the ambassadors in their own organization.
Community: Bloggers and content creators have taken on greater importance, and by the fact, platforms of collaborations and exchanges have multiplied. Looking more consumer engagement, brands and organizations want to customize the message and now prefer to go to smaller communities that are specialized and more effective. The tools of recommendations and content personalization will emerge, and communities of interest will continue to grow. Gradually users generating content become more important, and bloggers replace influencers and experts in the process. Companies and organizations are now looking to develop lasting and profitable relationships with potential ambassadors.
Credibility: The personalization of the message also led brands and companies to change their perception of influence in social media and to further specify their niche. Credibility and online reputation are key, and organizations are now seeking to assert leadership to ensure their authority in their niche. We have seen the emergence of the social media war rooms to better manage crises in social networks. Going forward, brands will collaborate with influencers to create (or co-create) rich content that will bring new value to their branding.
Confidence: Confidence and recommendations of connected consumers have become the Holy Grail in social media marketing. To better meet the needs of new generations, companies and organizations now merge skills and integrate each department in their strategic planning. Retention of the best ambassadors businesses become a priority issue today.
Where to put your influencer marketing priorities?
Over the past few years, new skills have merged to create new paths. Today, the notion of specialized expertise is challenged by the need for an overreaching skill set encompassing several separate fields. Even Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Outliers) revised his position, questioning his own theory of the 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert, “I could play chess for 100 years, and I’ll never be a grandmaster” admits the author in an article in Business Insider published in June.
It becomes increasingly risky to make predictions without considering all aspects. Today, the accelerated development of new technologies, which also speeds up every facet of life, brings changes in social behavior almost every quarter. Other transformations will occur, making other changes in behavior among users that will affect businesses and brands.
Where do you see influencer marketing heading today?