By Elcee McEdwards
Essentially, the Internet is now an enterprise and many live off it; this is especially true with social media platforms. So, whether you are a brand seeking distinction or an individual wanting to be distinguished as a brand influencer, you can leverage on this little article to play better. So, while we briefly touch on some tips a brand should consider before engaging an influencer, we will also take a look at three fledging young Nigerian influencers who have capitalized on their circumstances to become thriving brand influencers.
Firstly, let’s understand that influencers are simply persons who can convince others to do something. A brand influencer is a person with social authority and online/offline presence enough to affect people’s decision and point them towards another brand, company or organisation. Such a person should also be able to bring fresh opinions and innovative ideas to a brand’s marketing campaign. So, if your aim were to be one of such, it would pay you to align your style and content with these objectives.
Trust, Reach and Flavour
The main role of social media Influencers is to connect brands to their relevant target audiences. In this regard, they wield great power in contemporary marketing. Yet this power is greatly diminished or non-existed if a supposed influencer has a large following but cannot be trusted.
Whether they have an agreement with a brand or not, one thing all influencers must carry along with them is trust, which is usually earned through consistent supply of credible and authentic content.
Ordinarily, brands would need to look out for topics an influencer have posted about, as well as their follower counts and engagement rates. It’s also important to look at the brands the influencer has worked with in the past, and the results generated by those campaigns.
Yes, it’s true that influencers get paid; yet their audiences still feel connected with them. This is due to authentic engagement and credibility they are able to build up over time. Then, while trust should be a major factor for engaging an influencer, a brand wanting distinction must consider the influencer’s ability to help it reach new audiences. Added to that, yet another important factor to consider is the influencer’s ability to help the brand pep things up a bit by bringing new perspectives to the marketing campaign.
Talking about leveraging on circumstances to become an influencer, Ibrahim Salawu comes to mind. Ibrahim, aka Unilagolodo, prides himself a digital media strategist. He initially leveraged on his studentship and access to information to build a followership. He started this out by giving updates and news titbits on happenings in and out of the school, which saw him becoming very popular among the students and young people. This newfound status as a “student portal” soon gained him an audience base on social media platforms. Gradually, his followership on Instagram and twitter grew to 225.5k and 43.8k respectively. His consistence with keeping people in the loop with current social activities has seen Ibrahim handling so many publicity stunts on social media, especially when the target audience is young people. So far, he has worked with the likes of Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB), MTV Base, Pepsi and First Bank.
Gloria Oloruntobi, aka Maraji, is naturally a funny person who started off by making lip-sync videos on instagram during her leisure while in the university. She was consistent with her videos, which evolved from lip-syncing to funny videos. According to Gloria, she never knew she was going to get as famous as she is today. But her consistency never came to question. Though she did it for fun, she used it to create an authentic fan base and unique brand. This occasioned a massive increase in her followership. Currently she has 966.4k instagram followers and a verified twitter account of 72.8k followers. She has worked with brands like Indomie and PZ.
Olufemi Kayode Adeyemi
Olufemi Kayode Adeyemi, aka F. Shaw Kingfisher, is an ex handler of the official EFCC account. He is another brand influencer who got so many people talking in Nigeria. Known for his witty response on social media platforms, he changed the image of EFCC from a formal to a more playful and casual one through his style, which he used to change the overall perception of people about the agency. F. Shaw’s unique style, captured in his language and tonality, was his selling point. He has a very strong engagement on his twitter account with 27.8k followers, and has over 5k instagram followers. He is currently working with Union Bank.
In conclusion, it must be reiterated that what makes a distinguished brand influencer is not just numbers or followers. It is the ability to creatively evolve in a way that suits the audience and constantly deliver the same pattern of content with a level of refined freshness. That is what makes an influencer unique and eventually delivers the numbers. Of course, that is also what makes him or her a good fit for certain brands and gets them to align.