Ogilvy closed 2022 on an interesting note with a report defining the 2023 Influencer Marketing trends. Communicate sat down with Rahul Titus, Global Head of Influence at Ogilvy to decode the practice and gather insights on doing it right this year.
It is fair to say that after continuing skepticism, influencer marketing continues to grow. Ogilvy recently launched a special report announcing the most important Influencer Marketing Trends in 2023. The report discusses some major macro trends that brands and marketers need to keep an eye out for this year.
Rahul Titus, Global Head of Influence at Ogilvy discusses with Communicate how influencer marketing needs to be utilized as a part of a broader strategy to yield the most effective results.
How can brands and marketers use Influencer Marketing to drive ROI?
Influencer marketing is such a new channel, that marketers are still toying with the idea of how it benefits our organizations. But it's got the potential. The pandemic caused a heavy shift in internet marketing and this trend is here to stay. Influencer marketing as a standalone channel will not deliver the ROI. And that's a fact, it needs to be integrated other channels you work in. The first mistake I see marketers making is they test the waters off and influencers become a standalone stream with all other marketing approaches on the side. It's not part of a bigger conversation. When that happens, you can't really drive ROI, because you're measuring outputs, things like reach, engagement, impressions, which is a micro barometer of success.
We want to look out to measure outcomes, metrics like sales leads and brand awareness. So, when you're measuring for these bigger outcomes, influence becomes strong. And the only way you can do that is by integrating it with other channels. It is imperative to think of influencer marketing as part of a system.
You define i-commerce as one of the merging trends in 2023. What is it? And how can brands and marketers leverage from it?
I-commerce stands for Influencing Commerce, and it gives brands the option to sell to their audiences directly through influencers, across websites and social media. It gives marketers direct access to their customers on socially enabled data and conversations. What brands and advertisers strive for today is to build an experience around their campaigns and this allows them to do that. We’re seeing a lot more QVC-style live shopping experiences going on social media, ‘Buy Now’ affiliate links, and product codes, put out by influencers, these are all examples of i-commerce, and the experience can be as simple as a link or complex with the likes of live streaming or live shopping enabled by influencers.
How can brands choose the right influencers?
So, what's happening now is people have an influence on the road. But also, you're buying into influences as, as a collective. It’s always about the community. Influencers are starting to live together and building on the same. Brands and advertisers are forced to be efficient within a restricted budget and this is a great way for them to start. Tapping into group and family influencers that individuals. Another way is to go hyper-local. In light of predictions of economic uncertainty and a potential recession, brands need to play it smart with their target audience. Instead of executing a national campaign, go hyper-local by choosing the right people within grassroots communities. This is the best part about influencer marketing, you can do it very easily by finding the right people in the area.
Why do you think brands and marketers need to put their trust in influencer marketing as compared to all the other trends that are also at the same intensity as this one?
People trust people more than they trust brands. That is the fundamental reasoning behind influencer marketing. Authenticity makes it stand out. You will trust an individual you relate to highly much more than you will a brand. And if it's authentic, it's magic. I am sure we’ve all gone on social media, seen something you've liked, and bought it.