The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth $ 15 billion by 2022, with many mass-market and ultra-luxury brands seeing influencers as a crucial part of their social strategy.
Despite this, more and more of us are starting to experience influencer fatigue, with just 3% of consumers being found to be influenced by famous influencers to buy specific products in a recent study, and the rates of Influencer engagement has taken a hit on Instagram in recent years.
Why traditional influencer marketing no longer aligns with the HNW and UHNW brands
In the luxury market, the use of influencers has always raised concerns about the authenticity and depreciation of the brand, with HNW and UHNW audiences responding only to brands that match their values and image. social.
Many luxury brands have been able to put together brilliant and very successful influencer campaigns by making sure that the influencers they partner with truly represent their brand. Watch Chanel bring 22-year-old Lily Rose Depp as her new face, helping to tune in to an elite Gen Z audience, or Alex Hirschi (supercarblondie) helping unveil the 9 million Bugatti Centodieci of dollars and driving a wave of excitement around the car.
Today, however, with a market oversaturated influencers who sees many post content brilliant but homogenous and the need for brands to demonstrate their social conscience and authenticity increasingly important in the post-Covid era, we we are witnessing the fatigue of the typical influencer model. conquer the luxury market.
Concerns about fake accounts – those that buy followers, report sponsored content, or profit from fake engagements – are also on the rise, and for good reason. A recent study by cybersecurity firm CHEQ found that 15% of all influencer advertising dollars are spent on fake followers, while other studies have found cases where influencers hired by big brands have bases on them. subscribers estimated at 70% false.
It is clear that the traditional luxury influencers stops working, leaving the social landscape ready for a new wave of content creators. So what’s the next step?
Genuinfluencers: the influencers of the future
Don’t be put off by the fancy term; genuinfluencers are serious business. Created by forecasting company WGSN trends in December 2020 these enthusiasts are more interested in sharing advice, to discuss their passions and disseminate unbiased information to sell brands or products. They often identify as creators rather than influencers, and prefer to be noticed for their high-quality content than for their number of followers.
Predicted as one of the biggest trends for 2021 and beyond, genuinfluencers are typically subject matter experts in a certain niche, whose followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say, trusting their knowledge. and seeing their advice as valuable and relevant to their interests. You wouldn’t usually see a genuinfluencer promoting a wide variety of inconsistent products, for example appetite suppressants one day and Michelin-starred restaurants the next.
We’re also seeing traditional influencers become genuinfluencers, adapting to the moods of their followers, or simply choosing to use their large subscriber base for good. One example is Instagram fashionista and bestselling author Aimee Song, who during the outbreak of the pandemic posted #stayathome wellness content without a promotional message.
WWD defines genuinfluencers as being fully focused on positive impact, their priority being their social activism and moral and ethical beliefs, and brand collaborations playing a secondary role to their overall goals. This means that they will always fully review a brand, including their history, partners, and practices, before working with them, and will not collaborate with anyone who does not align with their cause.
Why do genuinfluencers work?
According Influencer Marketing Hub, 63% of marketers plan to increase their influence marketing budget in the next year. However, finding the right influencer to partner with often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Brands should also check content creators before working with them, knowing that the reputation of the influencer they choose to work with profoundly affects their image.
Working with genuinfluencers allows brands to show their support for social issues through a trusted external voice, by making their opinions appear authentic and reassuring their audiences that their activism is not just a marketing ploy to sell more. of services or products. Genuinfluencers can also help brands do better by adding clarity to complex topics that a brand may not understand the intricacies of. In the “culture of the cancellation” of today, have an expert on your team to ensure that your message is impeccable goes a long way.
Two successful HNW genuinfluencer campaigns to draw inspiration from
Gucci and Gerald the “king of vegetables”
Retired fisherman Gerald Stratford enjoys gardening – especially ‘big vegetables’ – and spends most of his time living this passion, whether it’s planting, pruning, weeding or feeding. Last year, however, he became an unexpected sensation on social media thanks to his impressive selection of vegetables and his upbeat thoughts, which he shares over his Twitter of 303,000 followers and 16,000 followers on Instagram.
Gucci chose Stratford to star in a collaborative video shoot with Highsnobiety for Gucci’s Off The Grid 2021 collection. Gucci Off The Grid is the brand’s most eco-friendly collection, consisting primarily of ECONYL, a type of nylon reclaimed from abandoned fishing nets, old rugs and scraps. The collaboration makes sense because of the passion of Stratford for self-sustaining market gardening and love of nature.
On Facebook, the video garnered 1.2,000 likes, 53 comments and 89 shares, while the story of the so-called “Veg King” working with Gucci was positively covered by a wide selection of posts, including the Telegraph.
Royal Malewane and Chelsea Kauai
The traveler luxury and professional diver Chelsea Kauai constantly discusses sustainability and welfare of animals as part of its content. So when the Royal Malewane Spa & Lodge in South Africa has partnered with someone to present its experience Kauai was the perfect solution. Offering their take on the HNW Resort’s ethical safari offering, Kauai posted a series of images and videos on the treatment of animals and the beauty of the wildlife retreat.
With Kauai having 1.1 million followers, the post gained around 50,000 likes. More importantly, over 300 people commented, with some expressing their feelings with minimal traces and others describing it as a dream trip.
For ultra-luxury brands, working with genuinfluencers should play a critical role in your 2021 social media strategy. Contact us to see how my marketing agency HNW and UHNW Relevance can help.
Rumble Romagnoli is Managing Director of Relevance.