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A New Breed of Influencers Comes of Age

27th October 2016


Global Creative Director, Victor Benady considers the coming of age of the new generation of social influencers, as part of our #7for17 trends series.

Social influencers are not a new phenomenon, with many brands now considering them an essential element to their media campaigns. With an average yield of $6.58 for every $1 spent, influencer marketing now has a permanent allocation in most marketing budgets. Now its important to know, are brands really collaborating with influencers in the right way?

If you don’t know who Zoella is, you really should. After winning a diamond play button for being the most subscribed female YouTuber in the UK, it is safe to say she has more influence – certainly more reach – than many mainstream media outlets. At the time of writing, her YouTube channel has 11 million subscribers and 825.4 million views. By contrast, Britain’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, has a daily circulation of 2.2 million

Channel Talent like Zoella have now emerged as an established new species of celebrity, having reached what many now call ‘Microfame’. This extends beyond a creator's body of work which, if orchestrated well, includes a hyper-engaged community that leaves comments, publishes reaction videos, and shares links. So, what makes an influencer superstar?

A successful internet creator has access to an audience of over 15 million people, across their various social media platforms. Content on these various channels differs, be it DIY vlogging, beauty hacks, gaming videos or fashion tips, the most successful influencers online are seen as authentic champions and creators.

Though followers are often fully aware that their favourite channel superstars are paid to promote, it has not caused much contempt. To achieve superstar content, an influencer’s individuality has to be kept so that they do not appear to have ‘sold-out’. 

Brands are now focusing to fine-tune their influencer outreach strategy, integrating promotional elements into authentic content that still maintains original value to its audience. Treating influencers as simply another advertising channel to create awareness is a gross misapplication. Campaigns need to be carefully and creatively crafted in order to dominate the creative community of YouTube vloggers, InstagrammersViners and SnapChatters.

Skilfully executed campaigns will enable brands to reach and maintain influence over a social space with vast, loyal audiences that most companies can only dream of - or pay for.

Follow Victor Benady and join the #7for17 conversation on Twitter


Grayling Team

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