SOCIABLY’S APPROACH TO INFLUENCER SELECTION
Dom: Welcome back to the Sociably podcast. Today we’re gonna have a chat about premium luxury influencers and whether it’s important to be consistent with the brands you’re working with, whether there are issues around working with premium luxury brands, or whether it’s better to work with more mainstream brands that might bring you a bit more money. Also, in the long run, is that a good strategy? Is working with mainstream brands going to put off the higher end brands? We’re going to have a quick chat about that. It won’t be a long piece but it’s quite interesting.
Louis: Definitely. We, as an agency, get direct feedback from the marketing manager or director of a brand who might say ‘Look, we like this influencer, we like his aesthetic and the way he curates his content, but we don’t think he’s right for us’. Let me give an example, not to name a specific brand.
Dom: I thought you were gonna name someone then!
Louis: I’m not gonna name anyone. It’s about the sort of feedback we get from that side (the brand side), but also about talking and interacting with our influencer to discuss their strategy and angle. This allows us to know the influencer well and so to only put forward someone that we have actually physically met, either for coffee at our office or that we have worked on several campaigns with in the past, so we would have a pretty good understanding of how they work, how they behave, how they create their content and how they are as a genuine human being, you know. As sometimes, unfortunately, agencies just have a conversation with influencers strictly through emails or calls.
Anyway, it’s about meeting with them to understand their approach. For example, yes, they want to work with luxury because luxury brands obviously have something quite attractive, it could be a pretty serious name in the car industry, the watch industry, or the hotel industry as well.
But, you know, at the end it’s sometimes a money game – influencers may go for the bigger ticket item even though it’s just a one off post and it’s not really going to be seen, as it’s a good gig and it’s well paid. So they might post, I don’t know, a £400 to £500 watch brand, still hoping to keep the prestigious name and put forward the brand name, but just do that one off gig. But then the reality is, if this person does well from that job, then the brand, or us as an agency, will go through that influencer’s profile and we’d be aware that they’ve not been very consistent in terms of their positioning, and also pushing a product that is not really ‘them’ in a way. Then it becomes obvious it’s more just a small transactional thing.
Dom: Yeah, exactly.
Louis: It depends where you stand. Again, it’s a personal choice, you know, I’m not judging and we’re not here to judge. I just guess it’s a dangerous game from a long-term perspective to jump around like this, especially with prestigious luxury brands.
Dom: It’s that work, I suppose, that goes on behind the scenes that we’re doing – thinking further down the line of profiles that we’d like to put forward to a client. Then, building those relationships now, having those conversations and meeting with the different influencers – luxury and not – to get an idea from them of what their game plan is. We can obviously see who they’ve worked with before, but it’s about anticipating where they’re going to go.
If we get that feeling that they’re deciding ‘Okay, I need to generate more money so I’m going to go down this route’ – we’re better off knowing that now, versus the people that we know we can kind of nurture and shape a bit and guide them a little bit. We want them to understand the bigger picture – that in the long run it’s going to be more sustainable for them if they build these relationships with the right sort of luxury brands, rather than them kind of penalising themselves, I suppose. Because some people actually aren’t aware of it, which seems a bit odd as it does kind of seem like common sense.
Louis: Yeah, like you said, that’s more what we do from our side. It’s more about discussing luxury brand strategy with the influencer sitting down with us.
We’ve actually worked on some profiles at the moment that are more like talents – for example sports people that want to get more into the premium lifestyle and attract more lifestyle brands rather than just purely sports brands and sponsors. It’s about working with them on a strategy that makes sense, in terms of their brand image and content strategy – to make it more attractive and interesting and more visual for certain brands.
Dom: Yeah, say, taking a professional football player – they obviously have these tie ups, for example, with apparel for the boots or sponsors for the boots, or whatever – things that make sense for their profession. They can do this kind of mainstream type brand because it’s specialist, specialist gear that they would use.
Then this footballer could be saying to us ‘Okay, I kind of want to start using my reach too, but I want to move more into the luxury space’. And for us it’s about looking at their page and saying, ‘Okay, that’s cool, you’ve got a huge audience, but you’re posting about what you had for dinner and when you’re going to pick the kids up from school and things’. We’ve then got to mix that up and curate it a little bit, so that brands can kind of start to understand how their product could fit with that profile – which they’ve probably not thought about, because it’s not their profession.
Louis: They have to focus on what they do best, you know, we don’t expect them to be our director, or creative director. They’re good at what they do and that’s what we want. We’re here to help and guide luxury influencers. It’s not about making them seem more commercial, it’s about making them more appealing to a wider pool of brands.
Dom: Yeah, because they’ve already got the right audience of people – fans! As the name suggests, they’re fanatical, and they will really, really highly engage with what the influencers do. Like you said, it’s just about tweaking, you know, it’s the easy bit really; the other way around is much more difficult. They’ve got all the substance; it’s just kind of polishing it a little bit and getting them more in the luxury influencer space, which is quite cool.
It’s interesting; we’ve been doing a lot more that recently. These, I guess, are things that go on behind the scenes that people probably don’t know that we do. Again, for us, it’s a long-term strategy as well – working out who it’s worth us investing in for future things. I think that’s kind of a good intro to that. We’ll probably talk a bit more about this. It does come up a lot, especially in this space, because the premium luxury influencer world is small, particularly in the men’s side, globally.
Louis: Yeah and I think, again, if we’re closing the podcast – I would say it’s about consistency in terms of content, direction and also positioning, especially if you want to, you know, make it work long term.
Dom: We do have to close it, so that’s it! Thanks for listening or watching, wherever you’re listening or watching us. We look forward to coming back with another podcast, hopefully, quite soon. Got any questions? Let us know if you’ve got any ideas of things you’d like us to talk about, or if you strongly disagree with our opinions.
Louis: Comment below.
Dom: And we’ll probably delete them haha. Thanks very much. Thanks.