Marketing + Authenticity = ❤️
Apart from rap music marketing is probably the line of work that bets on authenticity the most. Unlike in hip hop this (at least in most cases) does not refer to street cred but rather creating an image of trustworthiness around the marketing message.
The challenge with authenticity is that it is not something you can simply claim or buy. It is bestowed upon you by the audience and needs to be earned in rap just like in marketing.
The times in which marketing a product was reduced to simply listing the benefits and the orders would storm in are over. It is imperative now to trigger an emotional response amongst your audience that is authentic. Following that pattern mobile carriers and insurance advertise with waking up to the love of your life on a sunny day in a cabin in the woods or singing songs with your best pals around a bonfire. Definitely emotional but not really authentic if you think about what the products actually are. However, someone who just barely survived a car accident or freaking out over bad network coverage simply doesn’t sell that well. Thus most companies rely on influencers to intensify the emotional response and create credibility through a 3rd party.
Companies like Red Bull, Nike and almost all Extreme Sports brands have perfected that by sponsoring athletes or celebrities of the respective genre. The idea behind it is to leverage the trust of the influencer’s followers and let it transcend to the brand to ultimately convey an authentic message that resonates with the audience as it‘s presented to them by someone they know and trust. This is an incredibly potent tool: The power of recommendations.
Carefully planned and executed ad campaigns with influencers that fit are the NOS turbo boost for any marketing campaign. Keeping it Fast and Furious, any gym or nutrition supp company partnering with The Rock or Vin Diesel will confirm that. As with most trends however there comes the problem of excess and saturation. Many marketers force influencers into their campaigns and burn ridiculous budgets on them in their never ending thirst for more reach. What many of them forget however is the reason what they are actually doing it for — Authenticity.
If you get a beauty vlogger to advertise a lawn mower that might result in a whole lot of views for your product but low interactions and on top of that it would most likely even decrease the credibility of your message — “that must be one shit lawn mower if they have to pay her for using it.”
Think about it: advertising a dating app between an episode of Sesame Street and Ducktales on Nickelodeon also wouldn’t have worked. Not only because it is the wrong audience but also because it totally breaks the harmony of things.
Don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely pro influencer marketing, done right! Finding someone that is truly enthusiastic about your brand, taking a stand and recommending it to their peers out of mere excitement and passion for it is the best mechanism to advertise your product. The more authentic the more effective it gets. Teaming up with someone that can provide reach plus a true passion for your product is a powerhouse that cannot be stopped! In fact, recommendations deemed authentic have a 400% higher conversion rate than your best ad.
Just as it should be considered a long term investment to team up with a conventional influencer you should apply the same care to incentivize your fans to become your (nano) influencers and promote their favorite brand out of mere excitement for it. Incentivized not by money but exclusive products or experiences related to your brand. This provides the necessary marketing boost while still keeping their recommendation genuine.
After all, authenticity is a long term investment that will definitely pay out in the end.