Early this month, an influencer was sued by Snap Chat’s PR firm for not influencing hard enough for them. Apparently, an agreement was signed – and a total fee of $60k agreed – with the influencer to share 3 Instagram stories and one post of him rocking the new Snap Spectacles with his 1.4m IG followers – but he only posted one story and one post.
Over the last few years, many more African and global brands have used influencer marketing, especially on digital media, to impact conversion and purchase decision of their consumers. However, in a world of mistrust, especially online, the importance of authenticity cannot be overemphasized.
Trust is a major problem for consumers and brands alike. In a digital world, where influencers apparently have more credence than brands, businesses struggle to manage their brand reputation and at the same time achieve short-term commercial goals. Keeping focus on the brand value proposition in the long-term, while taking decisions on trend-led opportunities can be a headache for marketers.
But what if marketers didn’t have to worry about this? What If brands could easily connect with everyday creators and creatives that are happy to collaborate with them not just because of money, but because they actually believe in the brand and connect deeply with the brand’s story? There is a new category of digital influencers out there, and they aren’t those with tons of social media followers. They’re everyday people who look at the world with their individualistic eyes, and can interpret a brand’s vision in a whole new light. It is this new crop of influencers that brands should be looking to connect with.
Hyperfan, based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, just launched in Lagos, Nigeria, and is looking to democratise and innovate the concept of influencer marketing, by creating a platform and mechanism that enables brands turn their existing ‘fans into hyperfans’. The idea is fairly simple, by rallying enough product/brand users/consumers to create original content promoting the product/brand they love, Hyperfan creates a strong wave of advocates that are not necessarily motivated by money from the brands or the agencies of the brands, as is the case with influencer marketing. Rather, Hyperfans are encouraged through activities, perks and rewards to the extent of the brands creativity and understanding of its customers taste buds.
This open, real community of people who genuinely love a brand, and are happy to talk about it to their friends and family – with or without inducement – is really an ideal and authentic form of marketing and advertising.