Influencers are losing their leverage, allowing brands to connect with their target audiences. Being tired of fraud and disingenuous content, companies are seeking new marketing models to approach consumers and gain authentic engagement with their products.
Consumers are now disengaged from influencers, said Amber Atherton, CEO at Zyper. People realize that many influencers do not care about a brand or product and do not trust their opinions. This tendency results in low engagement rates and low efficiency of marketing companies for brands, she explained in the interview with Forbes.
Consumers, especially young people, tend to engage with authentic people who provide genuine opinions and recommendations that can be trusted.
“What we’re seeing is today’s consumers, particularly Gen Zers, gravitating toward more grassroots communities, where people share information and original content about the brands and products they love with others they have a close relationship and something in common with,” she added.
Gen Zers are always online; however, their Internet behavior and habits are different from other generations. They tend to use one-to-one social channels, such as instant messaging or email and prefer to have less of an online footprint than their predecessors. Moreover, they seek to be a part of small online communities and engage in a meaningful way with likeminded people.
“Brands need to focus on fostering these communities of people who love their products,” Amber Atherton explained.
It means that they need to find people who are already fans of their products and who already share the experiences online in their niche communities via closed communication channels. It is essential to connect with those “superfans” and invite them to become their ambassadors.
Superfans marketing has its unique features that need to be taken into account when creating a marketing strategy. First, brands will have to be creative to reward their new partners for creating content, as these communities are built around common interests.
Also, companies will have to quit their attempts to control the content created by their superfans or try steering them into generating posts that are not true to them.
Above all, superfan marketing strategy is a long term play that will bring benefits over time. If everything is done in the right way, partnering with authentic advocates will eventually drive engagement with a brand.