Tap into Groups, Not Just Individuals

Tap into Groups, Not Just Individuals. Looking at influencers strictly on an individual level causes brands to miss out on collective influence. Rather than buying influence for a moment in time, by combining influencers you’re creating something new with your brand as the lynch pin between communities. There’s a resurgence of collaborations via native platform functionalities like TikTok’s stitch or duet, or the lesser utilised Instagram collaborate feature. Look for influence, not influencers. Pair new partners together for a longer lasting impact. Go small, but go focused. Plural influence will always reign supreme.

This trend originates from the report:

OGILVY - Influencer Trends 2023

Tapping into groups, not just individuals. We’ve reached the stage in our industry’s life cycle where we’ve gone full circle. We’re back at the start, and we’re branding it as innovation – or so you may think.

In the early days of the social influencer, the YouTube collaboration reigned supreme. In the UK for example, Zoe Sugg met with Alfie Deyes, met with Marcus Butler, met with Tanya Burr..

. and the cycle continued, until each respective channel had amassed enough influence to stand alone. This story wasn’t unique to one market, the ‘influencer’ reaped the rewards of collaboration, but without the maturity of today’s industry, brands weren’t capitalizing on collective influence.

Whether you’re looking to cross pollinate audiences, make a small budget go further by saturating one niche community’s feed, or even just hoping to generate more added value content when you contract influencer friends to work together – plural influence will almost always reign supreme. Today, we’re starting to see the resurgence of collaborations via platform native functionalities. TikTok stitch or duet, and the lesser utilized Instagram collaboration feature, feel like platform native iterations of the Renaissance Salons from days gone by.

Brands who are smart are leaning in, and finding that with collaboration comes diversity, reach and creative effectiveness. Effective partnerships are not simply the merging of two audiences – akin to purchasing two paid media personas - but the meeting of creative minds to merge communities into something new and more powerful. These collaborations, when done well, have the capacity to create a new entity for the brand.

Rather than purchasing influence for a moment in time, by combining influencers you’re creating something new with your brand as the lynch pin between communities. Creator houses are just one iteration of this collaborative approach. They have the ability to build authenticity out of what is spurious, by developing a brand-owned world filled with authentic friendships.

On the outside it may seem incredibly fake, however the experiences of these friends within the houses are naturally very ‘real’. Whereas we all became wise to the editing behind reality TV in the early 2000’s – creators own their platforms. Would this have worked with the millennial Instagrammers of the past 10 years? Perhaps not.

But Gen Z creators who have honed the perfect balance of curated reality...

absolutely. At Ogilvy, we’ve been experimenting with how collaborations can allow businesses to facilitate a stronger bond between brand and consumer. Using TikTok duets, we can see creators, such as Elyse Myers in the US, suddenly collaborate with the likes of Penn Badgley and Meghan Trainor via the love of a song and a dance.

Collaborations have been democratized, and with this removal of barriers comes the spontaneity that brands need in order to embed themselves into culture. LOOK FOR INFLUENCE, NOT INFLUENCERS. Shift the focus away from individuals and toward wherever influence is held amongst your demographic.

This could be partnerships, communities, friendship groups, etc. PAIR NEW PARTNERS TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW. Within influencer marketing we’re often borrowing influence for a period of time, but collaborations give us the opportunity to create new communities from old allegiances through cross pollination.

TAKE SMALL BUDGETS FURTHER WITH PARTNERSHIPS. Look to reach the macro, but by ingratiating yourself with micro communities who spread information via word of mouth. Communities already joined by shared passions, who share those passions with your brand, can do the leg work for you.

So go small by all means, but be focused..