Influencers, So Hot Right Now

We are in the golden age of influencers.

That’s a loaded statement. I don’t actually know that. I’m not an expert. I’m also not saying anything that’s new.

But common sense, a few headlines and practical time spent on these platforms makes it obvious. 

Facebook is the latest example. You don’t even have to read the article, just the headlines:

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Layman’s terms: Facebook wants to go back to its roots. Less of an ad platform with publisher content / news, more of a place to connect with friends, family and local areas. AKA more personal.

So when publishers have a harder time getting their shit in front of their audience, they need individuals to do so. AKA influencers. 

And for good reason. Influencer content already does well, as evidenced by the below:

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So if you’re a publisher, company, brand, winery, whatever – what does this mean?

Lean more on your existing influencer network. Then grow it to find more influencers who make sense for your brand. These influencers should be creative, communicative with you as a client and powerhouses of content. Then deploy the content on channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. – whether the brand channel or influencer channels (with shout-outs). I’m not saying anything new or groundbreaking, but doing more of it today will be more effective than ever.

Want a sign of the times with this Influencer shift?

Check out Danielle and Ryan and @theguidinglens. They’ve got a relatively small social following (800 on IG at the beginning of the partnership). But they’re a good-looking, fun Millennial couple who wants to explore the world and buys into a mobile, minimalist lifestyle.

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Now think about Airstream. A brand who did well with our grandparents / parents, but now wants to connect with Millennials as they age up, have more disposable income, continue to be mobile / explorative, work remotely / freelance and become increasingly open to a minimalist lifestyle.

Regardless of who contacted who, Airstream likely thinks “Well we’ve got these young peeps who are cool and want to explore. Even though they don’t have a massive following, they can create content for / with us which won’t look like an ad and make us more relatable to Millennials. And then we can post that content on our channels or whitelist it and boost their following to help spread our message. And it’ll likely be more cost-effective (and authentic) than us trying to do it ourselves with hired talent.”

And boom. You’ve got a smart partnership (with their own section on Airstream.com).

Influencers that align with the brand, check. Young, active and creative, check. Cheaper alternative than shooting that content ourselves, check.

Moral of the story? Platforms favor individuals’ content more than ever. Because as consumers, we have enough ads in our lives. Meaning it’s the best time for influencers to grow their own brand while helping brands grow theirs. And the Airstream example is a great example of this.

Nice job peeps.

Still think we’re scared of brands having our data?

Based on the below screenshot of all Twitter activity surrounding #spotifywrapped, it sure as shit doesn’t look like it.

To celebrate the year-end, Spotify amassed all of our individual data into a customized experience on their microsite – Wrapped. And you could not only see everything you’ve listened to and how your musical tastes have grown, but you could share / compare with friends and get customized playlists based on your data.

This type of data usage by Spotify helps create a personalized, 1:1 experience. Consumers feel like the company not only gets them, but cares about them.

Moral of the story as a brand: Ask for data, leverage data and turn it around to provide value and entertainment.

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God I love Lyft.

What a fuckin’ year for Lyft, right?

I mean Uber shat the bed on so many levels – poor guys have had it rough. And Lyft, like Aaron Rodgers-style, was just waiting in the wings to pounce.

I switched over full-time to Lyft a few months ago after all of the Uber London miscues, which just felt like the last straw to make me thing ‘Uber is a mess’. Plus the drivers don’t like it.

So I’ve loved Lyft ever since, especially Lyft Line. Awesome branding all-around, drivers seem happy and I thought the founders’ story on NPR’s How I Built This.

But this latest campaign I just saw pushes me over the edge. Lyft has managed to make it about the DRIVERS, thanking them and strengthening the community so drivers feel appreciated. It’s not about praising the consumers – it’s more familial (and thus special) than that.

And as a customer, that makes me want to love Lyft even more because if they take care of their drivers, I view them better as a company and assume the drivers will be happier and thus better towards me. Especially in light of Uber’s year.

Beautiful insights here about Lyft drivers doing this as a means to something else. The company is championing the drivers’ dreams outside the company – such humility. And the visual direction is totally spot on – such a quick read for consumers.

Even the OOH is beautiful and clean. And that’s not easy to do because, well, it’s OOH.

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Fuck, well done guys. See you in my next Lyft.