Tuesday 25 June 2024

Branding Strategy: from Influencer Marketing to Digital Storytelling

The Internet provides brands with new and efficient tools and communication channels, aimed at enhancing brand identity.

The profound digital transformation that has impacted and permeated each and every social, cultural, and economical layer, has introduced radical changes to the marketing, communication and branding strategies of brands.

The “Digital Renaissance”, in fact, has opened the doors to several new tools and channels available for brands to communicate and digitally interact with their clients or end customers. Internet, and the Web in general, therefore, cannot be seen as a simple trend —as believed by some— but must be recognized as a necessity.

The Web, moreover, has the extraordinary capacity to allow the detection of a limitless amount of market niches; an intrinsic resource of absolute value for businesses. Niches, in fact, are not simply abstract entities; they are groups composed by people that share common and specific interests for something, or someone. The Internet provides us with several tools (forums, blogs, social networks, etc.) that allow the identification and interception of these groups.

To identify a niche, however, is not sufficient. In fact, it is necessary to know how to communicate with a niche by using the brand’s languages and communication methods. It is important to be able to tell a story and offer emotions to the end users. People, in fact, look for something that captures and attracts their attention, and that makes them live an authentic experience. We learn most when we feel entirely involved in something and, thus, this improves the way we receive the message that a brand wishes to transmit.

Digital storytelling is an art that is increasingly gaining ground in marketing and branding strategies of both small and large brands, regardless of the sector in which they operate – whether it is that of commercial or luxury goods.

To enhance their message and magnify the story that they wish to tell, both brands and major retail companies are turning always more to so-called influencers as testimonials. These represent a new branding and marketing channel, which counts on these web personalities rather than on traditional endorsements.

In fact, according to MuseFind, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than advertise or a celebrity endorsement. Moreover, according to research conducted by Chute, more than 60% of brands have included influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy for 2016, and the number is expected to increase by 15% by the end of 2017.

This data shows how, nowadays, it is not important how much you advertise, but that you have a story to tell, and, in turn, that people speak about it and share it. This is transversally true for multiple sectors, going from major fashion brands to companies such as banks, food chains, alcohol labels and electronic brands.

To focus on these activities allows for the communication of company and association memories that tell the brand’s journey through the stories of people, products or services. An appropriate storytelling strategy will transmit security and credibility to the final client.

At this point, it comes natural to ask: how can we attract the attention of an influencer that wishes to promote our company? Many believe that to capture the attention of these figures it is sufficient to have a creative and innovative idea. However, the world of influencers has turned into a true business and, as such, these individuals will not be carriers of a brand’s message without receiving something in return.

There are techniques intended to increase the possibility of attracting interest by influencers, and which allow them to feel truly involved in the company that decides to invest in them. This generates a two-way symbiotic relationship between brand and influencer, who work side-to-side to increase and refine their branding.

Influencers, just as all of us, are attracted by unique experiences. To be successful, they must respect specific basic criteria. First of all, one must ensure that their project or idea produces some sort of benefit to the community, or to a specific niche, and that, therefore, carries intrinsic value. Then, the message that is being promoted must be easy to understand and engaging. Lastly, one must make sure to maintain a balance between creativity and accessibility: the message must be original, yet not excessively avant-garde.

Sometimes, these experiences may take the form of events, tours, or weekends dedicated to specific activities. These moments allow a company to completely engage even the potential influencer, which will be able to directly experience the benefit offered by a service or product.

To organize an event, however, is not a simple task. In fact, there are plenty of aspects that must be managed and kept in perfect balance in order to obtain the desired effect. The organization of events, whether public or private, for example, private parties, concerts, presentations, workshops, meetings, seminars or conferences, is one of the most powerful promotional activities for brands that wish to increase their branding and their territorial presence, as well as transmit their message. The impact that an event can have on a brand is huge and, thus, it is recommended to rely on professionals of the sector in order to maximize results.

Leading companies, such as Corsini.Events, specialised in the organisation of events, and who rely on professionals of the field, are capable of designing and realising events that are calibrated on the specific needs of the brand. In fact, the expertise and know-how of these companies allows to realise events capable of guaranteeing each brand the visibility necessary to increase their business.