Move over Lorde and Max Key, the latest social media stats released by NZ Herald’s Spy News confirm there’s a new bunch of Kiwi social media influencers on the rise. Clever social climbers, these everyday guys and gals are amassing epic followings, making their mark on the social media landscape and gaining sway in their respective industries. And there are dozens of others out there just like them.
Why should brands care about these individuals hawking products on their personal social media accounts?
Dani Revell, founder and all-rounder at social influencer marketing agency, We Are Anthology, says the thing that makes these social media influencers so popular, and so important to brands right now, is their relatability.
“It’s the rise of the everyday people movement, taken to the next level,” she explains. “These people have achievable identities; they resonate so well with audiences because they create real content and get honest engagement. In the social media world, if a fashion influencer puts up a picture and says ‘What do you think of my outfit?’ it’s so much more genuine than a fashion brand doing the same thing and asking ‘What do you think of our outfit?”
Dani says one of the key reasons why brands want to jump on board is to tap into the in-depth relationships that social influencers can achieve with a product or brand.
“For brands that use influencer marketing correctly – when they create a tight brief but let go and let the influencer create real content – it’s incredibly effective. Many brands want to achieve that genuine voice and relationship but they get scared and default to trying to use influencers in a way that you would traditionally with marketing. When they understand that letting the influencer be creative on their own, within the scope of the brief, that’s when it works really well,” she says.
It’s no surprise the social influencer movement is hurtling forward here in New Zealand as we play catch-up with other international markets – but just how much is it changing and what trends can we expect to see emerging?
Another Mosh pal, Justin Clark – general manager and brand strategist at The Social Club – says he’s seeing more and more companies incorporating influencers into their marketing strategy, as well as an overall increase in the level of professionalism and awareness from influencers of their value to brands.
“We can’t see these trends changing anytime soon, but the game will change slightly,” he says. “New social platforms will likely emerge and influencer content and relationships will undoubtedly evolve. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a movement towards longer-term, more meaningful, immersed and likely exclusive influencer relationships with brands.”
Of the The Social Club’s long list of influencer talent, the most popular categories they fit into include lifestyle, fitness and wellness, food, beauty, parenting and travel. And in terms of brands looking to team up with said influencers, they cover a wide range of industries, from tourism, FMCG, food, fashion, events to charities.
Justin says the key factors that determine ‘influencer value’ – in other words, what makes a social media power player – includes their reach and engagement; their ability to create frequent, visually-appealing and entertaining content; their authority or standing in a particular category; a strong localised or targeted following; and of course, high professionalism and reliability.
So who’s hot in New Zealand right now?
In addition to Spy’s eight picks, some of the most in-demand influencer talent includes video creators such as Jordan Watson (How To Dad) and Logan Dodds; lifestyle influencers Art Green, Matilda Rice and Jess Quinn and some of our fave Kiwi sporting stars like Gemma Flynn, Anna Wilcox and Beauden Barrett.
Dani says one of her top ‘influencers to watch’ is a young Auckland woman, Aki (@thesleekavenue), who recently signed with We Are Anthology as an influencer for SKYCITY: “She’s incredible and we’re massive fans. She’s got a beautiful aesthetic and what really blows me away is that she does all the photography herself, including shots of herself which are set up using a self-timer. She’s clever and subtle with how she creates content. She finds different ways to weave stories into how she communicates a brand or product. It’s these kind of attributes that make a really powerful social player.”