Influencer Marketing and Social Media: what to leave in 2022

RAPP's CCO, Al Mackie, on why he wants 2023 to mark the end of inept influencer marketing

One old way of working I’d be happy to leave in 2022 is treating social media as some kind of digital dumping ground

It’s not good enough to just launch and leave campaigns these days. To me, that makes as much sense as spending hundreds of pounds on the latest wearable tech and then using it solely to count how many steps you do each day in January.

Instead, creative work needs to be seen as an ongoing process. Working with our tech team and analysts we can continually measure campaign images, headlines and more to find patterns of what works with which audience. The amount of detail you discover about how creative lands with different audiences is astounding — completely subconscious preferences, like introverts preferring a version where a particular object, like a TV screen, faces in the opposite direction to the version which extroverts find more engaging.

As a result, it’s not uncommon for us to create campaigns with different VOs across multiple vignettes, using numerous soundtracks and so on. At the same time, we’re measuring how engagement changes depending on context — when the campaign runs and what’s going on in terms of society. By iterating work as we go along, we can see engagement improve. Sometimes it even skyrockets.

No one’s saying it’s not hard to kill your darlings, but knowing that we can learn from that murderous process means we’re more prepared to do it. The big idea is still vital, but with the data we have available plus the ability to process it quickly, we can change for the better. This applies to our work and to our lives.

Relatedly, I’d like the beginning of 2023 to mark the end of inept influencer marketing. It’s disheartening when a brilliant creative idea is floated but it ends up bombing because a decision was made to go with the “big” influencer instead of the right one.

Our approach, which has seen clients transform the way they work with influencers, uses creative teams to come up with platform ideas flexible enough for influencers to introduce their own practices. Get it right and both the client brand and the influencer brand benefit. Get it wrong and everyone risks looking like a sell-out.

One final thing which really needs to stay in the past is this idea of AI as some kind of quirky parlour trick. It’s technology which offers huge advances in targeting and creativity, and presents huge business opportunities. The kind of opportunities we need to help clients make a difference to their brands in 2023.

Featured image: Ivan Samkow / Pexels

Al Mackie, Chief Creative Officer at RAPP UK

Al Mackie is Chief Creative Officer for RAPP UK. Joining in 2018, he leads the agency’s creative output.

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