Why influencer marketing is going from strength to strength

Buzzoole will be presenting on the YMS Digital Stage, talking about the social habits of Gen Z and how influencer marketing platforms are providing a connection point to the brands they love.

Here, Sales Director Rob Petts gives us a sneak preview into what we can expect from their session.

What’s the story behind Buzzoole?

Buzzoole is an influencer marketing platform from Naples. It was founded in 2013 by Fabrizio Perrone, Gennaro Varriale, Luca Camillo and Luca Pignataro. Back then, most of the work involving scouting and contacting influencers was done manually and so the idea to make this process more effective through automation was born. The thought of developing a new algorithm to help automate the process set the creation of Buzzoole in motion. When the company first started there were seven members in the team, we now have over 50 people with offices in both Italy and the UK with plans to expand into several other markets in the next few years.  

What do you think has been the most important trend for youth marketers to take note of over the past 12 months?

I’d be missing a trick here if I didn’t say influencer marketing. In 2016 businesses started to recognise that traditional advertising wasn’t reaching consumers as it used to, so a method that delivered genuine engagement became an increasingly attractive choice. The influencer economy really came of age through mass brand adoption, leading to stronger regulation and more sophisticated metrics. This year, as more brands grasp how best to work with influencers, influencer marketing is going from strength to strength.

What social or tech trend are you most excited about right now?

Live video has a huge buzz around it at the moment. The ability to instantly share content is a really promising concept and though it can be a challenge, it presents such a huge opportunity for brands. It just makes content creation and distribution incredibly simple. Plus, live video is more honest. When influencers go live and unedited we get a brief but genuine insight into their lives. I really appreciate this level of sincerity.

What is your top tip for engaging this audience on social media?

Reaching Generation Z via the platforms they are passionate about is key. It all comes down to honing in on their interests, rather than interrupting them. First off, keep it visual and authentic. And don’t be patronizing either – Gen Z know what they want and being the most tech savvy and well educated generation so far, they’re very well-informed. You can’t afford to be anything but an expert these days, so do your research.

What is the most important platform that marketers should be investing in right now?

It might come as no surprise considering the industry I work in, but I really do think that influencer marketing is the way to go in 2017. An automated platform is the easiest way to carry out a campaign: instead of having to locate, contact and entice Influencers on your own, you can streamline the process and keep track of real results. For marketers this is a real a life-saver.

What are you favourite examples of brands using influencers to connect with young people and achieving more than they expected?

Emirates’ work with YouTube star Casey Neistat is a fantastic example here. Neistat was already flying Emirates from Dubai to New York, so the chance to leverage a massive millennial audience literally fell into the airline’s lap. Emirates was savvy enough to give Neistat a free upgrade to First Class, in the hope that he’d create a film of his experiences, and the rest is history.

He videoed the whole thing, delivering priceless online publicity with tremendous reach. Neistat filmed himself eating caviar, drinking champagne, even enjoying an in-flight shower (with his modesty blurred). A great recipe for a YouTube video and an instant viral hit.

And what’s the most common mistakes that brands are making when it comes to working with influencers?

The whole idea behind influencer marketing is for influencers to engage with your brand, so it’s essential to pick the ones that suit. Have them use your product, honestly review it, and their following will genuinely engage with the content that comes out of it. Ditch those with massive followings for long-tail influencers – those with smaller, more niche audiences. They generate genuine engagement with your product because they’re seen as experts in a specific community.

Do you agree with the trend that anonymity online is cool again for young people, rather than living their life through social media and oversharing?

Young people are increasingly aware of how much people can see online.  At the same time, they’re starting to realize the hazards of oversharing – in both senses of the word. In fact, “less is more” is best practice for both brands and ordinary users. It’s a prevailing aesthetic on Instagram, where less frequent, but higher quality posts attract the most interest. So, if you want to keep it understated, avoid “pizza night” statuses in favour of a simple, striking image of your meal.

Best moment of your career so far?

Meeting Sir Martin Sorrell and Sir Richard Branson is definitely up there in my greatest moments. They’ve had such a bearing on so many different sectors, plus they’re adaptable too. What’s more, their respective industries have transformed so much, yet both still remain so influential.

Favourite app? Why?

It has to be Spotify. Having an endless library of music, instantly available at any time no matter where you are in the world, is something I’m completely dependent on.

Something few people know about you.

I bought my first skateboard at 29. I have never skated before in my life.

What are you most looking forward to at YMS?

YMS has an incredible line-up of speakers this year. I am most looking forward to hearing from the likes of Unilad's Liam Harrington and Refinery 29's Tamar Riley. Two great, new, modern publishing companies that have built substantial audiences in today’s ever changing media landscape.

What can our audience expect from your panel?

Audiences who check out our panel can expect to hear first-hand from Gen Z. We want to answer those crucial questions for brands: What do they think is the best way for a brand to engage with them? How do they respond to conventional marketing approaches? We'll provide insights straight from the horse’s mouth.

Finally, what should we have asked you that we didn't?

“If you were an influencer, what area would you be influential in?”

Haven't got your tickets for YMS LDN 2017 yet? Head on over to our event page for more information on the biggest youth marketing conference in Europe.