Ivana Bogdanović, Digitalna krofna: Huge challenge facing influencers
Interview - Jan 29, 2021
Who are influencers and what is it that they actually do?
Influencers are individuals with influence. People often think that influencers are the same as bloggers, but they are not necessarily persons living exclusively off the Internet. They also include actors, politicians, artists, athletes… in other words, all those who can influence the opinion of their fans on social media. Thus anyone who can change an attitude and behaviour of people with their posts can be called an influencer.
We can say that it is one of the latest professions with growing demand. How did that vocation develop?
Influencers existed before social media as well, but SoMe have provided everyone who manages to gather a loyal community with an opportunity to become an influencer. People follow them because they provide specific value – they inspire, motivate, entertain, educate… People trust them if the community is strong. Today, many spend a lot of time on SoMe and thus these platforms are becoming the place where people and brands compete for attention. Those who have managed to establish large communities of followers, whether they are celebrities or ordinary people who provide value with their content, have stood out on SoMe and started enjoying benefits of their popularity.
What is this profession is such high demand?
Many young people want to be influencers without even understanding what it actually means. They are attracted by a lifestyle of their idols and they believe that all they have to do is create selfies or videos, have a lot of followers and then brands will give them items and apparel for free. But that is not the case. Real influencers are influential because they have invested effort and time, made some sacrifices and are consistent in what they do. Success does not come overnight.
Photo: Represent Communications
How do influencers improve work of companies and how do they affect their business operations?
A growing number of companies are cooperating with influencers in some way today. However, those collaborations are mainly not great, because both sides very often have profit as a priority, without thinking whether they are mutually compatible. Thus you have influencers who advertise products or services that are not in line with their beliefs and lifestyle, or do it so unprofessionally that everyone realises it is paid collaboration. That only provokes a counter-effect and people stop believing them or simply do not react to that paid content. Therefore, it is important for both sides in a selection process to think chose wisely in order to generate good results.
How much are influencers important for large companies?
They are very important, if cooperation is strategic and of high quality, if a company selects an influencer that corresponds with its values, someone who will ‘mask’ paid content in a meaningful manner and convince their community to trust them. Otherwise, they have no relevance or results.
How do companies select influencers whose services they use?
There are two ways of selecting influencers. One is to be directly contacted by companies or brands, and the other, very frequently in use, is to establish collaboration via marketing agencies with experience in advising companies on cooperation.
In your opinion, how will this profession develop in the future?
I think that influencers will remain present on SoMe, but that they will face a serious challenge in regard to presenting paid content in order to stand out from others and retain trust of their community.