Exactly what ‘Authenticity’ Actually Looks Like in an Influence-Marketing Collaboration

June 24, 2021 eight min read

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“Authenticity” would win the prize for most-overused word in the changer marketing globe these days. Which means it could also elicit  the particular most eye rolls. Nonetheless, authenticity remains the essential differentiator between an influence-marketing activation that resonates along with an audience and one particular that doesn’t. It is definitely imperative for success, even when most people would have got difficulty putting a little finger on which a truly genuine influencer endorsement looks like.

In broad terms, authenticity simply means the message from the changer to their audience is certainly believable. But it’s more than just someone stating, “I like this item, ” or even, “I make use of this product. ” Customers are savvy enough in order to know that when there is money involved, even cut-rate influencers can put upon a smile and function like they like the product. They can place a fake while thumb-scrolling their way through Instagram without ever stopping.

So what really does an “authentic” influencer endorsement actually look like? I went searching and found a perfect example.

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The particular brand

Q Mixers is a spirits accessory brand, if you will certainly. Its type of carbonated drinks, typically canned, complete the cocktail. Think club soda pop, tonic water, ginger ale, ginger beer. Most associated with its competitors market themselves individually, while Q Mixers — even in title — indicates they’re a lot more interested in being a good accompaniment to  whiskey, rum, vodka, gin or tequila.  

“As a small brand, our objective is to drive awareness plus trial, ” says Catherine Vodola, Q Mixers' executive vice president of marketing.   “People spend the ton of time choosing amazing spirits but don’t realize that when the most of your drink is certainly mixer, the quality of that mixer matters. ”

The brand claims that by utilizing organic ingredients, perfect carbonation and making their beverages much less sweet, they allow  the particular “subtleties of great mood to shine through. ”

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Vodola knew influencer engagements were important for the brand due to the fact they provide instant specialist recommendations. “We need recommends to help tell that will story, ” she elaborates. “To elicit an ‘a-ha! ’”

The particular influencer(s)

Meat Janelle began his professional life as an image designer, but Instagram vaulted him into the changer stratosphere within the mid 2010s. Self-crafted imagery from his life traveling and residing in New York City includes beautiful interiors and architecture, snappy personal style ideas and a peek into a trendsetter’s way of living. That  hipness  helped your pet grow to almost half a million followers on @aguynamedpatrick .  

As Janelle’s popularity grew, therefore did his awareness that will influencers like him needed help. In January associated with 2020, he founded Untitled Secret , a management firm that represents content creators. One of its clients  happens to end up being Elliott Clark, also known as The particular Apartment Bartender , the cocktail creator with a fairly engaged audience of more than 74, 500 Instagram followers.  

Q Mixers contacted Janelle about a relationship. Untitled Secret’s managing director, Mauricio Abascal, says  the initial concept came about serendipitously  last fall amid  tranquil Covid restrictions.  

“Initially, Patrick has been going to be in L. A. for work plus Elliott was going in order to take San Diego designed for a shoot, ” he or she recalls.   “We thought we’d have them satisfy in person to take an interview-style, co-hosted, socially distanced tutorial video intended for Q Mixers. ” 

Alas, a renewed surge in infections late last year  derailed their particular travel plans, so the conversation shifted to what might take the location instead of an in-person discussion.

The performance

Eventually, somebody threw out the concept to film the two influencers having a digital meeting from a fly-on-the-wall perspective, rather than the particular flat, Brady Bunch main grid boredom of Zoom. “We’re all pretty collaborative, so it’s hard for me to remember who exactly came up with exactly what idea, ” Abascal confesses. “But we figured that recording their Zoom conversation and shooting it from an outsider’s perspective would certainly allow for a lot more dynamic, almost cinematic edit to an otherwise simple video. ”

Janelle adds: “So, it was a real conversation about what does that will look like? What are we talking about? ”

The most important element of the plan, according in order to Janelle, was thinking via the best way to deliver interesting and engaging content that also occurs have the item and brand integrated within a meaningful and innovative way.

“Ultimately what they really desired to showcase was the versatility of the product at house, ” Clark says. “We wanted to bring something a little bit a lot more interactive, where it’s a lot more about the conversations that are being had over the product versus this being strictly about the particular product. ”

The execution was perfect . The 2 are buddies and share a mutual love of cocktails. These people jumped on a Zoom call to catch up before the holidays. The movie was posted on Dec 21, 2020.  

In the clip, Janelle asks his expert buddy what makes a good drink. Clark’s answer is high quality ingredients. The list contains the type of mixing machine you use. The B-roll lays in Q Mixing machine product shots.  

The conversation after that shifts to holiday beverage ideas, and Janelle requires what Clark is consuming. A list of elements includes Q Mixers Grapefruit. Janelle then goes much deeper into Q Mixers components as his reason regarding liking the brand. Line the talking points.

Clark then requests what Janelle is consuming. His Dark & Raining includes ginger beer, another Q Mixer flavor. Then the banter turns to Janelle’s favorite place to take a trip and that he is definitely often asked whether or even not Clark is solitary. (He is. )

You can tell the two have a real rapport. The brand can be highlighted and talking factors are made, however, not in an overly  pushy fashion. You can watch the less-than-two-minute video and stroll away with some information or entertainment value without having feeling like you’ve just been handed an advertising tagline.  

The results

Before your brain jumps to the question of ROI or the number of containers of mixers this Instagram video sold, let’s move back to the client’s goal:   to drive awareness and trial associated with Q Mixers. “We are usually not a direct-to-consumer brand name, so we can’t monitor (sales) directly, ” explains marketing EVP Vodola. “We use the traditional strategies of reach, engagement rates and swipe-ups. We also indirectly track follower growth. ”

Another way brands can measure awareness is through interpersonal listening. If an influencer (or two) discuss your brand on social media, 1 would think the ensuing conversation would generate some online buzz around your own product or service. According to data from social listening platform Talkwalker , the best stage of online conversation about Q Mixers in the last 2 years? The week associated with Janelle and Clark’s conversation post.

“When you find the correct person, that individual brings your message out effortlessly plus with great authenticity and authority, ” Vodola says. “Both Patrick and Elliott are super personable plus great individuals, but they possess a real passion and authority in the consume space. They totally obtain why Q Mixers is a better mixer and that it matters. And they tell that tale well. ”

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What it takes

It’s important to remember that the particular success of influencer marketing and advertising is better defined by long-term gain for both the brand and the content material creator. Clark discussed and promoted the collaboration on his Instagram stories to support Janelle’s placement of the content, but this instance is a single video post. Q Mixer has collaborated with both Janelle and Clark over time to reinforce the messaging and add frequency to the reach both offer.

The articles here was also powered by a creative idea formulated by two influencers, a talent-management firm and the brand marketing and PR teams  all operating in collaboration. The manufacturing was far more intricate than just a phone and a selfie stick. Both Janelle and Clark use professional videographers and photographers to produce their own content.  

“It was a great bit of work, ” Janelle confirms. “We had in order to be creative about how we were executing and be sure the brand has been thrilled with the finish result. ”

They were, and the particular brand was, but it came together because the particular influencer content was treated like a high-quality creative execution. Q Mixers did not undervalue either of the two content creators simply by simply renting their reach. They invested in the innovative direction and production worth each provides.  

It came collectively because the concept has been right: Put two buddies together having a genuine conversation that happens to include the brand, equip them with the talking points the brand hopes to convey, and allow them to present it in a way that the market will notice without skepticism or furled brow.  

It arrived together because it had been authentic. To the brand name. To the influencers. And to their audiences.

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