So what were the key takeaways? Well I can tell you at 40 minutes long there are a lot but I’ve boiled it down to my top 7 insights.
Not many content creators would call themselves “influencers”
Logan Dodds, like a lot of content creators, doesn’t define himself as an influencer, but he is grateful to have a voice that helps him inspire people to live their best lives;
“whether that’s well-being or getting out there and living for the moment, I lost my Dad when I was 18, so it’s an important message for me.”
Logan who’s a plumber by trade has also used his platform to help get kids into apprenticeships.
Jess Quinn’s experience with internet notoriety started when a simple photoshoot planned to challenge the current fashion norms went viral, overnight her following grew to 10,000, then spiralled from there. She too avoids the idea of influence or influencer. It’s a journey she was already on, Instagram just amplified it.
“For me, it’s never been about becoming anything on social media, for me it’s really important to stand for something outside Instagram, if Instagram was to go tomorrow I want to be able to say I’d be doing the exact same thing.”
Jess Quinn’s partnership with Dove is a perfect example of two purposeful entities coming together for a campaign that focuses on their shared beliefs.
Iyia Liu, who rose to notoriety when she sold over $3 million dollars worth of waist trainers thanks to a partnership with Kylie Jenner also sees social media as just another business tool.
Later in the discussion, Logan made a strong point that Influencers and Content Creators being grouped together couldn’t be further from the truth, while there may be those just taking selfies, he’s purchased $30,000 worth of equipment and trained himself to capture broadcast quality content.
“We are very different, just essentially sharing our content on the same platform, but we are at completely different ends of the spectrum”
Often these are full-blown content creators, as Cassie puts it, their own little micro agencies coming up with creative concepts like this campaign for the waterproof Samsung S9, and shooting it - Logan Dodds, Stewart Island
Although Instagram is the platform of choice, longer format content is growing
Because of the broad nature of the panel, some, like Jess are focused on Instagrams incredibly successful stories format that allows her to be raw and real while others have seen longer format content on the likes of Youtube gaining traction. Facebook divides our panel, it’s less of a focus for Logan, Jess and Iyia, while Caitlin's slightly older demographic means it’s her largest audience. Sam’ broad audience interest following his recent Married at First Sight appearance has meant he’s spending more time creating and sharing content on there in order to keep an over 35 audience engaged.
Amber Peebles is able to layer images and videos with questions, polls, and anyone with over 10,000 followers can add a direct link allowing content creators to link their footage to a call to action.
Instagram Stories allows creators to build real-time content that is raw and can involve interactive polls, questions and image layers.
It’s important for brands to see these collaborations for what they are, a brand + brand partnership.
The biggest challenges in a briefing process happen when brands treat influencer marketing like a neutral media channel like a billboard when in fact the content creator is closer to a TV show or magazine you are building deeply integrated content into. Cassie’s quick to point out that as marketers our brands are our babies, and Caitlin Taylor, a personal stylist who has carefully curated her feeds and following for over a decade echoes that sentiment. For several on the panel it’s about a brand trusting them to know how to communicate with their following, it’s something they do several times a day.
People perhaps forget that this is a platform they have complete control over. Who you follow will dictate your experience. Find inspiration. Caitlin: "If you’re seeing someone on your feed that doesn’t make you feel good, unfollow…. You get to curate this platform, make it amazing". Cassie asks who to follow:
Caitlin and Sam suggest fellow panelist Jess Quinn: https://www.instagram.com/jessicaemilyquinn/
What is success
Instagram, Facebook and Youtube all have complex reporting systems that allow brands to see exactly who their content has reached, where they are, how old they are and how they reacted. Tools like “swipe ups” in stories also let content creators drive action but as Logan points out;
“often measurements like views and reach don’t highlight the depth of the engagement for meaningful content”
Facebook’s insights panel: Each app is able to display who the content is reaching and how they are reacting through a variety of dashboards.
When asked about how they keep up with legal requirements Caitlin Taylor points out that her agency helps her stay on top of specific requirements but that collaborations should, from the start be transparent regardless of the law.
Audience question of the day, Mark Lincoln: What can we as brands do better to support you as influencers:
Jess: "The most success I’ve had is when I get to sit down with the brand themselves, you have the ability to talk and find the midpoint for both your values and your ideas actually meet and you can create something really magical, as opposed to getting a brief that going out to a whole lot of influencers. You can really create some magic when you get to know each other."
Sam: "I find it’s when you work with us on a longer-term basis, not just one off random posts. I find I get a better understanding of brands over time and your followers will relate to that."
Caitlin: "Longer term relationships allow you to really get into Storytelling. On a practical level, have a really clear brief explaining your expectations from the start"
Cassie who’s worked with some of New Zealand’s largest brand feels the most valuable advice is the long term focus as it builds trust and believability. Her first campaign for Air New Zealand with Logan was exactly that, long term, over 6 months, in one instance letting Logan go away and just experience New Zealand for 6 weeks with his best friend Trent.
It’s safe to say Digital Day Out was mind blowing, influencer, data, AI, and Gaming are changing the way we communicate with our communities, my closing point of the day still stands, unless you are involved in these, unless someone in your team or network are living in these worlds you are in the dark and ignoring over 50% of content consumption for under 40s.