story telling
Storytelling, shareability and other key ingredients for successful digital communication.
28th Feb 2017
The rise of the influencer
28th Mar 2017

The rise of the influencer


Ads are old news. Today, consumers want content that informs and entertains. And what better way to provide that than through high-profile personalities whose opinions consumers value, and who have direct access to a loyal follower-base? In the first of a two-part interview, three of Transform’s digitally connected staff members tell us more.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to be an influencer but it helps.

Account director Karina van den Heever: “Anybody can be an influencer, as long as their social-media following is big enough.”

Account manager Robyn Oliver: “Celebrities are followed by members of the media; influencers are followed by everyday people.”

Junior account executive Lebogang Serapelwane: “There’s a very thin line between what defines an influencer and what defines a celebrity. Influencers are social-media celebrities.”


Making waves in the South African blogosphere right now…

Karina: “Jozi-based fashionista Trevor Stuurman has over 84k followers on Instagram. He’s constantly engaging with his followers with great images.”

Robyn: “Beauty bloggers are very influential – people go out and buy what they see them using. Aisha Baker-Parnell, who writes an award-winning blog about fashion, beauty and relationships, has 104k followers on Instagram.”

Lebogang: “Thabiso Makhubela, who’s a close friend of mine, established his social-media following while we were students at the University of Johannesburg. He was in an open, happy gay relationship and had a lot of money, and that got him a lot of followers. Now he’s a DJ at YFM and his following just keeps growing.”


Engaging with your market where they live – on their phones

Karina: “People in their 20s are more likely to listen to an influencer than to a journalist.”

Robyn: “If you send a product or provide a service to influencers, and ask them to promote it on their social-media platforms, and they do because they like it, you get your message to your selected target market instantly.”

Lebogang: “We live in a world where young people are always glued to their phones, especially on social media. If you want to sell a product or service that will appeal to the younger generation, it makes sense to use social media.”

“Social media is all about current trends, latest news, hot gossip… so the right way to market something on social media is to make it trend before it’s even available. Look at the iPhone: social media goes totally out of control when there’s a new iPhone about to be released, people queue up ahead of opening time, and stores sell out in hours.” — Junior account executive Lebogang Serapelwane

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