MG Empower founder and president, Maira Genovese, explains how influencer marketing is evolving, and shares tips on how to incorporate it into an overall marketing strategy.
For anyone who doesn’t know about MG Empower, could you tell us a little bit about what it does?
We are a fully integrated marketing powerhouse offering a range of best-in-class marketing services, from community-building and brand co-creation to amplification and full awareness campaigns, to world-class brands, talents and innovators. Across five divisions, we provide our clients with cutting-edge influencer marketing, talent management, in-house design and experiential production, a full-service digital performance and media agency, and a proprietary platform for generating data-driven insights and advanced analytics that we use to propel our winning campaigns #AboveAndBeyond.
What have been the latest developments at the company?
The acquisition by the U.S. headquartered company Amyris.inc in 2021 empowered us to transition from an influencer marketing agency to a marketing powerhouse designed to offer a complete assortment of services for brands and digital talents. This expansion process was kicked off with the launch of five business divisions – MG Influencer, MG Media, MG Studio, MG Platform and MG Talent. The ecosystem is now installed in our brand new headquarters in London, a cutting-edge project featured with innovative and interactive elements. This journey also paved the way for us to officially launch our operation in the U.S. with a world-class team based in New York.
How do you think influencer marketing has evolved over the years?
I believe the industry has gone through a first transformation with the evolution from aspirational to inspirational content. The perfect picture, the perfect outfit, the perfect routine, all of those were replaced when audiences started to engage better with real and authentic content. The relatability became a key metric within this landscape.
And now I think we’re facing another transformation, when influencer marketing strategies have established themselves at the centre of marketing as the assertive way to reach audiences and nurture relationships. This integrated approach is happening and positioning influencer marketing as the link the connects brands to targets in a smart and sustainable way – it’s not an add-on investment anymore. This is reshaping the relationships among brands, consumers and, of course, influencers.
How is influencer marketing reshaping companies’ marketing strategies?
This new era of influencer marketing is certainly reshaping content production and development of strategies as well as the budget allocated for those. With the inspirational approach, brands are moving to a more natural and organic direction of branded content, more relatable and authentic. One of the things I’ll touch on during the next DMWF NA is how influencers are the best storytellers for brands and how storytelling is part of this new integrated approach – in which the traditional product placement and CTA (buy now, see now) is replaced by real stories, connections and products featured in a natural way, in the middle of a – well – story. In other words, influencer marketing allows marketers to sell without selling, a natural CTA is built in.
To what extent do you think deeper integration of influence drives results?
Integration of influence is the new position given to influencer marketing as a central connector of marketing strategies. It means moving influencer marketing from the status of an add-on component to the link that supports brands on reaching consumers and developing relationships with their targets across different touchpoints. It’s effective because it’s about integrating the influence to the business goals through different marketing touchpoints – which ends up amplifying the reach of messages. A good way to think about it is realising that every successful marketing campaign or strategy has at least two points in common: authenticity and relatability. Not surprisingly, these are the two key aspects of influencer marketing.
What advice would you give to companies that want to integrate influence with their overall marketing strategy?
Mainly, think of influencer marketing beyond social media, as a link that connects different marketing touchpoints. And consider the whole customer funnel with this approach – remember communities are not single-channel anymore, they’re multiplatform. Finally, focus on keeping the conversation going with real and long-lasting impact, beyond conversion. And, of course, I’ll share much more in our session for the next DMWF NA.
Are there any examples of integrated influencer marketing campaigns that you feel have been particularly successful?
I love to talk about some of the campaigns we have worked on recently that completely translate the idea of integration of influence – like Costa Brazil’s launch of its first fragrance with a 4-phase super integrated strategy combining influencers with experience, immersion and livestream. And Biossance launch in Portugal, merging influencer marketing with experience marketing and OOH, another great case study that proves how much this new integrated influence can drive effective results and support strong connections between brands and their targets.
What plans does MG Empower have for the year ahead?
We’re very focused on continuing to develop a deeper integration of our services, especially within the upcoming possibilities of Web 3.0. We’re now about to launch our first NFT collection – a fantastic project that will open the space for brands who want to dive into this ecosystem but don’t know how to start – and soon we’ll have much more to come in this space. Along with the opening of our NY office, we’re structuring the establishment of our Innovation & Growth arm to support brands on not only navigating immersive and virtual experiences, but also on making better investments in this space, with a Research operation that will help them understand their audiences and the assertive venues to consider. All very exciting!
At DMWF North America 2022, in Santa Clara on October 5, Maira Genovese will give a presentation titled ‘Moving upstream: why deeper integration of influence drives results’. Register to attend for free here.
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