Blue Hour Studios, a new content agency recently launched by Horizon Media and Group Nine Media, has made its first big creative hire--renowned influencer Ben Soffer—who will serve as director of influencer marketing.
Soffer has more than 1.7 million followers under the handle @boywithnojob.
While his job will be to help guide the agency’s social media relationships, Soffer spoke with MediaPost about how his role is evolving and what influencer marketing means for advertisers in a post-pandemic world.
“We are seeing influencers’ content creation habits shift, focusing heavily on serviceable content such as routine maintenance and escapism, as well as cause-marketing driven content,” he says. This type of content is not being created solely by your “typical influencer.” Rather, everyone is getting in on the action, he says. For example, Kevin Hart and his IGTV show “Confessions of the Hart” serves as an example of escapism content geared towards keeping his audience entertained, and distracted during the stress-inducing lockdown period.
“As a result, we need to broaden our definition of what it means to be an influencer,” he says. “It is no longer just social natives with engaged audiences that are going to be seeking brand partnerships, it will also be celebrities seeking out sponsors for their social content.”
What does this mean for marketers? “Act now,” Soffer says. As someone who knows through his own deals, influencer fees and partnerships have decline precipitously due to the pandemic. “Now is not the time to stay quiet, now is the time to take advantage of the marketplace, and ink long term brand ambassadorships that extend far after quarantine, at a fraction of the cost,” he recommends.
One tactic would be to begin a partnership as a cause marketing driven program, but evolve it into a sales driven initiative in the future.