[WATCH] Is sustainability the new trend in influencer marketing? – AGS Europe
In an AGS Europe 2021 panel which was held in Malta, the moderator Mike Prasad, Founder & CEO of TinySponsor, and the speakers Hassan Bash, CEO of Bash Revenue Digital, and Noureddine Khiti, Founder & CEO of CODshopy, discuss whether sustainability is the new trend in influencer marketing.
In this panel, the moderator Mike Prasad, together with the two panelists Noureddine Khiti and Hassan Bash discuss the topic of whether sustainability is a new trend in influencer marketing. Prasad asks Bash “what is the role in value statements in marketing in general, and [whether] it [applies] to individuals”.
Bash says that if he were coaching some executives and CEOs, he would go through the process of asking. He would ask about the direction that the organization wants to go to, whether there is enough mental and physical energy, and whether they can actually inspire and influence their team. He adds that to influence the value system, you have to ask questions and listen rather than speaking. This helps to connect and results in a better value system. Prasad agrees to posing questions because through them the values will surface. He adds that in influencer marketing, “sustainability is an outcome that focuses on a core set of values”; values shared by everyone within the company.
Prasad asks Khiti how do they find the right affiliate for the right client and how do they align value. Khiti says that as product producers they look for influencers who teach customers how to buy and submit orders online. He gives an example the cash on delivery model which needs a Lead Capture page and the influencers who can show that to the client are the right influencers because they can bring in customers who can increase the average order value (AOV). He makes the distinction between influencers who influence people, and affiliates who bring traffic to themselves. Influencers tell stories, affiliates are good at digital marketing. Prasad agrees that they are different adding that he sees them as “two sides of the same coin”. He adds that in the next couple of years he sees influencers and affiliates “merging to [create] a hybrid model where the content and the performance are equally as important”. Prasad says that “when you think about what drives someone to take an action, you have to connect with them on their own value systems”, be it corporates, affiliates, or influencers.
Follow the whole panel discussion here:
Prasad says that during the global pandemic, the audiences’ value systems have shifted more to sustainability and those who are “able to translate that vision […] are going to profit and grow”. Khiti says that now is the high time for sustainability because of social media which is accessible by the masses; therefore, it is important to legalize it and to structure it. He poses the question of whether influencers will start paying taxes thus becoming legal and living longer or whether they are just passing by. For Khiti, sustainability is mandatory right now in social media.
Bash says that there are both pros and cons for sustainability in a company. If the company connects with the right sustainability, be it social, environmental, or economic, the message will be great and will put the company on the positive side. However, the company needs to choose “the right [sustainability] that aligns to the moral purpose of the company; so, it goes back to the identity of the company”. Moreover, he adds that the company, or the executive, “need to choose the right sustainability from the 17 goals”. If the company doesn’t do enough research about the sustainability program and chooses one that goes the completely opposite way, it will ruin the reputation of the company.
Prasad adds that there are a lot of non-sustainable companies that hire influencers who are in a sustainable space, this way they will appear to be sustainable. He adds that this is greenwashing and it will definitely backfire. However, he adds, we are now seeing “that sustainability is becoming more than just a trend” and people are trying to understand how sustainability can actually impact their business. They would then measure it and see the results with which they would align “the goals and the values of a financial growth and improving the world”. Prasad and Bash add that the alignment is very important, otherwise it definitely backfires the moral purpose.
Prasad says that we need to have “sustainable sustainability”. He adds that this “is something that we’re seeing more of in the corporate world, in the influencer space, and in the content space”. He says that some of the top brands that are in the e-comm space have “actually grown on this mission of sustainability and making a win-win solution for their advertisers, for themselves, and for their customers”. He says that he “would argue that a lot of what led to that success is that there’s alignment around value systems and making sure that it actually translates into e-comm experience; into the experience of the customers when they put on the shoe, [when they] put on the glasses, for example”. Moreover, he adds, that these companies “focused on affiliates that had the same ideology as their mission”.
Prasad wraps up the panel by saying that the “idea of aligning value sets on all talents with the executives, to the marketing, to the e-comm, the influencer” is the “combination to create a win-win solution”.
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