APPLE TREE held the latest edition of APPLE TREE BYTES this week in Madrid at the Comet Retiro space. The event, titled “Influencers & Next Gen: How to connect with new audiences”, brought together representatives from brands, media, and influencers to discuss new models of communication and marketing to connect with new audiences (Gen Z and Alpha). The roundtable discussion was moderated by Sergio Barreda, CEO of Keeper, and featured Benja Serra, Content Creator; Isabel Salazar, Country Manager at Podimo; María Crespo, Connection Specialist at Pernod Ricard; Raquel García Trigueros, Content and Marketing Director at Freeda Media España; and Sabrina Torres, Agency Partner at Meta España.
Jacobo Zelada, Chief Innovation Officer at APPLE TREE, opened the session and explained how brands can reach these audiences: “Brands have a great opportunity to connect with the new generations because we are at a moment in history where brands and consumers share many of the same concerns. The challenge for brands is to identify these issues and focus their message on them rather than on the commercial elements on which advertising communication has relied until now”.
In this sense, influencers have become the best channel for reaching new generations in a natural and authentic way. However, these audiences are increasingly following profiles that are more specialized in trends and tastes. According to data from IAB Spain, one out of every two people currently follows an influencer on social networks in Spain. This suggests that brands need to know how to identify the influencers of these generations in order to reach their target audience effectively.
Sergio Barreda, CEO of Keeper, highlighted during the meeting the value of research and prior analysis of the influencers who participate in a campaign for it to be a success: “For me, working with influencers depends on two factors: a qualitative factor and a quantitative one. The qualitative part involves knowing the profiles you hire for the brands and that they connect with them in terms of lifestyle, tastes and values. In short, it is a profile that matches the brand because, at the end of the day, they are putting the brand’s voice on social networks. On the other hand, it is not enough for the profile to connect with the brand; it also has to achieve quantitative objectives, such as an adequate CPM and an optimal return… When these two factors connect is when the profile is the right one for the brands”.
For María Crespo, Connection Specialist at Pernod Ricard, the key to connecting with the Next Gen is to “choose prescribers who are of interest to the target or who can join the community of these consumers, choosing the same communication codes and working on formats and immediacy”. From the influencer’s side, Benja Serra, content creator, pointed out that “if we respect the type of content that the creator creates, the audience will perceive it as something much more natural”. And the same happens when brands work with media aimed at this target, such as Freeda. According to Raquel García Trigueros, Director of Content and Marketing of the medium, “It is essential to have a clear brand purpose and a brief that matches the values of the medium so that you are authentic and that the message arrives naturally”.
In addition to content, adapting to new formats is key to achieving a connection. For Sabrina Torres, Agency Partner at Meta Spain, “Brands have to adapt to all the locations and formats that they usually consume so that communication is more realistic, more enjoyable, where they can feel part of the message”. One of the formats that is experiencing its best moment is precisely the podcast, which Podimo is adapting to the consumption patterns of the Next Gen: “The new generations have little time and are looking for content that connects with them quickly. Video is their native form, and that’s why at Podimo, we offer not only podcasts but also videos to accompany the content”, added Isabel Salazar, Country Manager of Podimo.
The event concluded with a discussion about the future of influencer marketing and how brands can continue to connect with new audiences in a meaningful way. The panellists agreed that influencer marketing is here to stay but will need to evolve to meet the needs of the ever-changing digital landscape.
For the last ten years, APPLE TREE has been talking to the most important business leaders of the moment to analyse the changes in business models and how they apply NEW THINKING in their marketing and communication strategies.
APPLE TREE BYTES has been visited by personalities such as Ignacio Prieto, Global CMO of CUPRA and SEAT; Jamie Angus, Director of BBC World Service; Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Football Group; Francisco Polo, former director of Change.org; and Brian Solis, Head of Global Innovation at ServiceNow, among many others.