In this post we get some interesting thoughts on Influencer Marketing in the New Zealand market. Although late to the IM party, the tight knit community means that word-of-mouth marketing, brand advocacy and the power of the influencer has the potential to play a huge part in marketing success. In a unique position to give this insight, The Social Club (https://thesocialclub.co), a New Zealand based creative influencer marketing based agency present their thoughts below:

Influencer Marketing hits New Zealand shores

Influencer marketing came to force in Australia around 2013. In New Zealand it’s now finally emerging as a serious contender for creative consideration and media spend.

Influencers are paving their way into the New Zealand marketing scope and slowly, industry expectations and standards are being developed. Brands are now clearly acknowledging the importance of collaborations with influential and passionate consumers, and influencers are starting to find their feet as professionals.

For anyone overseas looking to hit the NZ market, you must remember that it is an entirely different landscape, even from that of Australia. If you are looking at engaging influencers in New Zealand, here are a few things to keep in mind:

We’re still catching up

New Zealand is behind much of the world in the influencer marketing space: we were slow off the mark but we are catching up quickly.

Like elsewhere, it started with influential social media users receiving product, with an expectation of social posts in exchange. The product exchange shortly died down as influencers were receiving copious amounts of irrelevant product that didn’t resonate with their audiences and couldn’t pay their bills, pushing influencers forward into the professional era.

In saying this, many of the top accounts in New Zealand are still yet to engage in paid collaborations, so don’t expect that when you you contact someone, they will necessarily have a predetermined price or that they will be familiar with core influencer marketing processes, such as scheduling & pre-approval of content.

The influencers who were early into professionalism have been able to capitalise enormously: many charging disproportionate fees due to the high demand for them as reliable and proven industry professionals.

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We operate on a different scale

When looking at the New Zealand influencer market from the outside, one must remember the scale of New Zealand compared to its counterparts – Australia, USA, UK and Europe. New Zealand’s market at 4.5M is a fifth of the size of Australian market.

This is an important consideration when collaborating with kiwi influencers. You need to lower expectations with their account size and be willing to focus on micro-influencer collaborations. It’s equally important to keep in mind, that many of the top social accounts from New Zealand (in terms of follower size) have followings dominated by overseas markets (particularly the US).

The selection and variety of influencers in New Zealand is also smaller but growing rapidly. Over the last year, we’ve seen The Social Club Influencer community grow to over 1,200 passionate social content creators in NZ alone. Given the significantly smaller pool of influencers and higher level of competition for them, we’ve advised brands to focus on more meaningful, longer term relationships where possible.

Due to the Kiwi way of life and our natural landscape we certainly see strengths in the categories of adventure, travel, photography, lifestyle, food, fitness and health. Areas of growth we’re seeing include fashion, business and technology.

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat.

As is the case with all other markets, it’s important to research your target market and discover which platform they populate in order to consider which social platforms to engage influencers on in New Zealand.

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are the top three platforms that the Social Club Influencers are using – and are certainly the top three engaged by brands for influencer campaigns.

Depending on your target audience and campaign KPIs, these three can be super effective in New Zealand, as can YouTube. Twitter also offers value but has had a relatively poor adoption rate in NZ and a low percentage of daily active users.

Understanding Kiwis

NZ consumers are conservative and skeptical by nature. We are anti-advertising, proven by our adoption rate of ad-blockers being up there with the highest in the world. For this reason there has to be an enormous focus put on authentic collaborations when engaging in the influencer space in NZ. In fact anything else is likely to damage your brand.

Also worth noting is the high proportion of deals in New Zealand – including the majority of influencer collaborations – that are still executed within our famous “2 degrees” of separation (the concept that in NZ we are all much closer connected than else where in the world) – a sad truth! This lend itself nicely to influencer marketing, as we take word of mouth recommendations as seriously as the ultimate endorsement. When entering the market as a brand, we would however suggest connecting with a local agency to gain inner-circle access and traction.

Summary

As a whole, the Influencer marketing scene is fast paced, exciting and constantly on the move here in New Zealand. Over the next twelve months you can expect to see New Zealand following closer in line with the global industry standards.

For now, if you can understand the underlying nature of the New Zealander, as well as the players and the landscape, there is a huge opportunity here in a space still in its infancy.

Thought Leader Profile

The Social Club

The Social Club is New Zealand’s largest community of social media influencers: 1,200 passionate social content creators, excited to engage with brands for influencer collaborations.

If you are seeking guidance on the influencer space in New Zealand, please touch base with the team at enquiries@thesocialclub.co

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