RACE TALKS – “BRANDS NEED TO LOOK BEYOND THE NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS”

Debate with Rafael Dantas (from the YouTube channel ‘Rango do Rafa’) and Julia Jaccoud (from the YouTube channel ‘A Matemaníaca’) discusses the potential of digital influencers as strategic channels.  

By Bruno Uehara

Last Tuesday (23 of February) yet another edition of our knowledge sharing event Race Talks took place, where professionals from the communications sector meet to discuss related subjects. For our first debate in 2018, we invited the digital influencers Rafael Dantas from the YouTube cooking channel Rango do Rafa and Julia Jaccoud, known as A Matemaníaca (The Mathmaniac). The couple explained how the relationship between influencers and brands work and what the main challenges are for professionals in this area.

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According to Rafael, who has been producing video recipes for the past four years, many companies limit themselves to channels that have millions of followers, and for this reason, end up missing strategically interesting parts of the audience. “Brands need to look beyond the number of followers. It’s not always the case that the majority of the followers of a YouTube channel are part of the target group”, he pointed out.

Julia, who presents mathematics beyond theoretical formulas, deals with a segment of influencers that is still in a phase of development: that of education. Contrary to that of gastronomy, which has become very popular and has a number of spokespersons, her category is starting to gain attention primarily through the platform YouTube Edu, of which she is a collaborator, and which gathers video classes on various subjects. “My channel focuses on promoting mathematics without the use of theories and formulas. The niche is very specific, which makes it difficult to find partnerships with brands”, she adds.   

Read more: Strategic planning with influencers

For Rafael, creative freedom is the keyword for any successful action. In other words, the less limiting a briefing is, the more natural the speech of the influencer will sound. “I often receive some minor directions from the brands, together with the main points that need to be highlighted. This format works well because the owner of the channel knows his audience and knows what is the best way to produce the content.” Moreover, the more influencers that are involved in a campaign, the more effective the impact will be. Rafael gave the example of the action #CaixaSurpresaAjinomoto, in connection with the 60 year celebration of Ajionomoto do Brasil – one of Race Communications clients – which had the participation of ten gastronomic influencers in a culinary challenge.

Despite the difference in themes between Rango do Rafa and A Matemaníca, Rafael and Julia both repeatedly highlighted the fact that digital influencers have a huge potential to be explored and need to be considered strategic communications channels. The current moment is a transition period and, in a near future, they will be able to conquer the spot of traditional media outlets such as magazines, newspapers and event, television.