• Elizabeth Kirkhorn

A Comparative Analysis of How Nikon and Canon Use Influencer Marketing

When it comes to the realm of digital photography, two brands reign supreme: Canon and Nikon (Fisher 1). Both are established camera manufacturers with lustrous histories and top-line product catalogues. The influence of Canon and Nikon dates back to the 1950’s, the golden age of film photography, and has only become more prominent with the rise of digital technology (Bruce 1). Naturally, the two- horse race nature of the photography field has lead to an intense rivalry between Canon and Nikon, with each brand struggling to assert the competitive edge of their product in the media. The ebb and flow of advertising trends has seen Canon and Nikon immersed in old and new media, each company attempting to broadcast their brand to the widest and most appealing audiences. In the digital age, the competition has never felt more heated, and the need to push brand message across a growing myriad of outlets has never been more crucial.

Vast advancements in the world of social media, coupled with the growing dominance of online content has lead to the dire need for brands to position themselves on the internet. Influencer marketing, a term unheard of only a few years prior, has begun to take precedence over inbound marketing tools (Dhanik 1). Influencers, online personas with large and engaged followings, are now a necessary portion of any brand’s strategic plan. As socially savvy companies each familiar with the impact of social media on consumer behavior, Nikon and Canon have each launched innovative and personal influencer efforts in the last calendar year.

This research paper explored how Canon and Nikon have designed influencer campaigns that bear certain similarities and differences. The campaigns analyzed took place largely over Instagram, with minor yet notable YouTube components. This comparative analysis looked at four influencer efforts on behalf of Canon, and two on behalf of Nikon. A content analysis of these campaigns focused on imagery and messaging portrayed by those representing each of the two camera brands. The research finally concluded, by analyzing engagement and buzz generated by the influencers tapped by Canon and Nikon, which company is most successfully integrating influencers into its marketing plan.

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