Running for its third consecutive year, the Influencer Marketing Show has just wrapped up its two-day show in London, gathering a wide range of agencies, brands and content creators under the same roof.
At a period of time when 86% of people surveyed for a 2019 benchmark report (including brand managers and marketing agency professionals) admit they plan to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on influencers this year, it was no surprise that the recurrent topics evolved around influencer marketing transparency, specifically, considering how to best measure it based on recent cases of brands paying influencers to, unfortunately, get mainly ghost followers and fake engagement rates in return.
So, how can the real content creators, the ones that are working up to 12 hours a day to balance their clients’ demands and to produce genuine followers’ engagement, stand out when it comes to effective influencer marketing? Here, professionals share their views and tips.
Strategically work instead of work being simply transactional
“It is about encouraging influencers to be as transparent as possible, being totally open about what they can offer, about their KPIs. Influencers sometimes don’t want to connect their insights or disclose the full picture of their metrics. And, when it happens, this always elicits the question: Is there something that they are trying to hide?
Besides transparency, I believe that as we move towards 2020, it is about influencers and advertisers learning to work strategically, instead of transactionally. Content marketing is often very transactional, but influencer marketing goes beyond it.
Kim Westwood – founder of content market place Shoplinks.
Influencers should have a story
“I think it is all about storytelling. I always engage with people and talk about my own experiences. I think, first of all, you have to have a relevant story to subsequently be an influencer. You can’t be an influencer just by posting pictures of your outfits or pushing for consumerism, for people to buy something. Influencerism is more than that. It is about inspiring people, it is about having a story that matters and being able to answer questions like ‘Why are you doing what you do online?’, ‘How do you better yourself’? From the brand side, the company also have to always ask the right questions, starting from: ‘what do we really want to achieve with that campaign?’ ‘Does the influencer that we have in mind have a story that matches the direction that our brand wants to go?’, or ‘Does the influencer have the right demographic to help towards our campaign goals?’ Once these key questions are clearly outlined, it is easy to take it from there and to build a successful case for the right collaborations.
Arooj Aftab – Fashion Influencer and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) advocate.
“What we have seen a lot, from the influencer side, is their disregard for brand guidelines as a trade-off for favouring their aesthetic – they want to do their own content the way they always do it even when it is a paid piece. Of course, it is very important to let content creators express themselves freely because they know how to speak to their audiences but, on the other hand, if they are getting paid to communicate on behalf of a brand there is a need to get the right balance between money and creativity. If this balance is not established early on, then it can become problematic further down the line. What I recommend influencers to do is to get, from the very beginning, into a co-creation process, not just created in their own corner in an isolated manner. The very same thing applies to brands and their marketing agencies: don’t try to just impose your vision because collaborative content creation will thrive.”
William Soulier – CEO at influencer marketing platform Talent Village.
Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.