Why Influencer Marketing is here to stay 0 4111

Over the past months, you have probably heard arguments that Influencers are becoming ‘too much’ and that an invisible Influencer Marketing bubble is about to burst anytime soon.

The question though is, is it?

Well, unless your company doesn’t sell a product or service to humans, Influencer Marketing isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Way before Instagram was launched with perfectly curated social media feeds becoming synonymous with high achieving content creators – and many decades before companies partnered with digital celebrities to tap into their social spheres with branded content – movie stars, top models and footballers were using their own names and acquired audiences to endorse products in paid collaborations. People didn’t have any idea about algorithms or ‘likes’, but from the moment the audience could recognize the person fronting a campaign – instead of simply a random person playing a character – the ‘influencer’ factor was switched on.

The main reason influencer marketing has been questioned lately is due to its transparency, authenticity, and the quality of influencers chosen to help push a campaign – something that has more to do with the capacity of in-house marketers and agencies to select the right brand ambassadors rather than with the efficiency of influencer marketing as a valuable tool.

It hasn’t stopped brands and agencies from heavily investing in content creators, though. In fact, Influencer marketing has continued to grow over the last few years, shifting from a respectable $1.7 billion industry in 2016 to an astonishing $6.5 – 8 billion segments in 2019, as reported by the American Influencer Council and Business Insider, respectively.

The statistics surrounding the booming influencer industry probably explains why 8 out of 10 marketing teams have a dedicated budget for influencer marketing this year, as per the 2019 State of Influencer Marketing Report, a global study conducted by Relatable.

Here are the five key reasons that back their decision.

It is scalable

Influencer Marketing is easily adaptable to almost any budget size or region. A recent report by Influencer Marketing Hub, an established Influencer marketing resource for brands and agencies, revealed that 57% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is a scalable tactic in their marketing ecosystem because if a brand wants to create a bigger campaign and target different regions they can alter their approach accordingly. For example, they would need to mainly focus on working with a greater number of influencers with larger followings, as long as they remain relevant to the company’s niche.

It has a higher Return On Investment (ROI)

Because in-house marketers and all agencies need to justify the money spent on any campaign, the so-called ROI (return on investment) remains at the forefront of the minds of most marketing professionals in 2019. However, a 2019 survey of marketers by Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, shows that 89% of in-house marketers believe that the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to, or better than, other marketing channels.

It can help to keep the conversation always on

A long time ago, when customers had a preferred outlet to get their daily dose of entertainment and information, it was easy to plan a campaign, target the platforms where your audience would most likely be hanging around and simply sit and wait for the results to come in. That technique no longer applies to any sector, with one-off campaigns becoming a risk too high to bet marketing budgets on. Due to their low costs, as well as their flexibility, “always on” influencer marketing campaigns have proved an effective way of keeping brand values and key messages in constant motion, leveraging long-term brand ambassador partnerships to keep a continuous and fresh stream of branded content.

It is a popular B2C tool

A study by inbound web marketing analytics and optimization agency Blue Corona found that, from over 800 marketing professionals and brand representatives surveyed, 69% of marketing professionals focus their influencer marketing campaigns on the B2C sector, with Instagram and Facebook leading the choices of most used social media channels for campaigns.

Reach new audiences

Besides helping to spread the news about a new campaign through word-of-mouth, sparking conversations about your product or brand amongst fans, Influencer Marketing campaigns also offer brands the opportunity to tap into the new audiences of content creators. Although some products are much more specific than others and one size doesn’t fit all, reaching a new audience beyond a company’s own social media channels will, at least, increase brand awareness.

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

Social committee proposes EU regulation on influencers 0 86

Perceived by consumers as closer, more authentic and more trustable than traditional advertising or celebrity endorsement, content creators are attracting more brand investment than ever: in 2022 alone, influencer marketing spend jumped from 3.69 billion to 4.14 billion in the U.S., according to data released by American inbound marketing platform Hubspot. The amount of cash trading hands pushed authorities to set standards for the Influencer marketing industry early on. So much so that, in the USA, influencer marketing is considered regulated since 2009, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published for the first time a set of endorsement guides on sponsored content posted by content creators on behalf of brands – including influencers being required to disclose their relationships with companies in a clear way.

Over to Europe, the rules are not as clear.

Unlike traditional advertising, which is subject to very strict rules, influencer advertising can fall through the cracks of ad disclosure. The commercial nature of influencer posts is not always identifiable, with ads featuring alongside similarly styled, but independent editorial content. Companies using influencers as ambassadors for their products and brands also have greater freedom than in conventional advertising.

Now the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union, is trying to reduce the lack of transparency often seen in influencer marketing by proposing that the EU should set specific obligations for both, the administrators of the video-sharing platforms and social media networks on which influencers operate, and for content creators and influencers themselves.

The basic principle of the proposal is that advertisers should leave consumers in no doubt that what they are engaging with is advertising. And they should not mislead consumers or cause serious offence.

“EU already has some mechanisms in place to deal with influencers, which are covered by legislation on both advertisers and sellers/traders. However, we think it would be desirable to have a comprehensive approach given the fast rise of this phenomenon.”, says Bernardo Hernández Bataller, a councilor of the European Economic and Social Committee since 1994. “We would need specific regulation to cover the rights and obligations of the people involved, so that all legal operators and consumers know exactly what is and what is not acceptable.”

Some Member States have gone it alone (France, Spain and the Belgian region of Flanders). But, accord to the recent proposal, a “hard core” of EU rules would be more effective. The EESC argues that it would leave no loopholes allowing different Member States to take a softer line.

The list of suggestions to be adopted by influencers in all 27 member states of the European Union includes it being mandatory for content creators to include a prominent label upfront to highlight that a post is a marketing communication. They would then be liable if they fail to make it sufficiently clear when they are being paid to endorse or promote a product or service.

The proposal highlights that platform administrators and social media networks should also be liable for content published by the content creators and influencers they host, as well as have an obligation to take down illegal content and report illegal activity.

Other issues surrounding influencer marketing featured throughout the report includes the frequent use of child influencers. Concerns regarding content creators as a trade and if their position should be covered by employment laws are also mentioned.

“What about the tax issues raised by influencer advertising? How should we tax influencer income and the profits influencers generate? How should we tax the added value they create?, asks Stefano Palmieri, co-rapporteur.

Even if approved, a new set of rules doesn’t necessary mean that brands and content creators will follow them. In France, in a study of 60 influencers and influencer agencies from January 2023, the French General Directorate of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) showed that 60% did not respect the regulations on advertising and consumer rights.

And in the UK, compliance with labelling requirements when it comes to Influencer Marketing remains low. In 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published an analysis of more than 24,000 Instagram Stories. Of the 5,700 it considered to be marketing material, nearly two-thirds were not clearly identifiable as such.

How is Coronavirus affecting content creators’ income? 0 641

It is official: we are four months into 2020, and a lot has changed since the last time content creators ventured out of their houses for a photoshoot, or to create a branded campaign from scratch.

From Asia to the USA, from Europe to Latin America, current travel restrictions and self-isolation recommendations mean that more people than ever before are working indoors, across all corners of the world, helping fight the spread of Covid-19.

So, how are influencers balancing life in quarantine, creativity restraints, and the loss of income generated by the global pandemic?

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Double Impact

“As a content creator and ski instructor, I have been doubly impacted because you need to be outdoors to carry out both activities, and, right now, it is not a possibility here in Italy.

It has been a month since the last time we were allowed out of the house properly, and the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is worrying.

We try to remain courageous and support each other, but the truth is, we don’t know when all this will end, and life will be back to normal. Hopefully, everything will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Leveraging the Engagement Spike

“It affected me directly as I had worked with brands canceled, as well as a work trip carefully planned to take place during Easter that has been canceled.

I am very practical, though, and as I suddenly found myself at home with lots of extra time, I have dedicated my time to creating content that can help my followers through their quarantine.

From tips to recipes, I am doing whatever I can to keep my Instagram active and useful, besides leveraging the increase of traffic and engagement I have noticed since this novel coronavirus started to change people’s online habits.”

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Fitness Routine Dropped

“Although I love my two dogs, staying full time indoors with them is also driving me insane. I miss going to the gym – and for once, my fitness routine has totally dropped.

I’ve been trying to keep a healthy diet but, I’m just at home watching movies all day. I haven’t been back to work in 2 weeks, and I truly miss it, even seeing my co-workers and just people in general. As an influencer and content creator, the virus has had a kind of up and down effect; for example, I haven’t had any new products for product placement, but I have learned a couple of new things for myself. I’ve learned to dance more, keep in touch more with my family and friends (over FaceTime, of course). In fact, lately, I have been putting together a lot of dance videos, and have even learned a couple of choreographies.

The virus itself is horrible, and I wish it can go away soon, so we can continue with our normal lives and normal living and rebuild a financial structure. Tons of businesses have closed down here in Las Vegas, and hotels and casinos are all boarded up to keep people away.”

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

Negotiations On Hold

“I’m a stay at home mum, and I usually use the time when my son is at the nursery to create content for both my YouTube channel and my Instagram. However, right now, my son’s nursery is closed, so it is really difficult as he consumes most of my time.

It is not only affecting my creativity but my income, too. I had a few brands in which I was at an advanced stage of negotiations for an Influencer Marketing campaign before the lockdown. Unfortunately, they had to put everything on hold due to the unprecedented times.”

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

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