Why Influencer Marketing is here to stay 0 3346

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.

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How can Influencers bounce back from a bad reputation they have recently gained? 0 274

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.

Get into a co-creation mode

“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.

Who are the top digital influencers in Britain in 2019? 0 9930

Being a reality star in Britain won’t help you gain influence. At least, not in accord to the list of Top 100 influencers, released this month by The Sunday Times, lacking modern celebrities whose newfound careers last merely as long as their reality shows are being aired. These findings are the case despite most of them trying hard to become social media influencers in order to extend their 15 minutes of fame.

The list, which includes young entrepreneur and lifestyle YouTuber Zoe Sugg in 53rd position and fitness coach and author Joe Wicks in 60th, was determined using an algorithm created by digital trends platform CORQ. This algorithm scored influencers based on audience size, growth and engagement rate, as well as their social activity over time.

Men took the top four of the content creator ranking spots with Youtuber PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg (11M subscribers on YouTube and counting), being named the most influential digital star in Britain. Coming in at number five, lifestyle blogger Saffron Barker (2 million subscribers on YouTube) is the most influential woman on the list.

Influencers, bloggers and vloggers with a solid fan-base are now able to command five-figure sums in exchange for brand investments. Over recent years, influencer marketing has been on the rise, with the digital influence market forecasted to be worth £8bn by 2020.

The top 25 most influential digital stars in Britain are:

1: Felix Kjellberg

YouTube Channel: PewDiePie

Subscribers: 101, 039, 359

What he does: talks about gaming

 

2: Olajide William Olatunji

Subscribers: 7,395,610

What he does: Rapper and professional boxer.

 

3: Craig Thompson

Subscribers: 5,743,326

What he does: Gaming

 

4: Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch

Subscribers:10,641,232

What they do: Football freestylers

 

5: Saffron Barker

Subscribers: 2,187,330

What she does: Lifestyle blogger

 

6: Joe Sugg

Subscribers: 3,662,907

What he does: Entertainment

 

7: Chelsea Clarke

Subscribers: 244,894

What she does: Beauty blogger

 

8: Callum Leighton Airey

Subscribers: 3,146,776

What he does: Gaming

 

9: Joshua Bradley

Subscribers: 2,102,975

What he does: Gaming

 

10: Colin Furze

Subscribers: 8,427,123

What he does: Entertainment

 

11: Alastair Alken

Subscribers: 16,520,959

What he does: Gaming

 

12: Patricia Bright

Subscribers: 2,804,914

What she does: Beauty blogger

 

13: The Saccone Jolys

Subscribers: 1,903,313

What they do: Family videos over 10 years

 

14: Theo Baker

Subscribers: 824,247

What he does: Football

 

15: Emmanuel John Brown

Subscribers: 1,557,521

What he does: Football

 

16: Jordan Lipscombe

Subscribers: 1,734,130

What she does: Beauty

17: Holly Boon

Subscribers: 675,374

What she does: Beauty

 

18: Gaz Oakley

Subscribers: 703,540

What he does: Vegan food content creator

 

19: Ling Khac Tang

Subscribers: 300,997

What she does: Beauty

 

20: Amelia Liana Sopher

Subscribers: 496,896

What she does: Lifestyle

 

21: Tamara Kalinic

Subscribers: 207,697

What she does: Beauty/Fashion

 

22: Safwan Ahmedmia

Subscribers: 1,377,673

What he does: Technology

 

23: Estee Lalonde

Subscribers: 1,174,388

What she does: Lifestyle vlogger

 

24: Sarah Turner

Subscribers: 885

What he does: Parenting content

 

25: The Ingham Family

Subscribers: 1,262,249

What they do: Parenting content

 

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