Influencer marketing hit the digital marketing world hard. Immediately, companies saw a staggering return on investment (ROI)—with numbers like Inc’s reported influencer marketing delivering 11 times that of other types of digital marketing. With that level of potential return, it’s natural that marketing leaders would gravitate toward influencer marketing campaigns. However, as the market became more sophisticated, and a gold rush mentality drew new influencers, brands, and emerging platforms to the space, the dynamics quickly changed. Here’s a closer look at how the influencer marketing space is changing as it matures.
Customers’ Changing Relationships to Influencer Content
One of the benefits to investing in influencer marketing was that many customers authentically believed that content and recommendations came from an organic passion on the part of the content creator. As influence marketing has picked up speed, more influencers have cashed in, and brands are increasingly folding influencer campaigns into their marketing. Consumers are always wary of what feels like advertising, and many are frustrated when they realize what they thought was organic content was sponsored. Adapt to this evolving dynamic by:
- Working with influencers who have a strong relationship with their audience;
- Letting the influencers lead the way in crafting content that’s going to be authentic and engaging to their audience; and
- Marking sponsored content clearly so that audiences see your influencer marketing as transparent.
Influencers Rethinking Brand Partnerships
When influencer marketing began to emerge, content creators saw it as a reliable way to monetize the work they often do for low pay or for passion alone. From YouTube channels to Instagram accounts to full-fledged blogs, influencer marketing reached into many different communities and channels. Whether it was sponsored posts or cocreated content, many content creators inundated their audiences with brand content.
As a result, many of them began to experience negative effects among their audience, from losing followers to receiving critical comments to lower engagement. This left some influencers rethinking their brand partnerships. Influencers want to work with brands that really align with their audiences and provide content creators with the creative freedom to deliver high-impact campaigns. Consider how to make your brand more attractive to the influencers you want to reach—and by extension, make it possible to leverage the brand.
The Rise of the Platform
When a space gains steam and popularity, companies arise to help fill that gap and make it easier for brands to participate in the marketplace. Within influencer marketing, a number of different platforms and agencies have been created to help companies better manage their relationships with influencers. These intermediary organizations include:
- Talent agencies that manage influencers
- Tools to make it easier to track performance and ROI
- Marketplaces where brands can select their own influencers or where influencers can bid on campaigns
- Tools that make it easier to launch cross-channel campaigns
- Teams and tools that can manage your campaign from end to end
For brands that are anxious to embrace influencer marketing, it’s critical to understand the new order that is emerging from the gold rush mentality of the last few years. By understanding how the market is evolving, brands can develop strategies that leverage the influencer marketing techniques to reach audiences and improve the bottom line.