What's the future for influencer marketing?

What's the future for influencer marketing?

Our Harnessing the Power of Influencer Marketing 2.0 event shone a light on the influencer marketing landscape with an expert panel of speakers. Our very own Head of Digital Kinda Jackson was joined by powerhouse influencer, content creator and flexible working activist Anna Whitehouse (aka Mother Pukka), as well as Chris Davis, Head of Brand Partnerships at Gleam Futures. Discover their insights into the future of influencer marketing:

“Let’s move from influencer marketing to influencer relationships”

Kinda Jackson

In summary:

Kinda Jackson looked back on the birth of the industry and marked the many rapid changes that it’s experienced thanks to advancements in technology, seeing platforms becoming a place for brands to play. The speed of uptake in this new wave of social influencer led to mistakes, which in turn saw the onset of legislation and a question of authenticity.

She suggests that the future of brand partnerships is through always on campaigns, which match brands to influencers whose personal narratives and preferences fit with the brands objectives.

Kinda introduced PRISM, MSL UK’s bespoke scoring methodology to select influencers for brands based on campaign objectives. The methodology is a full qualitative and quantitative analysis of influencers using online tools and a team of humans to recommend which influencers brands should work with based on three metrics; relevance, authenticity and authority.

An example of a campaign which took all of these measures into account, and has seen real results, is Renault’s #BehindCarDoors campaign which was executed with influencers Mother Pukka and Father of Daughters over the space of a year.

“I know who’s listening to me and I’m speaking to them”

Anna Whitehouse

Anna Whitehouse started Mother Pukka because she saw an opportunity calling from a growing industry that she’d recognised while working for Stylist magazine. From her years of experience, she pulled out “the good, the bad and the ugly” as a blogger and Instagram influencer working with brands.

You can read her blog ‘Under the influence’ on our website here to find out more, or watch her presentation in full above.

“Just because your CMO knows who someone is, doesn’t mean they’re a great fit”

Chris Davis

In summary:

Chris Davis’s role as head of brand partnerships at Gleam Futures means he is at the heart of influencer and brand relationships. He outlines that influencers are creators first, and often uncomfortable with the word “influencer”. He suggests working with them can be akin to dating. Here are his steps to success:

 1. What do you want from the relationship?

Influencers are not a silver bullet, so it’s important to figure out what your objectives are, and who you’re trying to reach upfront.

2. Play the field

It’s important to consider influencers beyond reach and popularity, find the person who’s correct for your project with the right research.

 3. Get to know your date’s friends

It’s important to get to know an influencers audience demographics, to understand the type of content they create, who they create it for and whether it is brand friendly.

 4. Communication is key

The kind of content that falls flat is that which is solely dictated by a brand, rather than the influencer themselves. Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve when engaging influencers but give them creative control.

 5. It’s all about commitment

Long term partnerships are more effective than a single “pay-to-play” piece of content, as through repeat messaging the audience get to know that a creator really does love that brand.

6. Get engaged

Don’t assume a like or comment is an engagement. Voucher codes, trackable links and other measures of success can help you establish ROI, and the level of influence your campaign has wielded.


Panel Discussion: Looking to the future.

In summary: 

We closed the event with a panel discussion to consider the future of influencer marketing.

Anna spoke of how data discussions around the Facebook crisis have changed her audiences perception of social media for the good, and allowed users to take a healthy step back. Chris added that the biggest impact of these changes won’t be for creators, but for brands and agencies that will see their API’s become ineffective at pulling data on users. Kinda went on to say that these changes were an inevitable “seven year itch” in response to oversaturation, and the awareness of audiences is simply a chance to create quality content.

The group went on to discuss diversity and inclusion in influencer campaigns, and the fact that a need for transparency is inevitable from the start.

Audience questions included: how the process of selecting influencers should work, how a brand can partner with influencers with limited budgets and how we can measure the success of influencers. Kinda, Chris and Anna’s insightful answers can be viewed in the film above:

If you’d like to find out more about how influencers can help achieve your brand objectives, get in touch with Claire Hutchings.

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