Influencers don’t simply create content for brands anymore. They can help communicate the brand promise, through their personal experience.
Influencer marketing has skyrocketed as an industry in recent years. “The State of Influencer Marketing 2019 : Benchmark Report” highlights how influencer marketing was a $1.7 billion industry in 2017 and is expected to grow to $6.5 billion in 2019. This growth is a direct response to the number of influencers creating branded content and engaging their followers to interact with the brand.
Top influencers are frequently invited to participate in more and more marketing campaigns because brand’s recognize the power they have with their audiences. An increase in brand opportunities can become a full-time responsibility for an influencer to review and consider. Many have turned to talent managers to represent them in deal negotiations. Some influencers have begun to manage and grow up-and-coming influencers. Patrick Starrr, the beauty vlogger who counts 4.3 million subscribers on YouTube, has quietly added management to his résumé.
FYI Talent Management, a division of Find Your Influence, exclusively manages a select roster of 20+ influencers. Working directly with talent booking, advertising and public relations agencies, FYI Talent Management represents, guides, secures and executes brand opportunities for it’s talent roster. The talent managers at FYI Talent Management have offered up three things they want brands to understand when working with social media influencers.
Out with the Old, In with the INfluencer
Social media influencers have curated their audience. Their followers are paying attention. When brands are developing their marketing strategy, influencer marketing should be given the same weight and consideration as older, “traditional media.”
“Influencers have a tailored audience. Investing in influencer marketing campaigns should be given the same consideration as investing in a television commercial,” explained Fred Nguyen, former COO of FYI Talent Management.
According to “2019 Influencer Marketing Report: A Marketer’s Perspective” published on MobileMarketer.com, marketers cite reaching their target audience (35%) and building trust/credibility (35%) as the top benefits of collaborating with influencers. “There shouldn’t be as wide of a gap in the dollars invested in influencer marketing than traditional media. Influencer marketing allows brands to more precisely target their customer base,” said Nguyen.
Influencers Know Their Audience Best
“I wish brands better understood that influencers know their audience best. Scripting content for an influencer will come across inauthentic to their followers,” shares Katie White, former Talent Manager with FYI Talent Management. Influencers generally don’t engage with brands if they aren’t authentically interested in the product. And their followers know it.
“Most influencers have spent years curating content to grow their following,” explains White. “Followers are smart. They feel as though they know influencers so intimately and the second something is out of the ordinary, they will spot it and call it out,” explains White.
In a blog post earlier this year, Priyanki Dayai, an independent content and influencer marketing strategist, explained it best. She described that when working with influencers, “…brands have to let go and allow influencers control of the narrative to preserve the authenticity of what is being communicated.”
Influencing Is More Than Taking a Photo
Influencers don’t simply create content for brands anymore. They can help communicate the brand promise, through their personal experience. This isn’t just a photo and a post. It’s much more.
“It’s really helpful for brands to understand that an influencer does more than post a photo with a caption,” shares Nguyen. “When you contract with an influencer, you’re engaging one individual to be the content writer, the photographer, the model, and the editor, all in one.”
In a May 2019 post, influencer Alice T.Chew shines a spotlight on how she’s more than a blogger. She’s also an editor, a web developer, the art director, model, stylist, makeup artist and often a part-time accountant and paralegal when reviewing contract offers.
When brands have a deeper understanding of influencers they can better appreciate the marketing opportunity. And with a $6.5 billion industry awaiting, opportunity truly awaits.