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Posted: 30th of October 2018 by Ashleigh St Hill

What do you see in the future of influencer marketing?

eCommerce

Hey guys, so this is a quick one – as I am the social media specialist at cranberry panda, it’s vital to remain up to date with industry trends. Upon observation, it certainly is becoming a trend for Social Media roles to blend into Influencer Marketing, as this area of marketing continues to gain popularity and recognition as an effective means of communicating with audiences.

So, I spent my Wednesday morning on an adventure to Soho House with the intention to develop my knowledge of Influencer Marketing and its tie to the social space now.  Thanks to Social Circle, who hosted a very interesting and insightful discussion on this topic I feel as though my goal was accomplished and my understanding has expanded. When I arrived at the beautiful venue in Soho house, I was greeted with coffee and proceeded to enjoy the event…

Social Circle hosted the event ‘9 Years in 9 Minutes’ – allowing an insight into the early days of influencer marketing, discussing its evolution and looking at the direction it appears to be moving towards. As well as what brands could be doing more to utilise this space better.

The panel consisted of an influencer in the flesh sharing insights on what it’s like to be a creator and personal brand - highlighting some of the blockages and opportunities one can come up against when partnering up with brands to promote and roll out campaigns. The panel also included: 

  • James Erskine: Director of Social Circle - who acted as the moderator within the discussion
  • Hannah Paul: Associate board director - who gave us the agency perspective
  • Joe Friend: Account director at Social Circle - who shared expert insights on this area from both a brand and creator perspective.
  • Beckii Flint: Creator - The Influencer! Sharing insights!

All of which have worked on and contributed to fantastic social media/influencer campaigns!

So, I settled in to my cosy spot and turned my focus to the talk where the future of influencer marketing was discussed as the increased demand from the ecommerce industry rises! It was shared that previously when collaborating with influencers, brand guidelines can be very rigid and thus, ineffective as IG and social media audiences are VERY SAVVY. It is seen that campaigns with a more human element and true to the influencer’s nature are usually the most successful! As a result, brands are now loosening up and offering more autonomy to the creatives, to take a product or a concept and run with it, to create content in a way that they know will land with their audiences in an authentic way and bring about maximum ROI.

Think about it – creatives/ influencers KNOW their audiences well, they built their entire platform and loyal digital audience on their concept. So, collaborating with influencers is kind of a business hack as they already have the magic formula to stimulate brand uplift and directly reach their targeted segment – a survey reveals that consumers are more inclined to follow the guidance of an influencer rather than a business or traditional advertising, so if strategised correctly, Influencer Marketing can have a brilliant financial impact on a business.

Of course, with new business opportunities within social media, it does come with its limitations… we also discussed that with the rise in authentic influencers, also comes the rise in bots and fake followers (!) it’s no secret that you can buy followers online and bots to increase the activity. Thus, it’s also incredibly important to be savvy and know what to look for when collaborating (i.e. – the level of engagement), there are also new A.I systems in place to ‘vet’ influencers as well as ‘Influencer Auditors’ to detect authenticity prior to collaborations to ensure successes for brands and less risk.

Regardless, it’s clear that the ecommerce industry recognises this as a very fruitful space and leaves great room for brands to communicate with their audiences in very engaging, innovative and creative way, in comparison to traditional marketing. To see greater returns, it’s clear a greater level of trust in creatives and genuine relationships between brands and content creators will make this possible. So, I guess what I’m keen to know is ‘would you leave the success of your business campaign in the hands of a creator gone rouge?’

What do you see in the future of influencer marketing? Would love to hear your thoughts below!

For Influencer Outreach and Social Media marketing benchmarking and insights, contact me via email on ashleigh.sthill@cranberrypanda.co.uk

 

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