Influencer marketing is catching fire, fueled by growing frustration with out-of-touch brand messaging that relies on distracting tactics to capture attention. Brands everywhere are taking notice, and nearly 60% of marketers have reported that they plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in the next twelve months. As one agency noted, “The question [from clients] isn’t, ‘We want to do something with influencers; what do you think?’ It’s, ‘What’s the influencer strategy for this program?’”
And with good reason. Influencers can add value for brands in ways that traditional advertisers can’t touch. They’re more relatable, less annoying, and their work (and in many cases, their livelihood) is dependent upon their commitment to putting the interests of their audiences first. As blogger Toni Dash shared at our State of Influence conference last week: “The worst thing as an influencer is for someone to try your suggestion and have it not work. They’d never trust you again”. It’s promotion with a personal touch, that benefits brands, consumers, and the influencers who connect them.
Influencer marketing is based on the age-old concept that opinions we trust can move us to action. But, how did that simple truth give rise to the powerful strategy we use today? When did it make the transition from a common interpersonal experience to a tool that’s challenging tactics that have been trusted by marketers for years?
We’ll dive into:
- How social media has shifted the balance of power between brands and consumers
- Why content has become crucial for attracting and retaining consumers
- How influencers have adapted their practices to stay relevant to consumers while brands themselves struggle