As the popularity of influencer marketing gains speed, the practice itself has become difficult to navigate. It’s even hard to be an influencer, with the FTC increasingly reminding us that the rules are not meant for interpretation. In case you were wondering, using #sp to disclose your paid sponsorship is no longer going to fly.
Influencer marketing needs an upgrade in its definition, methodologies, and metrics to focus more on doing new things that unlock new value. Welcome to Influence 2.0.
To help marketers and influencers alike, we set out to learn what’s actually working for the practice. In partnership with TopRank Marketing, we surveyed 102 brand marketers and strategists from leading companies that we all know and love. We then commissioned one of the first thought leaders in influencer marketing, Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group, to analyze the data. The results, compiled into a landmark research report, help to connect the dots between “influencer marketing” as it exists today and “influencer relations” of the future.
In order for influencer marketing to reach its potential it needs to be relationship-driven--not transactional. Customers are demanding something more authentic, which doesn’t include disguising #sp posts as anything else but what they are: paid advertisements.
Influence 2.0, or the future of influencer marketing, will lead to transformational changes, helping brands in reclaiming their relevance in today’s culture.
Influence 2.0 is a new way of looking at leveraging influencer relationships that is long-term, mutually beneficial, and authentic to the brand.”
The mistake people often make with Influencer Marketing is they either think and/or use it as Advertising, in fact it’s subtler than that. Everybody has influence and it’s about harnessing certain people’s influence to support a brand during their buyer process.”
Influence 2.0 pinpoints every issue that my clients have struggled with over the years - from the definition of influence, to the strategies to deploy on their behalf, to how to implement the appropriate tools, and - ultimately - measure the channel's success.”
In between campaigns is the best time to strengthen the relationship as that is when you don't need the influencer to do anything. Let's hope we have companies 2.0 to take advantage of Influence 2.0.”
Selecting the right content creators to work with is key, matching your brand's customer base and marketing strategy to their highly engaged audiences, is a skill that requires brands to do their homework.”
Influence 2.0 shows how moving to an influencer relations approach, and having that role filled by the team that has experience with building relationships like this has the potential to radically change the success of influencer marketing in reaching your business objectives.”
Influencer marketing shouldn’t be seen as a "one-and-done" tactic; it involves ongoing relationship-building with subject-matter experts and opinion leaders who have like-minded values, advocate for your products, and want to share your content with their communities.”
Many businesses aren't fully exploiting the opportunities of influencer marketing since they don't have the right people, process and tools in place. Influence 2.0 is helpful in showing the range of influencer options and why they need proactive management.”
The Influence 2.0: Future State of Influencer Marketing report affirms the growing importance of influencer marketing in the marketer's wheelhouse. Given today's tsunami of information, influencers can make the difference between marketing success and failure.”
It’s all about the quality of the influencers, not the quantity of influencers. And finding high-quality influencers takes effective influencer research, outreach, and relationship management.”
As usual, marketers have rushed into influencer marketing looking for shortcuts and scale, whereas it is far more about relationship building with individuals. Influence 2.0 underscores how proper influencer marketing, at its core and done well, requires a transformation of mindset.”
Most importantly, we'd like to thank the 11 experts featured above for providing their commentary on this new concept. To learn more, make sure to check out the full Influence 2.0 report.