Updated: Oct 10
If you haven’t been living under a rock this past decade, then you probably have a good idea of what influencers are and how effective influencer marketing is for brands.
Since the rise of Instagram, we’ve seen follower engagement as a way for brands to analyze just how well their products are doing with the general public, giving integral data and insights into the behavior of their consumers. And by adding the additional influencer endorsement, brands can widen their audience to specific target demographics.
Pre-pandemic, this started causing some backlash when news about influencers (real and fake ones) started making almost 20 000€ per post, which eventually forced brands to question if this marketing strategy was truly cost-effective.
So how were brands supposed to gauge the effectiveness of sales, and find a way to avoid fake followers? One of the solutions lay in the hands of micro-influencers.
Working with micro-influencers (typically those who have less than 15-20K) is a way for brands to reach out to their target demographics without having to go over their budget on one post. Micro-influencers are usually very happy to receive products for free in return for a few posts and a story compared to their macro-influencer counterparts.
Following the engagement rate of micro-influencers gave brands better insight into a more niche community.
This influencer marketing trend has been ongoing for years now, but since the outbreak of COVID-19, influencers (both micro and macro) are forced to stay at home. This has brands and agencies re-thinking their marketing strategies once again and forced them to adapt to a digital world where advertising competition is fierce.
So what does this mean for influencer marketing?
According to LAUNCHMETRICS, “…creators will hold more of an upper hand, and be able to govern the way their content partnerships take shape. As influencers want to produce content that engages and entertains their existing audiences in a shift away from product-led activations, the direction will land more significantly into the hands of the influencers. Previously, brands would provide a creative brief and direction, but this relationship is likely to change and evolve in a way that might be more balanced.”
It would seem that influencer marketing has reversed itself into “brand marketing” with influencers taking control of the creative direction, making it more relatable to the influencer’s audience who are also stuck at home.
As a marketer and follower of digital trends within the fashion and luxury industry, this trend gives me hope that consumers have the freedom to voice themselves in a creative way while being backed by large brands. It gives everyone a chance to be an influencer within their tight-knit community and it’s nice to see that brands, including the ones who have been around for decades, are open to the idea of letting their audience take the storytelling into their own hands.
What the influencer marketing trend we will be post-pandemic maybe something else in and out of itself. My idea would be that the influencers will continue to orchestrate their creative vision the brand while brands will continue to reshape their image based on the behavioral findings of their consumers.
Founder & CEO of OUIBRIDGE