Influencer marketing has been around for quite some time, making its debut with the rise of Instagram in 2014. At that time, working with influencers was cut and dry. A brand would compensate the influencer for promoting exactly what the brand told them to, often word for word. The industry has changed over the years and is now almost unrecognizable from its beginning form. It’s also a lot more successful!
What is an influencer?
Influencers are people who have gained a following through their online presence. Brands have learned to capitalize on the likeness of influencers and add them as a part of their marketing strategy.
Influencing used to be a reasonably exclusive field. You had to have a previous platform already built, such as blogging or modeling. However, beginning in 2016, the paradigm began to shift. The industry increased by $12.1 billion in profit by the end of 2021. What sparked this increase? The concept of influencers changed.
They were no longer referred to as influencers but as “creators” and the overall role became more inclusive. What does the new title mean? Anyone who posts content online is a creator and can market for brands.
Using creators for brand marketing strategies is, for the most part, done to reach the millennial and gen Z audiences. These audiences are younger and more dynamic than the generations before, requiring more intimate marketing efforts.
The way content is created has also evolved throughout the years. Brands have learned through trial and error that an audience is more likely to buy into your strategy if you make it relatable. This translates into allowing creators the freedom to promote their content in the way that best works for their audience. There is a reason that creators have a following, and brands have learned to capitalize on that. They realize that when a creator is given the freedom to do what they are good at, the content is much better, along with the results.
Creators know how to produce diverse content that doesn’t come off as “salsey.” Because creators are everywhere, the marketing is more authentic and reaches a more inclusive audience.
Brands have learned that throwing money at creators and telling them what to do doesn’t yield results. Instead, brands partner with creators to create purposeful content that will benefit both parties. Partnerships have also developed into long-term content relationships. These long-term projects give room for organic interaction with the brand and the creator, with promotional attributes sprinkled throughout the campaign. This strategy will lead to longevity and exponential ROI.
As the creators’ role becomes more prominent in brand marketing efforts, they’ve gotten smarter. Creators have learned of the value they bring to brands and have started promoting themselves as an asset to brands. Most creators are no longer interested in “one-time” deals with brands. They want to be a part of the longevity and be able to form those relationships to further their careers as well.
Creators are part of the audience brands target, so it only makes sense that creators would have a leg up on the brands themselves.
The most popular social media platform for creators has become TikTok. TikTok is a video platform where users can post videos up to three minutes long and are distributed through an algorithm. The algorithm allows any of TikTok’s 1.39 billion users to view and engage with your video. The appeal of the platform is that all videos are imperfect and authentic. It isn’t like Instagram, where hours are spent editing to showcase the best of your brand. TikTok is real people showcasing their real lives. This is why it is the perfect platform for creators!
Trends surface daily, various life hacks are discovered, and different videos go viral. TikTok opens the door for everyone to go viral and create a following. You just have to be brave enough to try. That’s why brands frequently partner with creators on the platform. It’s the easiest way for your product to be viewed by the masses, and it works!
There are products daily that go viral on TikTok. Once this happens, stores are unable to keep them in stock! Now THAT’S the power of creator marketing!
Start partnering with creators! There is no excuse not to. Working with creators to increase your marketing efforts is a cost-effective way to reach the most people. The beauty of it is that it’s all organically produced content! Creators authenticate your brand and elevate your products. Investing in creator/ brand relationships is the way marketing is heading. Don’t miss the opportunity to get in on the action!