When early influencers unwittingly stumbled onto the scene using platforms like Instagram and YouTube in the early 2010s, the social media landscape was a very different place. A simple streak of independent aesthetic and a small following could earn a spot on a featured page, or even catch the eye of an eminent record producer. This level of exposure made careers for the likes of millennial celebs like Jenna Marbles and Justin Bieber.
Meanwhile, celebrities with their own brands were growing their audiences during this time as well, as loyal followers took their fandom online. With the proliferation of social media over the next 10 years, celebs like the Kardashians saw their fan bases skyrocket. And, a new trend was taking hold: What influencers liked, their audiences liked. If Kim said to buy it, they did.
These kinds of “pioneers” in the online influencer space paved the way for stars, athletes — and eventually regular people — to become paid influencers. As influencers grew their audiences, brands took notice and also got in on the action, often with much success. When the influencer-brand match is a good one, the relationship is fruitful for everyone involved, bringing valuable engagement to both the influencer and the advertiser.
More recently, influencer marketing has shifted from art to science, going from back-of-the-envelope, small-time engagements to a $13.8B industry. Indeed, influencer marketing is now a true opportunity for influencers and brands alike to cultivate their audiences and drive engagement.
At the heart of it all is the influencer-brand relationship, the crux on which the entire campaign is built. When there is a true connection between the brand and the influencer, both parties have an equal interest in the content’s performance. Influencers always care about the performance of their content, but when you can connect with one who also shares your brand’s investment in the campaign results, your influencer becomes an even stronger ambassador.
Today, we’ll take a look at three key components of a strong influencer relationship and tips for incorporating influencer engagement into your marketing strategy.
Managing influencers can be so time consuming that it eats up potential ROI if you’re not careful. Here are some tips for rolling out your strategy in a way that will facilitate the smoothest launch of campaigns and their respective management.
Influencers are here to stay, and with the right focus on relationship building, they can be a powerful driver for brand engagement. Want to talk more about influencer marketing? Let’s chat.
Zlata is a full-time publicist, part-time writer, and round-the-clock ambassador to wit and humor. As a publicist for over 15 years, she helps launch products with creative ideas and garner press coverage that drives reputation and sales. She also contributes to a variety of lifestyle publications in the areas of food, parenting, health, beauty, marketing, travel, and home. When she’s not crafting kitchen concoctions for her food blog @lifeandthymez, Zlata can be found spending time with her family, having #zlatathoughts, and fantasizing about being a Real Housewife of New Jersey.