Last week, Julius attended Social Media Week NYC at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel. We met some great people in the industry, had some inspiring conversations about the future of influencer marketing, and presented our State of Influencers Report 2019 to a crowd eager to get grassroots influencer insights.
Whether we were demoing to prospects at our booth, catching up with customers on the floor, or attending speaker events, one thing was clear: conversations about influencers were top-of-mind for marketers. Not only were many attendees already convinced of the power of influencer marketing, they wanted to know how to get better at it.
Debuting the survey
Earlier this year, we worked together with Lippe Taylor to survey hundreds of influencers to get their opinions on the future of influencer marketing and distilled our findings into a report you can download here.
Danny Palestine, our Head of Customer Strategy, presented the report in a Social Media Week panel entitled, “How to Manage the Mystery of Influencer Marketing.” Joining him on stage were our panel guests, Sarah DeThomasis, Director of Digital Strategy at RpR Marketing Communications, Jeremiah Rosen, CEO of Sundae, and Jeremy Simon, SVP of Influencer Marketing at Lippe Taylor.
Danny made his way through the standout statistics from our survey, which covered everything from the changing demographics of influencers, to their career motivations and aspirations, and even their perspectives on fraud.
Below are some key takeaways from the presentation:
Women lead the charge
- Although 75 percent of respondents were women, the number of men grew 4 percent year over year
- 28 percent of women influencers are full-time, leading the charge of a nascent professional industry
A growing professional field
- On the note of professionalism, 50 percent of respondents reported an increase in income
- A majority of full-time influencers have more than seven brand partnerships a year
Nano influencers rising
- 22 percent of nano and micro influencers aspire to become full-time influencers
- We saw a 13 percent growth year over year in nano influencers
Creativity is the driving force of influence
- 74 percent of respondents said they are motivated by creativity
- Although only 45 percent were motivated by financial gain, 62 percent consider negotiating value-exchange the most difficult challenge
Influencers are the source of social expertise
- Influencer content is routinely whitelisted or repurposed by brands on their own social
- Influencers are excited to try new features and platforms like IGTV, Facebook Stories, and podcasts
Based on these insights, Danny and the panel guests detailed several strategies marketers can use to improve their influencer marketing efforts in 2019:
Build better relationships with your influencers
Drawing from his experience in the agency world, Danny shared ideas for forging stronger partnerships with influencers. Whether you take them out for coffee, catch up on their personal lives, or just like their posts on social, supporting your partners can go a long way in creating authentic and credible content for your audience.
Small budget? There’s an influencer for that
Since micro and nano influencers are eager to professionalize and follow the rules, you don’t need an enterprise-level budget for enterprise-level results. Nano and micro influencers typically boast higher engagement rates and are also open to other forms of compensation for their services – such as products, gifts, travel, or experiences.
Long-term partnerships for long-term success
Calling back to a common theme in influencer marketing, many influencers said they prefer long-term relationships with brands, not only for the stability, but for the freedom to create over an indefinite period of time. As many brands shift to always-on strategies, working with influencers long-term can create powerful content that is continuously engaging.
For 2019 and beyond, we expect the industry to continue to professionalize, explore new features and concepts, and above all else, create authentic stories for consumers to engage with.
We’ll be at Social Media Week LA!
Our Director of Partnerships, Karin Swanson, will be presenting at SMWLA on June 12th. Stay tuned for more details.