impact.com, a partnership management platform, in partnership with WARC, an international marketing intelligence company, have published a report on the rapidly evolving brand-influencer dynamic, which shows the disparity and alignment of perceptions of marketers and influencers, and offers guidance on how better alignment can lead to more effective and valuable partnerships.
The report, Aligning Marketers and Influencers: Shifting Perspectives on Influencer Marketing Across the Funnel, reveals influencer and marketer perceptions around influencer marketing, especially given the rapid growth of the influencer market after a wave of investment and innovation on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report, based on global survey responses from more than 400 marketers and 400 influencers across Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia, found that 75% of marketers leverage influencers for brand awareness and 73% for brand engagement. From the influencer point of view, 58% say their top reason for working with marketers is to create authentic content, especially in a world where consumers are increasingly sceptical of traditional advertising.
The value of authenticity cannot be overlooked. According to the research, 85% of influencers and 67% of marketers ranked high levels of trust and authenticity as the first and second most (respectively) significant strengths of influencer marketing, which, over time, creates stronger partnerships.
The report uncovers key considerations for those seeking true, impactful partnerships with influencers who are now at the centre of the brand-consumer relationship given their impact on engagement and relationships with consumers. Those considerations include establishing a wide understanding of influencer marketing across functional teams, engaging with creators over an extended period of time in order to receive the best results and working with influencer marketing experts, such as technology platforms and agency-managed services, to ensure the best reach and results.
“Consumers are engaging with social channels like YouTube and TikTok more than ever before, which we expect to continue for the foreseeable future. At the same time, consumers have become distrustful of and annoyed with traditional marketing and advertising channels,” said impact.com CEO David A. Yovanno. “Together, these factors have helped give rise to a significant consumer population that looks to influencers to guide their purchase decisions, with an appetite for influencer commerce content that continues to grow. This has created a shift in the brand-influencer power dynamic – for many brands, building partnerships with influencers is now a critical way to reach their target audience.”
Key takeaways marketers and influencers shared for those looking to create (or expand) an influencer strategy include:
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