Here at Ogilvy, we’ve noticed a prominent shift in the world of influencer marketing. The rise of mobile and short-form platforms over the past few years has paved the way for a new breed of influencer to take hold. The days of working with “bloggers” are over – influencers are now content creators in their own right. Skilled masters of their craft, these content creators are visually creative, artistically and entertainment-driven and are opportunistically expanding their careers.
Last night, Ogilvy Washington welcomed a panel of experts to discuss how influencers fit into this new school of content production – including Joy Jaynes of Mornings Like These, Milton B. Yates of Team Hennessy, Brian Landau of IZEA and Aaron Lichtig of Google. Read on for the biggest takeaways of the evening:
1- Authenticity is the heart of anything you do. Milton said it best – “People see through the fake.” Consumers have a discerning eye and know when influencers don’t have passion for the brands they represent. While many influencers take the initiative not to work with brands that do not reflect their own values, brands also have a responsibility to vet influencers for overall fit in advance. Both sides stand to benefit in the long-term – influencers gain additional cred with their followers and brands won’t waste money on content that lacks authenticity and resonance.
2- Influencers should be trusted. We get it – relinquishing brand control isn’t easy. But if you’ve done your research up-front to identify the right influencer for your campaign, you are moments away from compelling content being created about your brand. Content creators have made livings by building their following and know what makes their audience tick. Take a step back and let them work their magic… you won’t be disappointed.
3- View influencers as your equals. When was the last time you sent an influencer your creative brief? Joy shared that she loves receiving briefs from brands she works with, as it ensures that she has direction and clarity of what is expected of her. Influencers are regularly co-creating content with brands and should be treated as a collaborative equal in the process.
4- The rise of professionalism means Paid is here to stay. While we can’t speak for the entire realm of influencers, many we’ve spoken with state that paid opportunities take precedent over earned asks. Being an influencer is a full-time job and helps supports many families. Brian noted that influencer vendors like IZEA are there to help facilitate the paid aspect, but it still remains important to balance owned, paid and earned components of any campaign.
5- Influencers can help build passion brands. While some brands have figured out how to inspire passion – many are still trying to crack that puzzle. Aaron believes that influencers may be part of the solution due to their ability to build relationships and tell stories.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in how content is created by online influencers?