The influencer market is huge thanks to platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. In June, Instagram reached 1B active users – during September 2017 it had 800M active users. According to a recent study conducted by Mediakix, over $500M is spent on influencer marketing and in the next 5 years, this number is projected to be between $5B to $10B. Pretty much every business recognizes social media is inherent to its success and so is strategically aligning itself with the right influencers.
Digital Dumbo recently held a discussion panel called “The Spheres of Influence”, where industry leaders from companies like WeWork, Glossier, Condé Nast, and Complex discussed navigating the influencer market.
A common sentiment mentioned several times throughout the discussion is the importance of authenticity in partnerships. A partnership is collaborative and should benefit both parties; it shouldn’t feel transactional. A great example of a natural collaboration was when celebrity makeup artist, Dionne Wynn, mentioned Glossier product “Lidstar” in a Glamour article about Oscar makeup prep. Wynn used Lidstar on actress Tiffany Haddish (she currently stars in the movie Uncle Drew that’s out in theaters).
Glossier partnerships appear natural and unforced, and the panel agreed that a potential influencer should already have a natural affinity for the brand since consumers are smart and will realize if a pairing isn’t authentic. Moreover, authenticity becomes especially important when considering the value of creating long-term relationships.
So when companies are deciding on which influencer to work with they should ask themselves: will this influencer make sense on a campaign/Instagram? What type of conversation will they start with our consumers? What communities is this person a part of? The panel emphasized that whenever considering partnerships do research beforehand and understand who you are getting involved with. Additionally, when entering into a partnership think of your brand from a longevity and 360-degree standpoint.
But what should you do if you’re an inspiring influencer and want to work with a top company?
Isata Yansaneh, a leading strategy director at 23 Stories x Condé Nast, said, “Do excellent, excellent work.”
Roya Weiner, the executive director of influencer marketing and talent at Glossier, shared that you don’t need to hit a certain threshold of followers to have a powerful voice.
Rana Batyske, the creative and strategic director of the influential DJ Mick (he deejays for celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyonce and Lebron James), pointed out the importance of finding your superpower and using it to create something. She underscored the importance of NOT scrolling on social media and comparing yourself to others.
Understanding how to interact with the influencer market is more important than ever before as more and more people make decisions about their clothes, vacations, food, etc based off of social media.