Insights and Trends - Brands Using Influencer Content: Marketing and Advertising

Goals

To understand the new and innovative and ways brands are using influencer content for advertising and marketing. This will be to support a trendspotting meeting where the presentation of new and upcoming trends in the influencer marketing arena will take place. An ideal response would provide these trends, and additionally, identify any influencer content trends in-store or at point of sale.

Early Findings

  • Influencer marketing and advertising has come a long way in the last few years. According to a study conducted by Linqia, 39% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer marketing budget. The study also showed that a majority of marketers will spend anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 on influencer marketing.
  • Brands are spending more and more on marketing strategies that utilize influencers and it is estimated that the industry as a whole will be worth between $5-10 billion by 2020.
  • Brands creating products with influencers is a trend, and in fact, brands are already starting to do this. February 2019 saw Marks and Spencer became the first UK High Street brand to produce a collection with influencers. Having announced their partnership with seven leading fashion influencers for an exclusive footwear range, the collection was released this past summer. Before this, M&S were one of the brands leading the way to a digital-first shopping experience, allowing people to buy via Instagram’s shoppable posts and preview collections in categories via video.
  • To play off the first trend, storytelling plays a significant role in influence and is a trend in its own right. In this same Marks and Spencer's campaign, each influencer shared their experience of working with the brand and how having their own shoe design on the High Street was a ‘pinch me moment’, to quote Erica Davies. This is what people relate to. There was no sell, no product description, no price. Just a story, passion and heart. This is what provides an audience first connection and carries conversations. This is what carries influence!
  • Influencers that are becoming business entities is a big trend. For example, beauty start-up, Glossier owe much of their rapid growth to ‘regular women’, who already use the brand. The influencers they collaborate with are not only experiencing the product benefits simply by trying them, but are also empowered to become their own business entities. They are spreading the word and monetizing their influence through a referral program that enables the brands more influential followers and fans to offer product discounts, and other incentives, to their own networks.
  • Giving back to the community immerses that very community is a trend. An example of that is Converse. From collaborating with designers and artists to create limited edition footwear designs, to allowing consumers to design their own and onto their Young and Laced programme. This campaign recruited a creative group of males aged 16-20 and supported them over a year long period. Converse provided bursaries and challenges, encouraging them to create their own kind of content while building an organic relationship and affinity with the brand. Converse showed both understanding and relevance to their consumers and built long term relationships with the group, who quickly became brand ambassadors and successful creatives. These guys were brilliant but they were ordinary, and they only had 800 followers each. The point wasn’t reach, it was depth, with a campaign that gave back to the very community that its audience is made up of.
  • Brands want the personalities who represent them to be the best possible match available, giving rise to complex platforms that use data and automation techniques to complement the more familiar human review for influencer vetting. This is just one of many trends that has made a huge impact on the industry.
  • While large brands have consistently targeted the most in-demand influencers (macro and mega-influencers) to represent their brand, brands of all sizes have begun to invest in nano-influencers.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address the stated goals.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our first hour of research uncovered six trends surrounding new and innovative ways brands are using influencer content for advertising and marketing.
  • We did not have enough time in our initial hour of research to drill down on any influencer content trends in-store or at point of sale.
  • This research assumed a global focus. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply
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