Ten years ago, no one expected the influencer space to be what it is today. With constant changes in the sphere of influencer marketing, how are the roles within the industry changing?
Influencer marketing hasn’t been around forever, and as a business model, it’s still in its infancy. When an increase in content creators, who at the time were just “normal people”, began sharing their interests on blogging sites and via YouTube videos, influencer as a career didn’t was not well established.
A little over a decade ago, a YouTuber could sit in front of a camera for ten minutes after his full-time job, spend an hour cutting the video together on iMovie, posting it to YouTube and then sharing it on Twitter. , and with a bit of luck, maybe earn some spending money with AdSense. There was no need for a personal manager, video editor, brand partnerships coordinator – the list goes on. Cut to now, and I’m sure you don’t go a day without a new influencer marketing role popping up on your LinkedIn feed as the industry grows exponentially.
The growth of influencer marketing
In an article published earlier this year, Forbes predicted that eventually influencers will take over the entire marketing funnel, and I personally don’t think that’s surprising. Especially since the pandemic, digital communication, e-commerce and adaptation in general have become essential to our daily lives. In turn, this means that influencer marketing was an industry that was able to grow while others declined over the past couple of years. In the past three years alone, we’ve seen 26% growth in influencer-focused businesses across influencer agencies, software, or tools and it’s still growing.
Charlotte Williams, founder of SevenSix Agency, has noticed a significant change, she says: “The evolution of influencer marketing over the past decade has been amazing to watch. This burgeoning sub-sector of the advertising industry has quickly grown from being a mere campaign add-on to now being at the center of the marketing mix.
Jenny Quigley-Jones, CEO and Founder of Digital Voices, is also amazed by this growth, saying, “Influencer marketers have become essential recruits for brand marketing teams. Brands normally assign this role to one person upfront and rely on them to take on all the pressures necessary for influencer success.
Now, not only are there a large number of companies that focus solely on influencer marketing – agencies, talent management, technology platforms – but all the big brands we’ve known throughout our lives have teams of professionals working to expand and solidify their influencer marketing offerings.
Not just a one-man-band
Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of professional creators, and with that, we’ve seen an influx of new talent agencies, managers, and personal assistants who work specifically with creators. Charlotte thinks it’s an exciting time to join the industry and we are now seeing traditional agencies changing their approach and titles such as Ogilvy’s “Influence Manager” titles instead of “Influencer Marketing Managers” or “account managers”.
Jenny brings up a hugely important point, reiterating that due to its growth, the influencer space is now more complex than ever and it takes more than a lone ranger to perform the entire function.
As brands make social media and influencer marketing their primary marketing channels (expected to spend 60% of marketing budget), Jenny believes we will see growth in:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Specialists Influencers – One of the biggest challenges in influencer marketing is tailoring campaigns to reach a large global customer base, while emphasizing quality. There are so many platforms and inefficiencies, i.e. with legal integration and global payment, that brands end up confused. We will see a growth in the number of key influencer marketing experts who know which CRMs will help you scale your marketing efforts and focus on process, data, measurement and technology.
- Influencer Marketing Creations – There is a gap for creative campaign strategists who deeply understand influencer marketing and social media trends. Many traditional ad creatives struggle to translate into influencer marketing because they are too focused on their high production value content and want to bring their perfect vision to life. Instead, we’re going to see the rise of creatives (within agencies) who specialize in partnering with influencers and focusing on fast-moving trending social media content.
Real people supporting real people
It’s great to see that being an influencer is now more than a hobby or side hustle for so many people, and has solidified as a professionalism in the marketing industry as a whole, alongside channels like affiliate and performance marketing. There is now a lot more understanding of how to measure ROI, affiliate revenue, and other areas beyond vanity metrics. However, despite this, it’s important to remember that this is a people-driven industry, and that real people do it better when it comes to supporting real people.
Charlotte thinks it’s the subtle shifts we’re seeing that indicate how industry giants view the space and how they’re trying to find a deeper purpose for industry creators, focusing not just on returning on investment, but also on growth.
She says, “Companies like mine trying to address the lack of diversity in the industry and provide a safe space for often overlooked creators, and financial services like XPO ensure creators get paid on time.
We’re also seeing larger agencies like MSL partner with smaller agencies like SevenSix to tackle diversity issues in the influencer space, leveraging their resources to enable faster, more productive change. Charlotte adds, “This new focus on creator rights, equality and mental health protection takes us into our new phase of influencer marketing, a phase that has sustainability and real integrity and that’s really exciting.”
It’s impossible to predict how many new influencer marketing roles will hit our list in the coming years, but what we do know is that with people and creativity at the forefront, it’s possible to grow unique roles that drive industry growth. , and the growth of the individuals therein,
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