“Influence Marketing : A Matter of Trust” by Quentin Bordage

Since 2017, Influence Marketing is everywhere : advertisers, media, social networks…
#influencermarketing
#ceo
#trust
3 min

Since 2017, Influence Marketing is everywhere : advertisers, media, social networks… You may have even heard of it from your kids and grandparents during the holiday season.

The coming of a new digital advertising era is confirmed.

On one hand, thanks to the rise of interactive formats on the main platforms (Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat…) and the explosion of committed communities, everybody can now have access to huge audience that only media were used to have.

On the other hand, the massive rejection of interruptive advertising by web users (32 % of devices had an AdBlocker in 2016) has announced the fall of the traditional advertising model in favour of the Native Advertising, whose Influence Marketing is the main tool.

We can applaud the widespread awareness that now exists around Influencer Marketing.

A quick glance at Google trends is enough to perceive the changeover. Searching for “display ad” are being left behind to the benefit of “influencer marketing” in most developed countries.

This is not a passing fad but rather a genuine revolution in advertising and communication.

Influence Marketing has sharply risen in a year : its practice has increased by 87 %, 67 % of advertisers have multiplied their budgets for Influence Marketing and countless agencies now position themselves on this promising market…

We have now entered a new mature phase and it is time to put this marketing jungle in order.

From the war proclaimed by Instagram against the purchase of fake followers accounts to the awkward campaigns impacting brands as well as celebrities and influencers — it is hard to forget the bad buzz from Pepsi’s campaign with Kendall Jenner –, 2017 have highlighted the “don’ts” of Influence Marketing.

In the United States, 90 celebrities have been reprimanded by the FTC, including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, for their lack of transparency regarding their partnerships. In France, the DGCRF was still investigating on Youtubers that may have use disguised advertising, while the ARPP reminded the rules applying to Influence Marketing: transparency on the commercial collaboration and loyalty to the communities. Hence, the emergence of particular mentions such as #ad and #partnership this year.

These new legislative positions and polemics of the year reveal a common issue: the lack of structure, as well as the need for confidence and authenticity in the influence area.

The confidence principle is essential to thrive through Influence Marketing campaigns.

Advertisers and influencers must trust each other in their mutual commitments.

Brand’s intentions must be serious, products must be of quality and contractual terms must be respected regarding influencers, who also have to respect their commitments in terms of content production.

The influencer must be able to maintain the mutual respect s/he has built with her/his community. This is the reason why s/he is present on social networks and attractive for businesses.

This tripartite relationship is the cornerstone of any successful collaboration.

Then, the question is how to establish the right balance? As for other intermediation markets, the best way is to involve a trusted third-party to professionalize, streamline and increase the reliability of the Influence Marketing industry.

In view of the extent and complexity of the supply and demand in an ever-changing market, a data-driven approach is essential.

Using tools giving access to quality and consistent data, calculated in real time allows to sweep up the risks associated with the influencers selection: removal of fake followers, detailed qualification of the fan base (gender, age, geographical location, occupation category), identification of affinities and so on.

It also allows to provide an instant and reliable measurement of the advertisers’ ROI: reach, commitment and Earned Media Value, which is not calculated in the same way by everyone today).

Advertisers should also change the way they perceive influencers and need to start trusting them.

We are now far from an era made of naive and young influencers that promote any products in return for mere material compensations, strictly following their advertiser or agency instructions.

In order to build a healthy relationship, it is mandatory to take influencers seriously as they have now become real entrepreneurs! It is then strongly recommended to commit to a long-term collaboration with them and to trust the way they animate their community. All this, for the greatest benefit of the brands!

In 2018, advertisers initiated changes in their understanding of Influence Marketing.

Quality, objectivity and exhaustivity, all pillars of trust, will become the main criteria of Influence Marketing projects. These evolutions will obviously be beneficial for each party.

After a time of discoveries, it is now the time of control! Once the rules of this new marketing lever will be set, it will finally be possible to exploit its full potential.