Today, a Q & A With Lauren Sloat of Streetsense, VP of Marketing on influencer marketing. Streetsense is an agency collective that specializes in creating comprehensive marketing plans that bring people and places together through experience-focused strategy and design.
What are some trends in the influencer marketing space?
When it comes to influencer marketing, authenticity is key. It’s increasingly important for influencers to align with the values and mission of the brands they’re promoting, so they remain credible and trustworthy to their followers while also appropriately representing the partner brand. That being said, many brands are starting to publicly acknowledge the lack of diversity in past influencer marketing efforts. As U.S. consumers place more emphasis on social justice when it comes to their purchasing decisions, it will be important for brands that support racial equality to continue to follow up with concrete action when it comes to diversifying their influencer marketing efforts so they do not come across as exploitative or opportunistic.
Another trend: influencers aren’t just on Youtube or their own blogs anymore — TikTok and its competitor product Instagram Reels have added to an already deep bench of channels and content types.
Do you see this space evolving? In what way?
The influencer space is absolutely evolving. One of the challenges with influencer marketing in the past is that it hasn’t been directly measurable. Now that many social platforms are integrating shoppable features directly into their platforms, brands will be able to measure the ROI of influencer marketing much more efficiently.
Another big shift we’ve seen is Influencers as resident advisors and creators. We’re seeing brands consider the idea of contracting influencers for long-term strategic roles — beyond just content generation or social sharing for a discrete campaign — such as being an in-house content creator, spokesperson, or creative advisor. These sorts of long-term investments contribute to the authenticity of the relationship, allow brands to extend their reach beyond their owned marketing channels in a significant and sustained way, and give them access to a new set of creative ideas, whether it’s limited-edition products designed in some way by the influencer, serialized content created by them, or specific social channels “hosted by” and largely controlled by that influencer.
How do you use influencer marketing for your business?
Streetsense leverages influencers in three key areas for its clients and can share more about any of these areas:
· For content generation and perspective: We contract influencers to create original branded content to see how they interpret & capture the brand from their unique perspective, and so that we can share a more diverse range of perspectives on the brand’s owned channels
· For reach and engagement: We contract influencers to promote partnerships, giveaways, and new product releases that we think will resonate with their followers as a way to reach new audiences and communities
· For experiences: We collaborate with influencers to host or promote events (real life and virtual) as spokespeople or brand ambassadors, adding a level of endorsement and excitement that is difficult to achieve with advertising alone
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