The industry is projected to hit $10 billion by 2020 and is seemingly continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Yet, in our video interview with Cheddar Network we were asked if the industry has “hit a peak [with influencer marketing]?” We decided to dive into that question on this episode of Thinking Outloud. Watch and/or read for details of exactly why influencer is flourishing and how sustainable it is.
Consumer trends favor influencer marketing
It’s no surprise that with the rise of social media consumer habits have changed and information consumption has shifted drastically. The customer journey is no longer following the patterns that we’ve seen from traditional media predecessors. Consumers now demand that brands have a strong identity and purpose and it is no longer enough to just sell products. With influencer marketing campaigns, brands have the opportunity to convey a strong brand identity and purpose through authentic voices that are not their own. Through creators, brands can deliver messaging that is highly curated and seamlessly received by their intended audiences. TL,DR: influencer marketing is on the rise because consumers are only trusting authentic content, and word-of-mouth is as authentic as it gets.
In today’s age the concept of mass media is dead. No longer is there a homogenous culture, but rather tons of micro-cultures that are much easier to access. Larger brands have taken a longer time to adjust to this shift in social & cultural norms, while others have hopped straight on the bandwagon. For example, during Super Bowl 53 this past year, a prominent brand used their ad space to feature ASMR, a micro-culture that was slowly making its way to the mainstream through YouTube at the time. The idea that a micro-culture originating with creators on YouTube made it’s way into a million dollar Super Bowl spot and better yet, ended up creating huge amounts of user generated content, showcases the advantage of influencer marketing’s unique position and leverage over society’s micro-cultures.
What does this mean for the CMO?
In short: influencer marketing has not peaked.
Our culture is constantly shifting and moving towards a society that doesn’t have one cultural zeitgeist but rather multiple and many zeitgeists. The only way to tap into this is through influencer marketing, where companies can experiment with messaging far more than ever before, especially among the high volume of micro-cultures. Influencer marketing’s flexibility of platform allows for a more curated cultural fit. For a brand to stay relevant, they need to be ready and willing to have platform specialization within their marketing department. They need to be extremely agile and adapt quickly to shifting trends in influencer. No longer can a company depend on being able to do the same thing it has always done. Culture is changing, marketing is evolving, and companies need to follow suit to continue being a player in the game.
Check out the full video for more insights on this topic and please reach out with questions or comments!