As influencer marketing becomes an increasingly established form of advertisement, the desire for easier collaborations between brands and social media personalities has also grown. As a result, companies like Revfluence and FameBit have developed platforms that allow brands to search a database of influencers and easily discover potential campaign partners.
While these platforms benefit brands and influencers by enabling them to more easily discover one another, relationships formed through these platforms can be problematic. Influencer partnerships should be mutually beneficial -- brands and influencers need to understand one another's goals to make that the case. The rise of the platform indicates increasing efficiency and transparency in the marketplace, but at the end of the day, influencer marketing requires an incredibly high level of human interaction to execute effectively.
There is so much that cannot be automated when it comes to influencer marketing. Agencies often work to make sure that both sides are getting what they want from the project, ensuring that the brand will see an ROI and the influencer is not sacrificing their personal voice or artistic integrity. These relationships with influencers are invaluable, and lead to the best possible content for a campaign. The “middleman," in this case, is extremely valuable in maintaining the human element of the brand-influencer relationship. Platforms can be useful for influencer discovery, but run the risk of brands treating influencers like Adwords, something that can be purchased and expected to perform without regard for his or her needs.
GOODBYE VIEW GUARANTEES, HELLO MICRO-INFLUENCERS
View counts are not always the best metric by which a brand can assess the value of a potential influencer. The idea that a brand is paying “per view” is outdated, rooted in traditional forms of display advertising that privileged the size of the audience over viewer engagement.
Because influencer marketing often takes place on a niche level, targeting specific communities over mass audiences, the quality of the influencer’s engagement is becoming a more common way for brands to weigh the value of a potential campaign partner. This enables brands to see the degree to which audiences respect and trust the influencer.
Smaller influencers have also been heavily utilized by brands in 2017 -- brands are finally beginning to understand that they're buying influence, not views.
INFLUENCERS ON SNAPCHAT
Snapchat, which allows users to share ephemeral content, has great potential for utilizing influencer marketing to its advantage in the coming year. Already as popular as Instagram, Snapchat recently went public and is now in the position of having to satisfy both new, mainstream advertisers on top of the influencers who already work within their platform.
In order to succeed (and avoid the plunge that Vine took), Snapchat will need to expand upon its strengths and work toward correcting its weaknesses. The “Discover” feature, for example, is currently only available to be used by the largest of media outlets, demonstrating the company’s inattention to the native creators that produce most of the platform’s content. Additionally, the search function leaves much to be desired, making it difficult for users to find new people to follow and share content with. If these features are fixed up and employed in the right ways, the application can facilitate influencer involvement that will help it satisfy and retain its most influential creators.