The confluence of fame, personality, and money inevitably leads to drama. As YouTube Influencer Marketing increases in popularity, highly publicized and dramatic falls from grace the likes of Logan Paul or PewDiePie will become all the more common.
While this might tempt a lot of experts to signal “Influencer Marketing is going to implode,” or, “Influencer Marketing is too risky,” it actually signals the opposite: Influencer Marketing is stronger than ever — but only for brands that are able to adapt in the right way. As conversations around influencers on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram become more important and as creators themselves become more embedded within pop culture, there are some things brands should know moving forward in order to remain relevant:
Approach Influencers that Share your Values
With the current climate, all eyes are currently on influencers. One slip up means a firestorm of criticism, lost sponsorships, and public humiliation. This means that creators in 2018 will be even more careful than usual about the brands they’ll work with and what they’re willing to say on camera.
As a marketer, you’re going to want to spend extra time doing research on influencers, the brands that have previously worked with them, and whether or not they reach the right audience for you (disclaimer: you can do all that on Grapevine).
Taking the extra time to curate an influencer that truly shares your values will lead to more authentic content, which leads to happier fans, which leads to higher engagement for your brand. Don’t be afraid to loosen up your brand voice a little!
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Loosen Up Your Brand’s Guidelines!
Creators are only influential because fans are attracted to their personalities. If you’re expecting a Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube Marketing Influencer to read a 1-to-1 script then you should probably stop spending money on influencers altogether. Again, this requires just a little extra time to research their previous videos and getting a feel for what their audience is receptive to.
It might take a bit to get accustomed to, but millennials enjoy content that is often weird, absurd, and deeply ironic. Letting influencers inject an edgier voice into your brand’s marketing efforts could appeal to millennials just like Wendy’s is doing with their Twitter account. Don’t be afraid to be edgy, but definitely be open and over-communicative with influencers you are partnering with so they don’t stray too far off the line.
2018 is the year creators take control. It’s best if you don’t get in their way.