A research report on the rapidly evolving brand-influencer dynamic shows the disparity and alignment of perceptions of marketers and influencers. The report, Aligning Marketers and Influencers: Shifting Perspectives on Influencer Marketing Across the Funnel, found that 75% of marketers leverage influencers for brand awareness and 73% for brand engagement. Influencers, almost 60% of them, said their top reason for working with marketers is to create authentic content, especially in a world where buyers are increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising.
The report, conducted by impact.com, a partnership management platform provider, in partnership with WARC, an international marketing intelligence company, was based on global survey responses from more than 400 marketers and 400 influencers across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
The value of authenticity cannot be overlooked, said impact.com in a press release. According to the research, 85% of influencers and 67% of marketers ranked high levels of trust and authenticity as the first and second most (respectively) significant strengths of influencer marketing, which, over time, creates stronger partnerships.
The report uncovers key considerations for those seeking true, impactful partnerships with influencers who are now at the center of the brand-consumer relationship given their impact on engagement and relationships with consumers. Those considerations include establishing a wide understanding of influencer marketing across functional teams, engaging with creators over an extended period of time in order to receive the best results and working with influencer marketing experts, such as technology platforms and agency-managed services, to ensure the best reach and results.
Key takeaways marketers and influencers shared for those looking to create (or expand) an influencer strategy include:
While the report is based primarily on comments from B2C marketers and influencers, the use of influencers by B2B companies is climbing. “Having started primarily as a marketing strategy for business-to-consumer sectors, influencer marketing will increasingly emerge as a business-to-business approach that deliver can on engagement, help with brand awareness, and resonate with a wider, more diverse audience,” noted impact.com CEO David A. Yovanno. “As B2B marketers become more familiar with the potential for collaboration with creators, our research findings can guide them on how better alignment can lead to more effective and valuable partnerships.”