Influencers seek authenticity and collaboration with brands as their roles evolve and grow, survey says

Influencer

Influencer marketing is a trend on the rise with 2016 showing more businesses turning towards social media personalities to create and produce branded content.

A recent report by Julius, a SaaS marketing platform found that 90% of those influencers surveyed have worked with a brand for sponsored content prior to becoming an influencer or on an ongoing basis. Additionally, 77% of influencers work with a brand as part of an ongoing and evergreen campaign and 85% expect the number of branded campaigns they complete to increase over the next year. Further, over 63% of influencers say the top reason for not wanting to work with a brand was because the brand was too controlling of the content.

"Brands with a devotion to influencer marketing tend to take a more long-term view, and recognize greater ROI results from building a relationship with an influencer. A campaign, rather than a post, tends to lead to stronger creative and greater authenticity," noted Thuzio CEO Jared Augustine.

Only 25% of influencers are full time while most spend about six hours a week on their social media presence with over 85% spending six or more hours a week researching, creating, posting, tracking and responding to followers. Influencers can be found anywhere with 12% also studying full-time while 16% are stay at home parents.

While consumers cite authenticity as a key reason for following an influencer, half of the surveyed respondents said the top reasons for working with a company is their own personal affinity for the brand or their personal use of the product.

Influencers tend to favor working with brands who are willing to be collaborative and allow for creativity, with 83% of influencers saying they would work with a brand again if the partnership was collaborative. With 85% of influencers expecting the number of branded campaigns they compete with over the next year to increase.

"I'd expect this percentage to grow in the near-term as more and more brands begin to execute influencer campaigns for the first time, and then decline in the long-term as trust builds across the eco-system. Most brands who have found great success with influencer marketing would say they had to give a long leash to find the best results with their creative," Augustine said.

He went on to add: "Brands with a devotion to influencer marketing tend to take a more long-term view, and recognize greater ROI results from building a relationship with an influencer. A campaign, rather than a post, tends to lead to stronger creative and greater authenticity."

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